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Holyoke Historical Commission Meeting February 8, 2021

Feb 8 2021

6:30 pm Remote by Zoom





February 8, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.
Due to the declared public health emergency, the meeting will be held via
Join Zoom Meeting:
Or call 1(301) 715 8592 (Meeting ID: 893 2468 2841#)

1) Call to order
2) Review of January 11, 2021 Minutes
3) Public Participation
4) Preservation Ordinance (Demolition Delay)
5) Historical Commission Community Engagement
6) Discussion on Wyckoff Park Historic District
7) Historic Plaque Program
8) Survey & Planning Grant
9) Old Business
10) New Business
11) Next Meeting- March 8, 2021
12) Adjourn

February 4, 2021
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Holyoke Historical Commission (HHC)

Meeting Minutes
Monday February 8, 2021

Due to the declared public health emergency, the meeting was held virtually via

Zoom Meeting ID: 893 2468 2841

Attendance: Richard Ahlstrom, Elana Aubrey, Marco Crescentini, Christopher Gauthier, Harry Montalvo,
Luis Salazar, Frances Welson
Not in Attendance: Paola Ferrario
Municipal Staff: Ben Murphy (OPED) Aaron Vega (OPED Director) Gabriella Klinakis (OPED)
Others in Attendance: N/A
1. Call to Order- Richard Ahlstrom called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m. and Ben Murphy announced that
the meeting was being recorded.
Mr. Ahlstrom introduced Aaron Vega, the new Director of the Office of Planning and Economic
2. Review of January 11, 2021 Minutes
A motion was made by Christopher Gauthier and seconded by Frances Welson to accept the January
11, 2021 minutes.
The motion carried unanimously

3. Public Participation- There was no public participation.
4. Preservation Ordinance (Demolition Delay)
Richard Ahlstrom, Frances Welson, and Ben Murphy met with Damien Cote, the Building Commissioner,
to speak about changes to the Ordinance that have been submitted to City Council. Mr. Ahlstrom shared
that Mr. Cote was in favor of most of the changes and only had a few suggestions for minor changes. Mr.
Murphy said Commissioners will be assigned to contact City Councilors that are on the Ordinance
Committee to explain the changes to the ordinance and he will send to the Commission a copy of the
revised ordinance, assignment list, and the letter that was written to the City Council. Ms. Welson
suggested that if Commissioners have trouble reaching City Councilors, to contact her or Mr. Ahlstrom.
Mr. Ahlstrom asked that Commissioners contact him to confirm that they have been in touch with their
assigned City Councilors and if any concerns were raised.
Mr. Vega shared that he thought the Ordinance would probably take two Committee meetings to review
and that it will be important for there to be Historical Commission members at the meeting to present the
Ordinance. Mr. Ahlstrom and Ms. Welson agreed to speak about the Ordinance at the Ordinance
Committee meeting on February 23 at 6:30 p.m. Mr. Murphy suggested the Commission not have more
than three members participate at the meeting because four or more will be a quorum which will require
posting as a public meeting. Ms. Welson asks if there should be any public engagement about the meeting
and Mr. Murphy suggested that getting public support could be helpful.

5. Historical Commission Community Engagement
Luis Salazar suggested that the Historical Commission webpages include more information about
Commissioners and improve and expand resources on the site. Mr. Salazar volunteered to help update the
site. Richard Ahlstrom agreed that the website should have a greater public presence and educational
component. Aaron Vega suggested the Commission reach out to Andres Villada, Mayoral Aide, to help
edit and update the Commission’s page. Mr. Murphy suggests the Commission speak to City Historian,
Penni Martorell and the Holyoke Preservation Trust. Mr. Salazar asks if the Historical Commission would
be able to have their own publication and Mr. Murphy said he would review the budget to see if funds are
6. Discussion on Wyckoff Park Historic District- No Discussion on this topic.
7. Historic Plaque Program
Christopher Gauthier said he received about ten plaques from Olivia Mausel, Historic District Commission
member. Mr. Gauthier shared that he reached out to several local businesses in Holyoke about producing
new plaques and G Street Vinyl gave Mr. Gauthier a quote of $30 a plaque. He explained that the
information on the plaques would be done in vinyl. Some Commissioners shared concerns about the
durability of vinyl and if it would be aesthetically appealing. Mr. Gauthier shared that in the past the
Commission would produce the plaques but property owners would pay for them. There was consensus
from Commissioners that they would like to see a prototype produced by G Street Vinyl. Aaron Vega
provided the information for another local business named Brick, which may be interested in producing the
8. Survey and Planning Grant
Ben Murphy shared that the project consultant has started researching the historic properties and that Mr.
Murphy has started to gather Building Department records for the project.
9. Old Business- No Old Business.
10. New Business
Ben Murphy informed the Commission that the City of Holyoke has hired a conservator to assess the
repairs needed to be made to the Civil War Monument located at Veterans’ Memorial Park.
11. Next Meeting- March 8, 2021
12. Adjourn
At 7:22 pm., there being no further business to come before the Commission, a motion was made by Harry
Montalvo and seconded by Elana Aubrey to adjourn the meeting.
The motion carried unanimously.

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