All Boards Meeting Minutes
Otis Town Hall
Monday, July 26, 2021, at 7:00 PM
Topic: All Boards
Time: Jul 26, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Present: Gary Thomas, Brandi Page, Sue Brofman, Diane Dyer, Lyn O’Brien, Keith O’Neil, Jim Crandall, Rich Phair, Sonia Morrison, Hal Kobrin and Derek Poirier.
Called to Order: 7:00 PM
Updates form the following Departments:
Fire: Rich said the turn out gear has been ordered and we’ve signed the pre-purchase agreement for the new fire truck. Some paint work is being done under warranty on the rescue truck. Radios installation is almost complete.
Town Clerk: Just over 200 inactive cards have gone out to census non-responders. This is now every other year. The Street List is complete. Final dog license reminders are going out. Tanya will follow up with any that don’t get licensed. 90% of people have been sworn in and a reminder for boards and committees to submit their approved minutes timely.
Police: Brandi read Dan’s report as he is on vacation. Things are going very well with P.D. We are in our busy season but we are managing our call volume well. We have seen a large increase in vehicular traffic since the start of summer. Erratic driving complaints on Route 8 have also increased. I may be doubling up some patrol shifts on the weekends if things continue to stay this active. We are patrolling the town beach as often as possible. As officers find beach pass violations they explain the beach pass process to the party. We have had no issues as of yet. In terms of emergency management, I spent a great deal of time on Monday driving our roads and taking pictures of the damage from the flash flooding. Damage to roads has been shared with MEMA through my initial damage assessment. MEMA now needs a monetary assessment from each municipality totaling damage costs. Brandi and I have worked on this and we attended a short virtual meeting with MEMA and stakeholders. I will continue to work on this with Brandi and will seek input from Derek on costs to repair the roads that sustained damage.
Library: The Library has been busy. Tomorrow 2 reps from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners are coming out to meet with us following up on our letter of interest in the New Library Construction Pilot Program. There are possibly 3 other towns vying for the project. The Library is also working with a $3,000 grant to promote diversity. Diverse Otis will be providing books to the FRRSD. Pop-up poetry is 1 Friday each month and there has been a summer reading program. Sept 25th is the Library Craft Sale. Sue Ebitz recently presented a forum called “Celebrating Diversity” which was very successful.
Maintenance: Electric service to the gazebo has been completed. The Erbe building has been cleaned out and Jim is waiting on further direction as to the heat system. We’ve had 3 burials at the cemetery and have sold 7 plots. The new paper compactor has been installed and we plan to surplus the old one. Our largest load of electronics, 7,630 lbs., was hauled from the transfer station. We should consider adjusting our prices to offset the cost for us to dispose. We’ve had cases of people putting garbage in the sanican at Town Beach. We’ve also had someone move our mooring again to accommodate their boat. This can be a safety concern if the swim area is reduced.
Planning Board: Planning has been busy. Ongoing are the Hazard Mitigation/ Municipal Vulnerability and Complete Streets planning meetings. Planning is also working on bylaw additions and/or amendments in regard to Air bnb, Wireless Communications and dark skies. Hal congratulated Historic & Library on their recent grant efforts.
Celebration: Sonia stated that celebration has cancelled their event planned for 8/21. Too many challenges were coming up with little time to navigate them. They hope to have an event in the spring.
Historic: The East Otis Schoolhouse was awarded an additional 50,000 for a total of $101,500 from the Mass Historic Commission. St. Paul’s was awarded $98,000 from the Fitzpatrick Foundation. Both very exciting and thanks to the Commission members who worked on the applications.
Highway: Derek congratulated Historic on their grant awards. With the recent heavy rains Highway is working to repair damage. They’ve been keeping up with roadside mowing and have removed some hazard trees. They have also been upgrading the unmaintained portion of Stebbins to drivable conditions. He was thankful after the weather event 7/18 that most of our roads remained passable. There has been a lot of culvert repair and maintenance as a follow up. Our CH90 funds were just released and invitations to bid on paving have gone out. We have an applicant that we are interviewing and are hopeful will be a good fit.