Townsend Board Creating Commission on Disability
By Chris Lisinski
TOWNSEND -- Tuesday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting was brief and straightforward. Here are some of the highlights:
n The town will create a Commission on Disability, so long as voters approve doing so at the fall Town Meeting.
Such a local commission is not mandated by law, but regardless, the state Office on Disability reached out to municipal officials and recommended the idea.
The commission would consist of between five and nine appointed members, a majority of whom must have disabilities and one of whom must be an elected or appointed municipal official.
In a letter sent to Chairwoman Carolyn Smart, the state Office on Disability wrote that Townsend’s commission could help local businesses and organizations offer greater amenities to those with disabilities and ensure compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
An information packet provided to the selectmen also indicated that these commissions often help enforce handicapped parking requirements.
“This improves our ability to be in compliance as well as supports local businesses to be in compliance,” Selectman Cindy King said on Tuesday.
Groton, Pepperell and Shirley are among other towns that have Commissions on Disability, King said.
n Selectmen announced Tuesday that Townsend was awarded a $202,770 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy and Resources to fund various energy-conservation measures.
With that money, the town will do work on both the Hawthorne Brook School and the Spaulding School. At Hawthorne Brook, the grant will allow Townsend to install a more efficient boiler, upgrade air handling units in the gym and retrofit LED lights to the building’s exterior. Spaulding will also receive retrofitted LED lights to the exterior.
n The town is seeking volunteers to serve on a committee to install a monument at the former girls school, which is the site of construction for a West Townsend fire station.
The town wants to install a monument at the site to honor the history of the girls school, which was built in 1836. Those interested should send an email to the selectmen or stop by the selectmen’s office.
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