PHILLIPSTON - Selectmen met with Mike Flye at their Monday night meeting to discuss the planning of a Civil War reenactment to take place the last weekend of July at the Red Apple Farm. Flye told the selectmen that it will be a fictitious battle called "The Battle of Red Apple Farm."
Donald Schlicke has also volunteered the use of his fields for the reenactment. It is expected to have about 300 participants for the battle and they estimate about 1,500 spectators over the two-day event, depending on weather. Although the event is still in the planning stages, Flye asked selectmen what the town would need from him before the event takes place. It was suggested that Flye speak with the board of health regarding the need for port-a-potties and input from the police and fire departments would be needed. Tom Brouillet said he did not want any on-street parking, to which Flye said that shouldn't be a problem between the two farms.
The selectmen approved three appointments to the fire department. Benjamin Bancroft as provisional firefighter, John LeBlanc as firefighter/EMT and Christopher Hackett as full-time firefighter. Brouillet explained that there were five applicants for the full-time position and he and the fire chief felt that Hackett was the only person that was truly qualified for the job.
Administrative Assistant Amanda Belliveau said that Brian Field, who was appointed as a part-time firefighter two weeks ago, had rescinded and was not going to accept the position. The fire department also received a resignation from Jessica Bancroft.
Opal Clark went over some housekeeping items. She reported that the public service award plaque had been engraved with the newest recipient's name and was hanging back on the wall. All of her historic notes that were stored on floppy disks have been transferred to flash drives with the help of Margaret Hughes and there will be copies in the town hall soon.
Clark requested the use of the town hall for a capital planning meeting on Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., which the selectmen approved as there were no scheduled meetings that conflicted. Selectmen also approved Clark holding a Democratic Caucus on Feb. 22, at 10 a.m., at the town hall.
Belliveau told selectmen that the annual reports were due to be turned in by Feb. 21 from all departments. Articles for the annual town meeting would be due by April 15 and the warrant will close on April 21. The annual town meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 7, at 7 p.m., in the Phillipston Memorial School gymnasium.
The selectmen received a letter of resignation from Heather Barber, secretary to the building inspector. The effective date is Feb. 18, which is a two week notice. Resident Tom Specht felt that in the future the selectmen should revisit the procedures and policies and require a 30-day notice from any employee to avoid any problems with filling the position in a hurry.
An invoice for the oil tank removal at the elementary school was received from Dillon Boiler. It was voted to pay the $1,590 out of the selectmen's account along with the final bill from the boiler project that was due of $5,319. It was felt that if the selectmen's account falls short, that it would be easier to compensate that account than to try to move monies around for the school account. The school account has money that has been earmarked for new windows at the school and Specht was not sure if taking money from the selectmen's account for windows down the road would be easily approved.
Selectmen received a draft of the open space plan from Bonnie House with a letter for selectmen to sign to acknowledge acceptance of the plan. John Telepciak felt the plan looked okay, but Tom Brouillet hadn't had a chance to look through it prior to the meeting. They voted that after Brouillet had looked it over, if he had no problems with it, he would sign the acceptance letter on behalf of the board.
The town hall will be closed on Feb. 17, in honor of Presidents' Day. The selectmen decided that no regular meeting would be held that week as their next meeting will be on Thursday, Feb. 20 with the finance committee.