HANSON — The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday, July 26 tabled a planned review and approval vote on the board’s goals for the town’s open space and recreation plan.
Selectman Kenny Mitchell was away on vacation and Selectman Bruce Young had notified the board he would not be able to attend, leading Selectmen Chairman James McGahan to recommend waiting to the next meeting to discuss the issue when all members would be present.
Two of the goals, which would allow the town to apply for grants, are expansion and improvement of recreational opportunities as well as protection of natural resources and biodiversity.
“We need to have our plan in place sooner rather than later, especially if we want to apply for grants,” McGahan said. “Each department has goals that they report in to the Recreation Department and it’s all pertaining to open space.”
McGahn said the Board of Selectmen’s goals have been in place for several years and involve a review of recreational and parks committees (Recreation, Parks and Fields, Memorial Field and Town Forest) and considering the consolidation of two or more of the committees under a newly created Recreation Committee. There would also be an effort to improve the General Bylaws to be consistent with state regulation of off-road vehicle issues and to participate in state efforts to regulate use on a regional level.
“I’ve had a lot of people calling me concerned that motor bikes and ATVs are [being driven] where they should not be,” McGahan said. “Obviously we want to enforce our state regulations for those.”
Town Administrator Michael McCue said the town has received an updated letter from the Attorney General’s office correcting an inaccurate report on an open meeting complaint. The original report erroneously faulted Town Clerk Elizabeth Sloan in regard to improperly destroyed Capital Improvement Committee reports.
Hanson’s bicentennial is still four years away, but town officials are already gearing up to plan the celebration. The town was incorporated in 1820.
“We may think it’s too soon, but it actually isn’t,” McGahan said.
“I have been involved in other communities that have had other similar significant anniversaries celebrated in my time there, and … we are reaching out to other communities to get a good idea of how they set up their committees.”
Since Mitchell and Young were absent, however, selectmen also tabled the process of appointing a bicentennial committee.
McCue said committees generally include citizens at-large.
“We would envision a celebration that lasts an entire year,” he said, to perhaps include a ball, large parade and family field day, among other events.
A full discussion is planned at the next meeting, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 9.