Town of Otis
All Boards Meeting Minutes
July 23, 2018
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm in the Town Hall conference room. It was announced the meeting was being recorded.
Present: Chairman Don Hawley, Bill Hiller, Gary Thomas, Becky Stone, Rich Phair, Michael Ernst, Walter Engels, Tom Nadolny, Terry Gould, Jim Crandall, Dan Hamill, Lisa D’Orazio, Russ Loring
Energy: They did not have a meeting on Thursday. The turbine is now generating income. After deducting for the bond principle and interest payment and the maintenance escrow, we have $17,496.00 above expenses after 104 days of operation.
Finance Board: We’re good. They’ve renewed insurance with MIIA and the budget covered our expenses.
Fire Dept.: Steak Roast tickets are now on sale. They recently had bus and car fire training with Stockbridge and had a good turnout. They need to speak with the Police Dept. about traffic details for the Steak Roast.
Investment Policy Committee: Everything is good.
Library: They have had several artists display in the library over the summer. They have also had some good speakers coming in. Last year’s deficit has been covered by ongoing contributions.
Maintenance: Flags in town have been removed for the season. The current process for putting up and removing flags is not safe – people aren’t moving over for the vehicle doing the work. The transfer station has been extremely busy. They trimmed hedges at Town Hall, freshened the playgrounds, power washed, seeded the East Otis Fire House, and poured a foundation for a monument at the cemetery. The changes to the Police Garage should be finished this week. Conduits were capped at the broadband hut to prevent water from coming in.
MLP: The internet has been down the last couple of days due to a train derailment in Worcester. Fiber’s Phase 2 construction has begun. Out of 815 total applications, we currently have 148 homes actually hooked up.
Planning: There is a meeting next month. Bay State Canna Holdings had a Community Outreach meeting on July 12th but it was so poorly attended that the Select Board asked them to do a second Community Outreach meeting. BSCH is hoping to get a host community agreement with the Town of Otis.
Police Dept.: It is going well. Dan is getting caught up with bills and gun permits. A MEMA grant had allowed the department to replace some expired bullet proof vests. The new shift schedule is working out. There have been a lot of speeding complaints so patrols are upping their presence. New firearms have been ordered and should be in soon. They will require qualifying on the new weapons. The laptop has been ordered for the other cruiser and the Police Garage is almost completed. Then they will establish a new booking/interview room inside.
Rec. Center: Don read the document sent by the Rec. Center. We have no applicants for a swim instructor this year, or for an assistant. Bill thought he knew of someone who had inquired about that position. The Select Board feels swim lessons are important due to all the bodies of water in town. They are having Intro to Chair Yoga classes every few months to expand the class enrollment. Chair Yoga is for those who have either a disability or restricted movement. It was asked if a phone could be available in the gym in case of emergencies. This is problematic with our current phone system. And it was questioned wouldn’t someone have access to a cell phone? The swings have been removed from the Town Beach due to potential liability issues. Speeding on Great Woods Road was also mentioned.
School: Summer improvement work is in full swing. The soundproofing tiles in the gym are falling down and when they fall, it is sudden. There is no warning a particular tile is ready to let go. They got an estimate of $50,000 to take down all the tiles, skim coat the ceiling, and reglue the tiles. New carpeting is being replaced in certain sections and the boilers are in good shape. We applied for a grant for a new oven, but didn’t take into consideration the $4000 electrical work that would be needed for the new oven. The school is working with the granting authority to purchase a different oven that is just as efficient and won’t need new electrical work. They had two retirements and hired back another plus a part-timer to full-time. They still need to replace the music teacher.
Technology: Vadar is coming in tomorrow to answer questions and demonstrate the different modules we’d be looking to convert to for the new accounting software system. The cost of this upgrade is covered by a grant the town has been awarded. The new computers for the Assessors have been set up but we are waiting for Visions to do their setup. Then the new computers can be switched out with the current desktops. Installing the new town domain emails requires additional broadband throughput than what we currently have. This will come through Magna5 and should take a few weeks.
Zoning Board: Everything is good.
Assessors: Everything is doing fine. They have a meeting Wednesday morning to close out tax rate matters.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:31 pm.
Town of Otis
List of Documents
- A copy of the figures for the turbine income and expenses will be filed with these meeting minutes.
- A copy of the status email from Recreation will be filed with these meeting minutes.