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Selectmen Notes: Board Approves $5K for Historical Register Application for Highland Chapel

Briefs from the Board of Selectmen meeting, Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Board Votes to Approve $5K for Historical Register Application for Highland Chapel

Department of Public Works director Mark Ryan appeared before the Board of Selectmen to request $5,000 to go toward an application for the chapel at the Highland Cemetery to be put on the state Historical Register.

Ryan said that the chapel has fallen into disrepair, and that according to a study of the building done by the original designing firm, it could cost around $675,000 to repair.

The firm, Ryan said, has a very personal interest in the chapel, and recommended putting it on the historical register. Doing so could allow the Town to obtain grants to rehabilitate it as a historical building.

"I think it's time now that we do update," Selectman Paul Bishop said. "I'm behind it 100 percent."

The request was approved unanimously.

Ryan also delivered his monthly report to the Board, including the winterizing of the athletic fields, completed leaf bag pick-up, and the Water Department filling up froggies pond so now residents are, "Just waiting for Mother Nature to take care of that for the winter."

He also noted that holiday recycling will be available from Dec. 26 to Jan. 3, for cardboard boxes, wrapping paper and other items. Christmas tree pick-up will begin Dec. 31.

 

Recreation Superintendent Talks Holiday Events, New Equipment

Gerald Miller, Superintendent of the Recreation Department, spoke before the Board as well Tuesday night to deliver his monthly report.

Recently the department put on the annual Holiday Extravaganza, about which Miller said, "It was just a wonderful day."

"I know I make reference to this all the time," he said. "But it was a really Norman Rockwell type event."

Currently the Holiday House Decorating contest is getting a very good response out of people, Miller also noted, and a Gingerbread House Decorating contest will be held Thursday, Dec. 13.

"The kids love this stuff," he said.

The new equipment that Town Meeting allowed for is coming in on Dec. 27, Miller told the Board, and asked them to vote to declare the old equipment surplus so that it can be sold or disposed of. Miller said that all Town departments were asked if they had any interest in the equipment but that none was shown due to the fact that most of it is large, cumbersome and outdated.

The old Nautilus equipment may be taken to a scrap metal place and the Town would receive a check based on the weight of the items. The other equipment doesn't have a lot of value as scrap or to the manufacturer, but could be posted for sale.

The Board voted unanimously in agreement with Miller's question.

 

Town to Request $750K Grant for Housing Rehab

A Public Hearing was held at Tuesday night's meeting regarding the Fiscal Year 2013 Community Development Fund Grant Application to be submitted by the Town Community Planning and Economic Development Department for $750,000 to be used to update the electrical lines in one of Norwood's housing authority complexes.

Pamela McCarthy, from the Department of Community Planning and Economic Development, said that they would be submitting a joint application this year with the town of Bridgewater for a total of $900,000.

Even though Bridgewater is not a neighboring town it's a good fit, she said, there have been many meetings, and the process is moving right along. Norwood will be requesting and receiving slightly less money with the joint application, but is much more likely to be granted the funding.

The grant application is due in February, McCarthy said, but the Town probably won't know if it has been granted the funds until June.

According to McCarthy's report to the Board, $250,000 would be used to upgrade electrical at the housing authority property of Washington Heights, $275,000 to continue the housing rehab program - rehabilitating approximately 11 more units - and $225,000 for administration and delivery.

Selectman Bishop said, "I think it's a very worthy project," noting that just under 200 residents live in the Washington Heights property, and "from the pictures it looks like it seriously needs it [the electrical upgrade]."

The Board unanimously approved the application to be sent.

 

Town Hall Restoration to Begin in March

Town Manager John Carroll told the Board that the work on the Town Hall restoration will begin in mid-March of 2013.

The construction should cause limited inconvenience, but parking arrangements will have to be made for one side of the Town Hall staff and visitors, he said.

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