The selectboard approved a request from the Council of International Educational Exchange (CIEE) to put the word out to the town that they are looking for host families for five exchange students between the ages of 13 and 17. The CIEE is looking for host families for two boys and two girls from Slovakia, China, Germany, and Spain, who would attend a local high school for 10 months. Selectboard member Helyn Strom-Henriksen explained that the program allows the high-school-age foreign student to live with a host family at no expense to the family except for food.
Strom-Henriksen said that other local programs for exchange students have been enthusiastically accepted and utilized. “I work with the WINGS program, and when we were doing a foreign exchange program for students from China, we contacted 10 families we were sure would be interested, and nine out of 10 ended up participating.”
Strom-Henriksen also said that while she wasn’t sure if the students would be able to choose their high school, the program would certainly provide those foreign students with a cultural experience. “We could take them to Jack’s Hot Dogs (in North Adams, MA),” quipped selectboard chair Teddy Hopkins, “that would be a true cultural experience.”
Town administrator Mark Shea reported that VTrans preliminarily approved funding for the creation of a safer route on Route 100 for drivers and those walking to the school. The plan calls for decreasing the width of the roadway, extending the curbs to create safer walking routes, a safer crosswalk to Phelps Lane, and a safer intersection for cars stopping at the end of Phelps Lane to more easily see traffic coming from the east on Route 100. According to Shea the town has the plans set, but the one bid received to complete the work was over their budget restrictions. With VTrans funding, Shea said that engineering work could begin.
Selectboard member Dave Marchegiani reported that the town is required to cover the cost of Hepatitis B shots for members of Readsboro Rescue. The cost for the town to cover the inoculations for all members would total approximately $2,600 with each member needing three shots priced at $62 per shot. Members of the rescue squad are allowed to sign a waiver if they choose to have their insurance cover the inoculations instead, and Marchegiani said he would be looking into programs from North Adams Ambulance that may supply the shots at a cheaper rate.
The selectboard will hold an inspection and hearing on a plan to extend Johnny Cake Hill’s class four highway classification farther up the road. Currently the road is a class four highway for 0.10 of a mile, and residents would like to have that extended to 0.25 of a mile, to what they consider a suitable turnaround spot. Residents would also like the town to classify the road beyond that as a legal trail to the Massachusetts border. The town is only required to maintain culverts and bridges on a class four highway, and is not required to maintain trails.
It was also announced that on June 3 there will be a Red Cross shelter training program at 6 pm at Readsboro Central School, the town is hiring summer help and applications are due in the town office on June 17; and the town will be advertising a 1988 Mack truck with sander for sale.