Once a week, Easton Patch Editor Patrick Maguire will open up his notebook and share his notes with you. If you have a question, comment, or opinion, share it in the comments section or email Patrick.Maguire@Patch.com. Many of Patrick's notes will be followed with a more in-depth article later in the week.
Groundbreaking for the Beacon Shovelshops project, which has been years in the making, is around the corner, Town Administrator David Colton said Monday night.
"All of the documents needed for the closing are in the process of coming together," he said. "The closing is scheduled for April 10, although it could be the 11th, 12th, or 13th. It’s going to be that week."
Selectmen will have a special meeting on Tuesday, April 3 to finalize paperwork for the project. Colton said that after the deal is officially closed, construction will begin immediately.
"Excavators will be lined up at the fence – like the Kentucky Derby," added Joseph Shea, the senior Vice President of Woodward and Curran - a consulting firm assisting with the project.
The Planning and Zoning Board will be discussing the project Tuesday night at the Town of Easton Offices as part of the project's finalization.
In addition to the Shovelshops Project, Selectmen also discussed a proposed Capital Budget, recommended by the Town's Capital Planning Committee for the amount of $1,112,130. The requests will be on May's Town Meeting Warrant - a draft of which was released this week and can be viewed here.
Colton also recommended that the town re-engage the Municipal Building Committee for the purpose of hiring an architectural firm to examine the town's school buildings in need of improvements. The committee will bring forward an article to fund the architectural services at an upcoming Town Meeting or Special Town Meeting. Buildings most in need of repairs, Colton said, are and .
Selectmen discussed the town's water usage and overall energy usage Monday night. Since implementing new restrictions last year, which allowed residents to water lawns one less day per week, Water Department head Jack Marsh said water usage went from 68 gallons per day to 59 gallons per day. The output brought the town below the state's required 65 gallons or less per day regulation.
Since becoming a Green Community, the town has used less energy, as well. Town GIS Specialist Adrienne Edwards told selectmen that energy usage in FY2011 was 2 percentage points less than the town's baseline set in 2009. In 2010, the town energy output was 7 percentage points less. The slight rise, she said, was a result of the storms and weather throughout FY11. She said she expects FY12 to have a lower output.
Carolyn Cole, of the Easton Cultural Council, appeared before the Selectmen Monday to discuss the implementation of a Cultural District in Easton. She said talented people from a number of backgrounds showed interest in creating the district.
"We have a lot of local talent and it’s amazing between authors and artists and musicians," she said.
Board of Selectmen Chair Colleen Corona said that between the town's Historic District, Cultural District, and revitalization of North Easton Village, a lot of projects are coming together at once.
"It seems to just tie together everything that the historical district is trying to do and the downtown revitalization is trying to do," she said. "I’m happy to just see everything come together at one time."
, who is defending her three-year seat, will participate in a debate Monday night. She will be joined by fellow incumbent and challengers and . The four candidates are fighting for two seats.
Finally, with the arrival of Spring, also brings the arrival of Little League baseball.
Monday night, Selectmen approved a street closing on Lincoln Street on Sunday, April 29 beginning at 10:40 a.m. for the town's annual Little League Parade.