WILLIAMSTOWN -- The fate of The Spruces Mobile Home Park was a hot topic at Monday's Selectmen meeting, as the town waits to hear the status of a $6.25 million federal hazard mitigation grant it applied for in hopes of relocating residents and demolishing the park.
Just over an hour was dedicated to those present voicing their concerns and asking questions about what will happen if the town receives the Federal Emergency Manage ment Agency grant.
Hoosic River Watershed Association President Lauren Stevens said relocating Spruces residents should be a priority. The park is adjacent to the Hoosic River and saw widespread flooding and numerous people displaced during Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011.
"The town doesn't need to be reminded of the numerous times The Spruces has been brought under water," he said.
Stevens added that Northern Berkshire didn't receive the full brunt of Irene's destruction -- far more rain was recorded in parts of Southern Vermont.
"If we had a worse storm, it would've been a different story," he said.
But some Spruces residents, including Linda Bell, don't want to vacate their homes. Bell said residents worked hard to fix their homes after Irene.
"And after a year and a half of living there, they're saying we can't live there anymore? That's not humane and that's not right," she said.
Bell also expressed concern over there being no bus route near the Lowry property, the parcel currently under conservation where the town hopes to build new housing for Spruces residents if the FEMA grant is awarded.
Chairmen David Rempell thanked the audience for a good discussion.
"The more we all know about the situation, the better decisions we can make as a community," he said. "We're dealing with a difficult issue."
In other business, the board voted to send a letter of warning and reprimand to the Williams Inn, which failed an alcohol compliance check on Nov. 6. Carl Faulkner, manager, told the board he was taking this very seriously.
"We're terribly embarrassed this happened, and we hope it won't happen again," he said.
The board also voted to set the dates for election and town meeting. Nomination papers will be available Feb. 1, 2013 and must be submitted by March 26. Town Election will be held May 14, and Town Meeting will be held May 21.
The board voted to take part in a study with Adams and North Adams to explore the possibility of a regional 911 call center. Town Manager Peter Fohlin said the state is looking to reduce the number of call centers, known officially as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP's), and each of the three towns now operates its own. Fohlin added there would be no cost to the town and no obligation following the study.
Also, the board accepted the resignation of Stephen Dankner from the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire, and the Water and Sewer Warrant was approved unanimously at $183,563.58 by the board.
To reach Edward Damon, email email@example.com.