Proposed Building Fee Revisions by Building Department

The Town Building Commissioner brought forward to the Board of Selectmen for their review a set of proposed building fee revisions with side-by-side Town comparisons. The Town of Blandford’s building fees are the lowest in contrast with comparable communities. The Town relies on the collection of these fees from applicants to defray the costs incurred by the Town in reviewing and inspecting various building, civil, and planning applications. In the spirit of transparency and greater public participation, the Board of Selectmen wants to solicit input from the public on these draft revisions.

The proposed changes are available for your review, showing how our current and proposed rates compare with the Towns of Chester, Chesterfield, Huntington, Worthington, Middlefield/Becket, and Russell. The chart will be publicly posted in the lobby of Town Hall and can also be downloaded here.

Please forward any comments and suggestions to the Town Administrator at administrator@townofblandford.com or call 413-848-4279, ext. 502.

Halloween Party & Trunk-or-Treat on 10/31/19

Grab Your Favorite Costume and Join us for our Annual Halloween Party and Trunk-or-Treating
Thursday, October 31, 2019
5:00 pm–7:00 pm
Blandford Town Hall
• Make your own hot chocolate
• Candy apples
• Popcorn
• Games & prizes
• Cider, donuts, cookies, snacks & more
• Bonfire – toast marshmallows and make s’mores!

PARENT, NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS:
We are looking for volunteers to set up for Trunk-Or-Treat in the Town Hall Parking lot. We’re looking for volunteers to (A) help with Trunk-or-Treating and will set up by 4:45pm and/or (B) help with donating a snack. Please contact:
Joann Martin: jpmartin1231@gmail.com OR Keri Morawiec: clayben75@gmail.com

Public Hearing – November 6, 2019 – DG Northeast Portfolio 2020, LLC

The Town of Blandford Planning Board will hold a public hearing on November 6, 2019 at 6:30 pm in the Town Hall (Selectmen’s Office), 1 Russell Stage Road, Blandford, MA 01008 to consider the application for project titled “Rolling Potato Solar” by DG Northeast Portfolio 2020, LLC (DG NE) 700 University Boulevard, Juno, FL 33408 for a site plan approval as required under the following sections of Blandford Zoning Bylaw:

• Section VIII – Large-Scale Ground-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations (LSGMSPI). The project will also conform to the recently adopted amendments to the LSGMSPI By-Law approved Town of Blandford on June 27, 2018.
• Section IX – Site Plan Review

The applicants propose to install a 7.0 MW DC and 5 MW AC energy Large scale ground- mounted solar Photovoltaic facility on approximately 25 acres of the 37-acre property currently owned by Lloyd and Mary Martin at 89 Chester Road (Assessors Map 408, Parcel 0 19.1) in Blandford, Massachusetts. The property is currently zoned Agricultural and Undeveloped with proposed access from Chester Road with the proposed point of intersection via overhead wires on Chester Road.

The complete application and plans are available for public inspection in the Town Hall lobby during regular business hours (8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.), and at the Porter Memorial Library, 87 Main Street, Blandford, MA.

Anyone wishing information and/or to be heard on this matter should appear at the time and place designated.
Richard Barnard, Chair
Blandford Planning Board

VACANCIES ON TOWN BOARDS

Blandford needs dedicated residents to fill vacancies on town boards vital to town operations. These boards are the Finance Committee, Water Commissioner and Planning Board.

These boards are responsible for effective and efficient management an operation in their respective areas in order to safeguard local public resources, protect assets, and comply with standards and regulations as well as improve the quality of life for residents.

Chair of the Board of Selectmen Cara Letendre said, “Much of what we have accomplished in Town to-date is largely thanks to the Town residents who contribute on our local boards and make important decisions that impact the fabric of our community. If it’s not for them, I can’t imagine getting anything done.”

The Finance Committee is a three-year appointed position. The appointing committee is the Board of Selectmen, Moderator, and Town Clerk. The Finance Committee’s responsibility is the development of the Town’s annual budget and recommendations at the Town’s Annual Meeting. Blandford’s budget process begins in January when the Finance Committee meets with Town departments to go over their submitted budgets for the upcoming year. The Finance Committee works with the Town Administrator to prepare the budget and present it at the Annual Town Meeting in May.

The Water Commission is a three-member board that is responsible for the Town’s Water Department and water system subject to Federal and State laws. Currently there is one vacancy to be filled by appointment until the annual town election in May.

The Planning Board members are also elected. Right now, there is one vacancy to be filled temporarily by appointment until the position expires with the May 2023 election. The Planning Board is responsible for community planning, development, and land use. The Planning Board also initiates and proposes new zoning bylaws and review amendments to them.

Town Administrator Joshua A. Garcia said, “The ability to self-govern is the right of the people as citizens of this country and as Blandford residents. Maintaining that right is a great responsibility and requires citizens to step-up and take active roles in local government.”

Residents in Town interested in joining the Town Hall team and look forward to putting into practice their right as a citizen of the Blandford community, please send a letter of interest to the attention of the Board of Selectmen and addressed to the Town Administrator at 1 Russell Stage Road, Blandford, MA 01008 or via email at administrator@townofblandford.com.