Vol. II No. 19 10/1/2021
Notes from the Select Board, September 23, Hybrid Meeting
- Roxanne McCaffrey, Chair
- Patrick White
- Chuck Cardillo
Also present: Michael Canales, Town Administrator; Mathieu Boudreau, Chair, Agriculture and Forestry Commission; Lisa Bozzuto, Shelby Marshall, Erik Rasmussen (via Zoom); members of the public named when they speak
- Along with Lenox, New Marlborough and Pittsfield, Stockbridge was awarded a $295,190 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) grant for assessing road/stream crossings and evaluating culverts. McCaffrey thanked White for applying.
- Two members of the Stockbridge community died at age 97 years: Don Dino and Phoebe Eisenberg.
- Minutes of September 2, 9, and 16 meetings approved.
- One-day Alcohol Licenses approved for Berkshire Botanical Garden for 10/9 rehearsal dinner, 10/17 wedding, 10/30 rehearsal dinner and 11/5 rehearsal dinner.
- Appointment of Peter Strauss to the (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) PILOT Committee approved.
- Ice Glen Tree Treatment Update.
- Meeting turned over to Patrick White: program and funding to save trees in Ice Glen approved at Town Meeting, May 2021; in June the ash trees were. A challenge arose with the number, size, and forest density of the hemlocks. The amount of pesticide needed to treat the hemlocks via spray exceeds the amount of pesticide allowed by the EPA. As an alternative, the Select Board invited a team recommending "Dendrow" — an organic "wash".
- Jon Jacobs, Kyle Byrne, Bobbi Paley, Stephen Reiss, and Dustin Cook explained the alternative treatment as non-toxic, environmentally friendly, but not as long lasting (reapplication possibly necessary annually vs pesticide reapplication every 3-4 years).
- Erik Rasmussen asked if Dendrow had been tested.
- Tested in Catskill Forest on 100-200 trees.
- Final determination turned over to Agriculture and Forestry Commission (their next meeting is October 4).
- Seemed to be strong suggestion to test a few trees with "wash" this October and treat in Spring. There was concern about the urgency of treating the hemlocks.
- Laura Dubester, Chair, Green Committe.
- Introduced consultant - George Woodbury.
- George described goals of streetlight project: cost savings and uniformity of streetlights.
- Currently Stockbridge pays $48,560 annually: $33,892 for the fixtures (leased from National Grid) and $14,688 for "energy". If Stockbridge buys its own lights and switches to LED bulbs the Town would save about $40,000 annually but Town would have to absorb cost of equipment purchases.
- SB voted to "go for it".
- Tom Farley, an abutter, was present to discuss license renewal for Berkshire Theater Group. No details were discussed. However, it seemed clear that there were problems with outdoor performances instituted during COVID-19. Canales mentioned other complaints related to noise and traffic at other nonprofits including Naumkeag and Berkshire Botanical Garden. All these nonprofits are in residential neighborhoods, as is Tanglewood. The conversation was a bit cryptic, but solutions seemed to be: rewriting license renewal applications and making requirements clear and specific; following up that terms of agreements met, and determining the law with respect to uniformity of requirements. Must all nonprofits in residential areas have the same limitations and advantages? For example, if Tanglewood can have outdoor performances must all nonprofits be allowed to? If one can have an 11 pm closing time must all be allowed to.
- Hugh Page, Highway Superintendent, update: salt shed, gate, and layout should be addressed.
Team Effort. Photo: Jay Rhind.
Porcupine. Photo: Jay Rhind.