Vol. III No. 9 5/1/2022
Select Board, April 21, Hybrid meeting
- Roxanne McCaffrey, Chair
- Patrick White
- Chuck Cardillo
- Michael Canales, Town Administrator
- Reconsider annual entertainment permit for Berkshire Botanical Garden (BBG)
- Present for BBG, Dana Audia, Events Director, and Thaddeus Thompson, Interim Executive Director
- Moved location of Music Monday across Rte 102 to other side. Placed in structure with two walls and beside greenhouse therefore noise buffered. Thompson shared that attendees liked the former location in the midst of the garden with the aroma and views of the flowers. Thompson added BBG also reduced number of concerts from 11 to 8 and kept daylight hours from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
- Clarified that there is no heavy metal music (never was). White pointed out SB has no right to regulate content of programs
- BBG did decibel tests on proposed music — folk, jazz, swing, soft rock
- In addition, Thompson knocked on door of abutters and near neighbors. He was delighted to find that neighbors considered BBG a good neighbor and were supportive.
- Two residents, Chris Greendale and a woman (name unheard), were present to support the BBG Music Mondays program. She explained that these Music Mondays are part of serving the community and remaining financially viable. As it is at Naumkeag and the Red Lion Inn, live music should be supported. It attracts people. Greendale concurred.
- In addition, neighbors wrote and submitted letters in support to SB.
- Anita Schwerner, via Zoom, asked if McCaffrey should recuse herself if she is an abutter and if she should have recused herself in December or now? McCaffrey said she was not an abutter. (See SU Volume III No. 1 report of December 16, 2021, Public Hearing and/or CTSB recording: McCaffrey called for a motion to close the Public Hearing. Motion passed and Chair said, "the evidentiary portion is now closed...right now I am going to make one comment not as a Selectman but as an abutter...)
Schwerner added that she thought the nonprofits (Naumkeag and BBG) should be treated equally (Naumkeag and BBG) and she hopes the SB approves this time
- SB approved the Annual Entertainment permit without further conditions.
- Report by water resources consultant GZA on Stockbridge Bowl dredging
- History: hired in 2013. To control sediment and weeds, proposed dredging channel 7-feet-deep and installing diversion pipe, to enable a 5-foot drawdown in winter. The diversion pipe would be installed below the pipeline installed over 50 years ago by Tennessee Gas Pipeline (Tenneco today). Approximately 2016, after drainage pipe installed, 5-foot drawdown was disallowed by Natural Heritage Endangered Species Program (NHESP) to protect snail.
- White asked why DEP and NHESP first allowed and then disallowed a drawdown? McCaffrey said not appropriate question at this time
- GZA began designing an alternate, limited dredging plan in circa 2016
- White asked, can we make case that dredging is supportive of snails as snails prefer harder bottom to "muck"? GZA said that research not conclusive
- New preliminary plan would also address Lily Pond.
- Preliminary plan: dredge, move sediment to Bullard Woods, and bury
- Nine years and not much closer to dredging. No final design, no permits, no cost est.
- Optimistic prediction 18 months from now could start and could do in one season if Bullard Woods surveyed and prepared the season before.
- Cardillo and McCaffrey thanked GZA profusely.
- SBA president Pat Kennelly offered $9,100 as half amount needed to control water chestnut in 2022 — an invasive plant. Kennelly also said they were proceeding with testing plan
- White asked questions:
- Since water chestnut multiplies exponentially, how do we know the amount of invasive to be expected and therefore the amount of money needed? No answer.
- Will exploration in May yield a test result that will be valid in September? No answer.
- Does Stockbridge have, in writing, formal approval to use Bullard Woods in dredging proposal? No. If dredging in progress, can there be the Josh Billings Race? Yes.
- Kennelly wanted to know if dredging allowed, can folks go boating? Possibly.
- Schwerner asked:
- Is the money SBA raised for dredging, promised to turn over to Town, still available? Kennelly — unsure.
- Was any of it used to sue Town? Kennelly: unsure. However, Kennelly said SBA committed to dredging.
- The tests in 2020 and 2021 failed to find Milfoil, how many more years can SBA test? No answer
- Discussion of order of articles on the Town Meeting Warrant: some of first items must remain in that order. After those articles, move articles requesting largest amounts of money "up top" — e.g. school, water and sewer, infrastructure (former Article 52). Then list articles in descending order of amounts of request.
Once Community Preservation Committee (CPC) awards were voted as one — now will vote each individually in descending order of the amount awarded. Place "local" warrant item (suggested by residents re: hybrid meetings) toward top and state warrant item lower.
Editor's note: Have we been paying GZA for nine years? If so, why is there no lake management plan, no permitted dredging plan??
Photo: Jay Rhind