|By Courtney Llewellyn|
Reminder Assistant Editor
EAST LONGMEADOW The Board of Selectmen discussed a wide variety of topics at their Aug. 19 meeting.
Center Rotary Improvements
The Police Department, the Board of Public Works, the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen have all shared their ideas for the improvement of the Center Rotary, and the Board of Selectmen approved of the improvement plans contingent upon the approval of the town's safety officers.
The proposed improvements include removing the brick crosswalks on Shaker Road and Maple Street. "These two sidewalks are currently in poor condition with missing bricks, small open holes and asphalt patched areas," Town Engineer and Superintendent of Public Works David Gromaski wrote in a release. "While bricks might be architecturally pleasing and useful on sidewalks and patios, the wear and tear they receive under vehicular traffic makes them a maintenance headache for use in crosswalks."
Both the Police Department and the Department of Public Works (DPW) are in favor of paving and painting the crosswalks.
The Police Department and the DPW are also in favor of removing the embedded stone lane markers in the rotary. "It is recommended the same locations be 'scarified,' a process similar to the pavement edges on highways, to delineate lanes within the Rotary," the police recommendations stated.
The rotary would also have arrow pavement markings throughout to indicate traffic flow.
Improvements to the rotary were originally supposed to have been finished by July 4, but the schedule was pushed back due to the utility work being done by Bay State Gas Company. Gromaski said milling and paving work could take place in late September or early October if the trenches from the Bay State Gas project do not settle and a new bid has been put out and a contract has been awarded.
Solar Powered Lighting Program
The town of East Longmeadow will be vying against other Commonwealth municipalities to take place in a community solar-powered lighting program. The deadline for applications for this program is Sept. 30, and the Board of Selectmen have decided to go for the program.
The Renewable Energy Trust (RET) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) have collaborated on this program that will be used to illuminate monuments, flagpoles and small sitting areas. A grant from the RET pays for the purchase of the solar panels, accompanying lighting fixtures, So-Bright intelligent control technology and battery. The labor to install the units is provided by members of the local IBEW.
To be eligible for the program, the town must identify either a flagpole no higher than 40 feet, a monument no larger than eight feet high by 15 feet wide or a small sitting area. The location must be currently unlit and have unshaded directional south-southwest reception to full sunlight for a minimum of three hours a day.
Board of Selectmen executive secretary Nick Breault said he will be asking town boards and committees for suggestion of sites that may be eligible.
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day
Fire Chief Richard J. Brady and the Board of Selectmen remind residents that Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day is slated for Sept. 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the East Longmeadow Fire Station, 150 Somers Rd. Registration is required to take part in the collection, but residents have already started stopping by the Fire House to do so.
Registration for East Longmeadow will be taking place Sept. 8 through 10 from 9 a.m. to noon by either visiting the Board of Selectmen's office in Town Hall or by calling their office those days at 525-5400.
Health Inspector Fred Kowal met with the Board of Selectmen, also serving as the Board of Health, to discuss an updated rabies response plan for the town. Reports of rabies have resurfaced in the nearby town of Ware.
"We've always had a rabies response plan in place," Kowal explained. "I'm in favor of strengthening that policy." He suggested including information in the message people hear when they call the health inspector's office about what to do when a rabid animal bites. If no one is in the office, the caller should contact the police department.
"I want to assure the public we're ready for any incident," Kowal stated.
On Aug. 19 at 3 p.m., ELCAT Director Dave Horgan submitted his letter of resignation to the town, stating he would be leaving his position on Aug. 31.
Board of Selectmen Chair Jim Driscoll recommended East Longmeadow Cable Advisory Committee member Don Maki as the one to take over as acting director until the full hiring process can take place.
"I think Don's a perfect fit," Driscoll said. Selectman Joe Townshend did not agree, however, so discussion of who will fill Horgan's position has been tabled until the next Board of Selectmen's meeting.
Bowl New England Inc., doing business as Shaker Bowl, met with the selectmen to expand their hours of business. The company's attorney, Steve Manning, said the petition to expand the hours was due to increased interest from corporate entities interested in hosting events there. Even with the expansion of hours, liquor will still only be allowed in the lounge area.
The selectmen approved the petition. Shaker Bowl's new hours of service are Sunday, 1 p.m. to midnight; Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Friday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.; and Saturday, 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Coast to Coast Restaurant, doing business as Villa Napoletana, had all their petitions approved as well. David Walker will now be serving as manager, with Daniel Morin serving as substitute manager. The restaurant will now be open from 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays, and the Board of Selectmen removed the liquor service restriction that was placed on site last month.