Leverett Ad Hoc North Leverett Dam Committee

Wednesday, February 16, 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm
A meeting of the Selectboard

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Ad Hoc North Leverett Dam Committee

Appointed by Leverett Select Board

Agenda – February 16, 2022, at 7:00 P.M.


  • Call to Order
  • Approval of December 15, 2021, minutes
  • Update on status of the Sawmill donation and discussion
  • Consider a motion to disband the Ad Hoc North Leverett Dam Committee

Motion to Adjourn

Ad Hoc North Leverett Dam Committee Minutes – December 15, 2021, at 7:00 P.M.

Appointed by Leverett Select Board

Committee Members: Richard Nathhorst, Raymond Bradley, Stephen Ball, Kathryn Stoddard, Susan Lynton, Cynthia Baldwin, Samuel Black, Brian Emond, Sara Robinson, Susan Mareneck, Sid Poritz

Present: Richard Nathhorst, Kathryn Stoddard, Susan Lynton, Cynthia Baldwin, Sara Robinson, Susan Mareneck Guest: Thom Masterton

Co-chair: Sara Robinson and Richard Nathhorst

Meeting was called to order at 7:08 P.M. and November 3, 2021, minutes were approved (RN and seconded SM) unanimously.

As an Ad Hoc committee appointed by the Leverett Select Board “to explore the possibility of the Town accepting the North Leverett Sawmill and dam from the Kirley family”, a presentation was made to the Select Board on November 16, 2021, recommending the Town accept the Kirley donation. As committee members we discussed openly thoughts from that SB meeting. SB stated it is a Town decision but SB voiced (by Julie Shively, chair) that they would not put it on next year’s (2022) Town warrant. RN advocates that to advance the acceptance of the donation it needs to go to a Citizen’s warrant, and he would take responsibility for expediting a Citizens’ Petition. Others recognized the skepticism, but felt the SB wants more research and specifics to present as a convincing argument.

SR reflected that Julie Shively had stated the Kirley’s might rescind their donation offer, so in a follow-up RN talked to Lance Kirley and indeed they will pursue other avenues, not waiting for the Town’s spring TM, but if the Sawmill and dam are still available at that time, the Kirley family will honor their offer for donation. SR asked SP, who has a close connection with the Kirley’s, to feel them out. The Kirley family indicated to SP that the family would give the Sawmill, lot land, and dam to a nonprofit organization. Forming a nonprofit organization had come up in previous DC meeting discussions. KS also had spoken with Lance, and he voiced to her that he hoped the committee would stay intact.

The Enterprise Fund model also came up in discussion and how this might be an energy link to Town ownership even though energy supply companies like BIG. Hydro electric and voltaic sustainable energy are still possibilities but are small and best to go as energy credits to the Town as opposed to selling to NE Utilities.

SL sees these as not mutually exclusive ideas, but both could be incorporated. RN agreed and encouraged her to make a nonprofit real— “Do it.” RN assured the committee it is not a conflict of interest and would be separate from the Dam Committee and not under Open Law rulings.

There was discussion as to dissolving the Dam Committee or keep it with the objective to get a Citizen warrant to accept the Kirley’s offer ready for TM (April 30, 2022). It was agreed that both a nonprofit potential and the Dam Committee remaining in place can function simultaneously. If the nonprofit materializes and the Kirley family donate the Sawmill, lot and dam to it, the Dam Committee objective is moot.

Regardless, CB sees the importance of informing and educating the town’s people of the Sawmill, suggesting a display at the Leverett library, specific newsletter article, LES, Leverett connects, media, etc. The committee agrees this is important regardless of the turn of events.

The committee is committed to pursue answers the SB would want answered and thus support a warrant. Such tasks needing answers:

Investigate Enterprise Fund

Hard estimate on insurance and maintenance for the Sawmill and dam

Inform Town what maximum liability can be

Apply for grants and other fund raising


Committee members accepted the tasks of research and getting answers, keeping the Ad Hoc members informed as they proceed. Transparency is important as we move forward to save our Sawmill and dam.

Meeting adjourned at 8:10 P.M. (SM moved, RN seconded)

Posted to: Select Board.