Chesterfield TM to vote on museum repairs, expanded telecom buffer

  • ROBYN BECK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES/TNS ROBYN BECK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES/TNS

Staff Writer
Published: 5/11/2021 2:53:07 PM

CHESTERFIELD – Voters will tackle a variety of topics at Saturday’s annual Town Meeting, including a proposal to establish a buffer between telecommunications facilities and the Historic District, plus three articles on funding repairs to the Edwards Museum.

The Town Meeting will take place on the grounds of New Hingham Regional Elementary School starting at 9 a.m. Voters will take action on a 22-article warrant, which includes the annual budget.

In notable articles, Article 2 would transfer $5,200 from free cash for a new website for the town. A note from the Select Board on the article asserts that the town website “has many issues and the platform is outdated.” It also says that the town’s IT consultant recommended replacing the site.

Article 8, meanwhile, would authorize $60,000 worth of borrowing for the purchase of a new mower, to be shared with the town of Worthington. The cost of the mower is $120,000, and Worthington authorized $60,000 worth of borrowing for the mower at its annual Town Meeting on May 1.

Three articles deal with repairing the Edwards Museum.

Article 16 would transfer $69,110 from free cash to make repairs using historically appropriate materials. These repairs would include replacing the roof, repairing the porch and repairing/replacing shutters.

Article 17, meanwhile, would transfer $60,605 to make the same repairs, but use materials that are lower maintenance.

“There’s passion on both sides,” said Select Board Chairman Roger Fuller. “The only difference is the type of material that’s used.”

Fuller said that the Select Board put two articles on the warrant so townspeople could decide which route to take.

Like Article 16, Article 18 would use historical materials to repair the museum, to the tune of $46,110. It is a citizens’ petition, and would not fund the repair of the roof.

“We didn’t really want to see vinyl,” said Dee Cinner, one of the citizens who introduced the petition.

She also said that the cedar siding that would be used if the petition passes would be long-lasting, and she notes that Article 16 doesn’t specify the use of cedar.

Another citizens’ petition, Article 19, would make cemetery commissioners elected positions. Currently, Chesterfield’s cemetery commissioners are appointed by the Select Board.

Cinner said, however, that because of a technical issue, the article won’t be binding.

Article 21, which was placed on the warrant by the Historical Commission, would put a 750-foot setback for wireless communications facilities from the boundaries of the Chesterfield Center Historic District. Currently there’s a 750-foot setback from the town center for wireless communications facilities.

Cinner, a proponent of the proposal, said that the district should be protected at the same level as the town center.

“Chesterfield center is one of the most pristine town centers in New England,” she said.

Cinner also said that there’s plenty of room in Chesterfield for cell towers without making them visible from the town center.

Fuller, on the other hand, is opposed to the change.

“It more than doubles the land that’s affected,” said Fuller, of the proposal.

Fuller said the issue should have been vetted by the Planning Board first.

Cinner said that the move to put it on the warrant was to get the change enacted this year, as the district needs protecting.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2020 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy