More BOS business: Historical Commission appointees and funding for DPW generator

Here are some final highlights from this week’s Board of Selectmen meeting.

This week, the board appointed two new members to the Historical Commission and got an update on grant funding that will help in future emergencies with power outages.

Historical Commission appointees

There was good news for the Historical Commission with two new members appointed by the BOS: Rebecca Deans Rowe and Michael Weishan.

The commission receive attention this July when the Burnett/Garfield House appeared to be in imminent danger of demolition. (An issue that isn’t entirely resolved, but at least on hold for now.)

At the time, some commenters on the blog suggested the Historical Commission should have been more active about preserving town history. Others pointed out the commission’s strain due to low membership.

Last year, the commission couldn’t reach a quorum unless every member could make a meeting. Before that, there was a period where the commission simply didn’t have enough members to meet.

The new appointments still leaves one vacancy. But Vice-Chair Kate Matison informed me that with 6 members, the commission will now “be able to be more effective.”

Emergency Generator

Town Administrator Mark Purple shared that the town received a federal grant to fund 75% of the cost for replacing the DPW generator. 

He explained that in power outages, the generator operates the DPW’s fuel pumps. Those are necessary to keep emergency management running. In hopes of receiving the grant, the matching 25% was included in the facilities budget.

Purple reminded the board that a grant was approved last year, and matching funds budgeted, for replacing the generator at the Southborough Senior Center. (The building at 9 Cordaville Road is sometimes used as an emergency cooling center by the town.)

Lt. Neil Aspesi of the Fire Department and Southborough Emergency Management was credited for acquiring the grants. Selectmen voiced appreciation of his work on the grant, the recent tornado alert and in general.

“Every town needs a Neil. We got him,” said Selectman John Rooney.

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