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February 2000

Vol. 9, No. 2

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 7:30 p.m.: CBRSD School Committee Meeting and Public Hearing on CBRSD budget at Wahconah High School.


PLEASE NOTE: A Special Town Meeting may take place some time in February (possibly February 28).  Watch the Town Park sign for the date.



            At the upcoming Special Town Meeting, voters will be asked to consider a major renovation project for the Becket Consolidated School.  The Becket School Building Committee estimates the cost of the project to be between $5.2 million and $5.5 million, 64% of which would be paid by the State.  That would leave somewhat less than $2 million to be paid by the Towns of Becket and Washington.

            The plan, which is intended to address current problems as well as future needs, would replace the original 1930’s section of the building with a new three-story section.  This will house a new cafeteria, kitchen stage, music room, community room and classrooms.  Certain classrooms in the remaining section of the building would be converted into a new library and a computer lab.  The plan also includes a small addition on the south end of the building to house classrooms.  Also included in the cost would be: replacing all of the electrical and mechanical services in the building; drilling a new well; fixing the parking and bus access; installing additional computer access in all the classrooms; and providing a sprinkler system for fire protection.

            The Building Committee has estimated that the increase in taxes for Washington residents would be about $1.84 per thousand, which translates to about $239 in increased taxes for the first year for the median house value ($130,000).  This number falls to $3 in increased taxes in the 20th year.

            If the project is not approved by voters, then repairs will have to be made piece-meal, which the committee estimates will cost the Towns more than $2.5 million.  Says Andrea Nix, Chair of the Becket School Building Committee, “I’m really in favor of local community schools.  We have no choice but to make the investment in this school if we want to keep it."



            Green Power Development, the energy services company that has offered to study the feasibility of generating power from windmills on the 43-acre parcel of Town-owned land behind the Town Park, now wants the Town to put its money where its mouth is.  Before proceeding further, the company wants to know if there is support in the Town for the project. The Selectmen will bring the question to voters at the as yet unscheduled STM.



            After considering the options--including replacing the old salt shed with a smaller building to be incorporated into the Transfer Station--the Selectmen have decided to keep the old building and replace the roof that high winds blew off last December 11.  The bigger building can be used, says Selectman Richard Grillon, for storing DPW equipment in the winter and for a “swap shop” for the Transfer Station in milder weather.



            As of the January 19 court date, Henry Jaeschke had paid the $700 agreed upon between him and the Selectmen, so that they consider the matter settled, says Selectman William Cawley. 



            Charlotte Williams of Beech Road is looking for company on Mondays, Thursdays and weekends.  Visitors should call Williams or her daughter, Darlene Otto, at 623-5233 to set up times.

            Williams is also in need of someone to stay overnight--11 p.m. to 7 a.m.--to help out in the night if needed.  This is a paying position. Call the number above if you are interested.


Send your comments and questions about Tracks at: tracks@town.washington.ma.us