Hats off 2015
Grad banner plan rejected by School Committee
Plans have been abandoned to hang pictures of this year’s SOSS graduating class on town streets after the grad committee requested town funding for a “Rockery Picture” instead.
The original idea was brought to council a month ago by Councillor Petra Veintimilla. It would have seen double-sided banners with one student’s name and photo on each side hung from the town’s banner poles.
Council agreed to contribute up to $1,000 to the project, which aimed to help honour this year’s grads, whose graduation and commencement are greatly curtailed by the COVID-19 crisis.
In a letter to Veintimilla last week, career education coordinator Ron Kitt asked that the $1,000 be contributed to the grad class to help with a photo project that will see individual pictures of grads being Photo-Shopped into a collage resembling the traditional rockery photo.
“If the town were to contribute a one-time donation to the grads, they would (each) receive as 8×10 rockery picture,” he wrote.
Council was less receptive to the idea than it had been to the banner plan. They decided to advise the committee it will need to submit a proper grant-in-aid application, with a budget, if it hopes to get funding. The committee will also be urged to seek financial help from the school district.
Unsightly property hit with compliance order
The owner of the unsightly and unsafe property at 6569 Lakeside Road will have to clean up the problems within 90 days or the town will do it for him and send him the bill.
The problems with the house and other structures have been going on for 25 years and were detailed in an ODN story and pictures on Friday. They include:
Exposed and unfinished garage excavations;
A framed but unfinished retaining wall;
Lack of access to upstairs patio doors;
Lack of suitable access to the house;
Piles of loose dirt and building materials; and
A lack of siding on the house or shed.
The cost to bring the property up to acceptable standards has been estimated at $50,000 by town staff.
Council this afternoon passed a remedial action order that sets out required actions to deal with the hazardous and unattractive state of the property. The fixes have various deadlines of 30, 60 and 90 days.
If the owner, Fred Babiuk, fails to comply, the town will be empowered to have the work done and then recover the costs from the owner.
During detailed and extensive discussion by council, several members expressed concern that the order contain enough flexibility for the owner to use other, possibly less expensive, ways to mitigate the problems.
The owner has 15 days in which he may appear before council to seek amendments to the order.