All Boards Meeting Minutes 07/24/2017

Town of Otis

All Boards Meeting Minutes

July 24, 2017



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:           Select Board Chair Bill Hiller, Selectman Don Hawley, Selectman Gary Thomas, Jim Crandall, Russ Loring, Jim Ebitz, Roberta Sarnacki, Jay Reynolds, Michael Ernst, Rich Phair



Energy:           They met last Thursday and the tower is on track for September delivery.  Grounding holes need to be drilled on Thursday.


Finance:          They met two weeks ago to move some money from reserve account and Michael is the new chairman.


Highway:        They finished drilling and blasting rock and ledge on Merritt Road, Dimmock Road, and West Center Road.  The project cost twice more than what was expected, but it looks good.  Backhoe front end came apart during the operation.  The Western Star truck is back in the shop to get its transfer case fixed.  This is a closed sealed unit that had water in it and no one knows how the water got into it.  Patriot was able to get this repaired under warranty.  Town blacktopped roads were mowed prior to the July Fourth holiday week end.  They cleaned up trees and washouts from the storms that recently came through.  Dog Kennels have been moved to Jakubiec’s.  The 2002 International went in for steering, rear brakes, and other repairs.  We can no longer get parts for this truck anymore so repairs had to be made with reconditioned parts.  This truck will probably need to be replaced soon.  Derek is working on the Shared Mower purchase and all blacktop was patched this week.  On Friday they began removing the stone retaining wall at the East Otis Fire House and moved the excavator there for site work on the broadband hut being built there.  They currently have two tractors to mow our roads with.


Assessors:       The RRG group has been conducting building permit inspections, has mailed the Chapter 61 applications and is processing them when they come in.  They are beginning the FY2018 analyses to determine the interim year valuations.  They have been working with the publics’ requests and processing abatements and updating information.


Maintenance:  They have been continuing with regular grounds maintenance and picking up goose droppings at the Town Beach before swim lessons begin.  Someone removed the coyote decoy placed at the Town Beach and one canoe there appears to be abandoned property.  The micro-switch for the compactor at the Transfer Station is not working properly.  The East Otis Fire House has been brush cut and dig safe has been marked for the broadband site work for the hub.  They mulched Town Hall and Fire House Park and put up the new Highway sign.


Municipal Lighting Plant:  Should be underway soon for both the wind turbine and broadband.


Planning:         They now have the project to examine and determine future use of various town buildings, like Harmony Hall, the Library, Main Fire House, etc.


Police Dept.:  The new Tahoe is due to arrive sometime in late August to mid-September.  Another Basic Firearms class is coming up in late August.  And the firearm recommendations for the Library have been written up.


Fire Dept.:       It has been busy this month with about 15 calls, a lot of them mutual aid.  New radios and flashlights were purchased for all the trucks with this year’s donations.  They manned the details for the Otis Fireworks.  Second homeowners need to be reminded to set up keyholders for access to their homes by first responders in case alarms go off and the home needs to be accessed.  Lisa was asked to research bylaws or other records of alarms rules that may have been established as far back as 1991 or 1992.


Rescue Squad:   It has been a busy month and they missed a few calls, but they are doing much better.  Two calls were eight minutes apart so Becket backed them up.  Jim is still working on getting better coverage for the weekends.  Police and Fire have been helping a lot.  Rescue has continued with their training.  They were on scene for the annual fireworks and they mailed out their annual subscription letters.  In mid-August they will have a prescription and sharps collection.


School:            Tom sent an email since he couldn’t make tonight’s meeting and Bill read it aloud.  New cafeteria floor is installed, summer cleaning is ahead of schedule, Tom is working on a Capital Improvement Plan, and school starts on August 30th with staff reporting two days before.  He wanted to know where we were with the land transfer and the town has to complete a land survey.


Technology:    The broadband construction bids were opened last Friday and the low bidder had to be tossed out due to a technicality.  The bids came in at around $1.6 million and one of the bidders is currently working in Westfield so they may be able to work back and forth with Otis’ construction timeline based upon our phased buildouts.  We figure it should take roughly 18 months for construction to complete once we get started, which may not happen now until September.  However, this timetable is dependent upon the make ready schedule of Verizon and Eversource.  There will be broadband informational meetings the hour before each Select Board meeting starting with the August 8th Select Board meeting. is planned for a mid-August release.  The broadband hut is starting to be built at the East Otis Fire House.  Site preparation work has been started and we hope to have the hut completed for August so broadband construction can begin.  The repaving of the East Otis Fire House may need to be delayed until the hut build has been completed.  The container up at the wind site will be moved to the East Otis Fire House to hold material for the broadband construction project.


Discussion of the hut build led to other questions about the East Otis Fire House site.  There is a trailer on site that needs to be removed but no one is sure what to do.  We could tear it apart and put it in a dumpster, but who pays for the dumpster?  Does someone want to remove it from the site and relocate it?  It was determined the Select Board would ask Chris to see how much was budgeted for the Transfer Station contingency while Jim got estimates for the dumpster cost.  Don Hawley also suggested the two trees by the back door could be removed while doing all this other work.


Wire Inspector:  Jay Reynolds made it in and said recently there have only been two new homes.  Most of the permits are for repairs and remodeling mostly around the Reservoir.


Zoning Board of Appeals:  All is fine.  They heard a land subdivision at their last meeting and their next meeting is on August 7th.


Bill noted that we were billed for eight computers and Bill took care of vouchering each one against the appropriate expense account for this year’s budget.



The meeting was adjourned at 7:20 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis





List of Documents



  1. The RRG email sent to Russ will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. Tom Nadolny’s School email write up will be filed with these meeting minutes.