Sutton Board of Selectmen news and notes
Manchaug Pond Foundation thanks board
BY TIM REILLY
The Sutton Board of Selectmen met in regular session on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at Sutton Town Hall. Present for the meeting were selectmen Mike Chizy, John Hebert, Rick Hersom and Ken Stuart. Town Administrator Jim Smith was also in attendance. The meeting began at 7 p.m.
Town Administrator’s Update – Smith said that the town has acquired the former Blue Jay Restaurant for $110,000 on July 26. The town will receive $120,000 from the TriStar cell tower deal in August and this money will pay for the property.
Smith said that to make the property safe, the town will remove the foundation and fill it in with gravel from the Hatchery Road gravel pit until the town knows what it will do with the property.
Congressman Jim McGovern, who will be Sutton’s representative once redistricting takes place in January, visited town on July 31. Smith said he visited the Sutton Center Store, bought some food and then went up to town hall.
McGovern’s father is from Sutton and Planning Board member Bob Largess is his cousin. The town administrator predicted that the town would have a good relationship with McGovern.
The foundation for the pavilion at Marion’s Camp has been poured and building commissioner John Couture reports that he expects that students from Blackstone Technical School will begin working on the pavilion in September. Smith that Couture designed the pavilion and he has gone to a manufacturer to resolve some structural issues. He said that the pavilion should be completed by November or December.
Smith said that it is time to take the state ethics test again, something that happens every two years. It needs to be completed by September 7.
Other Business – The selectmen appointed Richard Haskins and Brittany Reinhold as alternate members of the zoning board of appeals. Reinhold, a six year resident and a recent graduate from UConn with a degree in landscape architecture, said she wanted to get on the Board to both help the town and to further her knowledge of zoning regulations.
Haskins, also a six year resident, said that he has owned a business in Millbury for 20 years—the Beacon Benefits Group, Inc.—and that he has “reasonable experience” reading contracts and laws. He added that being on the Board would give him the opportunity to participate in town government and that it was important to balance “being reasonable” in the request for appeals with the need to keep “the beautiful nature of our town.
Hersom said the Charter Review Committee has held its organizational meeting, with Dave Suprenant. Hersom said the committee would meet twice a month with goal of completing its work in time for spring town meeting. He urged anyone with any suggestions to contact the committee through town clerk Laura Caruso.
Chizy said that the shelves at the food pantry at the Senior Center are just about empty. Anything people could donate would be greatly appreciated.
During Public Forum, Felicia Charpentier, secretary of the Manchaug Pond Foundation (formerly known as the Manchaug Pond Association), thanked the Board “in advance for something you’re going to do tonight.” By accepting the Manchaug Dam, she said the selectmen would resolve an issue that went back seven years. Back then, she said, there were headlines in the paper saying that the Guilford Mill was closing and that the property and the dam were to be sold off. She said she wasn’t sure anyone could recognize the “breadth and the depth” of what the dam agreement would do or the effect that this would have both now and in the future. She thanked the selectmen for coming to see the importance of Manchaug Pond as a natural resource, for the contribution that the pond makes as a reservoir,
and the importance of the dam for maintaining flood control downstream. She also cited its importance to wildlife, fisheries, and tourism. She said that that she especially wanted to recognize Smith and the Conservation Commission for their work. She said that Smith’s leadership during the negotiations made it possible to not only get the dam “for a buck” but also for getting the $350,000 that will be used to keep the dam “in good shape for generations.” She again thanked the Board for dealing with the situation “squarely and effectively.” Chizy said that the MPF was the group that had started all of this and that it deserved credit too.
The Board approved the minutes of the regular meeting of July 24.