SHIRLEY -- The selectmen at their meeting July 8 polished off several items of business. Among them, a bylaw-required public hearing to take down trees bordering the roadside at four residences that lasted about five minutes.
The list of trees slated for removal included a total of 17 trees at three residences on Horse Pond Road, 10, three and four trees, respectively; and one tree on Groton Road.
The selectmen said yes to them all.
The hearing was duly posted, but nobody showed up to object.
In a memo to the board, DPW foreman Paul Farrar said the trees were all good to go, with utility wires passing through many of them.
"I looked at them all, they are close to power lines, Selectman David Swain said, especially the one on Groton Road, which is "definitely a hazard."
None of the tree removals will cost the town anything, Swain continued, with the homeowners paying for the work.
Chairman Kendra Dumont said her only concern was liability. But she sided with the other two selectmen in approving the request, as long as the town gets a "certificate of liability" from the company the residents hired to cut down the trees.
War Memorial Building lease pending
War Memorial Building Trustee Theresa Richards frequently attends selectmen's meetings. Monday night, she came with a draft lease in hand, which the trustees had marked up at their meeting earlier that day.
After leafing through the proposed changes, some of which the selectmen agreed with, some not, Richards agreed to send an edited draft for them to review. Once the trustees agree on the final version, as amended, the selectmen plan to send it to town counsel for review.
Basically a re-do of an old lease that lapsed, the new rental agreement sets up parameters for the trustees to rent the building to the tenant -- American Legion Post 183 -- for $425 a month.
It spells out who does what, among other things. For example, the DPW will continue to plow the parking lot of the town-owned building, while the tenant will be responsible for clearing snow off the steps.
The trustees, for their part, are the landlords and thus responsible for routine maintenance and can enter any part of the building any time if there's an emergency. They can also use the upstairs hall for fundraisers, according to terms in the lease.
Richards said the trustees were also looking for the town to kick in some small amount of money for supplies.
Trouble is, there's no appropriation for it, Swain told her.
Richards said she'd been trying to "scrounge up" items such as paper from various departments in the Town Offices.
Administrative assistant Kathi Rocco said she'd help Richards in her quest for leftover office supplies.
"We recycle everything," she said. So very little gets thrown away.