Town of Otis
All Boards Meeting Minutes
August 27, 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: Bill Hiller, Becky Stone, Terry Gould, Michael Ernst, Jeanne Randorf, Keith O’Neil, Russ Loring, Jim Crandall, Lisa D’Orazio,
Assessors: Real and Personal Property tax abatements are being processed, they are processing new deeds as they come in, processing motor vehicle abatements, and continuing to perform inspections. Map changes have been sent to CAI and are now being changed in the Vision CAMA system. They have also been processing mandated FY2019 and FY2020 requirements from BLA as well as revaluations. They like their new computers.
Cultural Council: The Otis Arts Festival is on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. Also, the new round of grants start on that day as well. A Community Survey will be conducted this fall from Sept. 1 to Oct. 15th.
Energy: The turbine is performing well. They have begun working on a new safety complex which will be located at the existing Highway Dept. site. The complex will house Highway, Fire, and EMS. Harmony Hall is a problem – Planning has a public meeting scheduled for Sept. 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm to discuss the future of Harmony Hall.
Planning Board: They have a Public Information Hearing scheduled for Sept. 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the gymnasium to discuss the future of Harmony Hall. The building is in such poor shape that it cannot continue to house the Recreation Department. Recreation will be relocated at a place and time yet to be determined. Bay State Canna Holdings was not present at the last Planning Board meeting. The Cannabis Commission says we can have as many Community Outreach meetings as we may need as long as one of them is within the 60 days of the application to the Commission. The Select Board has also approved Hal moving forward with the DLTA grant to explore sewer expansion up towards The Ridge. Hal wants to explore Complete Streets also, and the memo authored by Chris Morris
Finance Board: The town is in great shape.
Highway Dept.: Bill read the update that Derek supplied. They backed up all the driveway edges at Station 2, trimmed trees with the new Eversource mower, replaced a few culverts on Becket, Lee Westfield, and Town Hill roads, removed rotted guard rail posts from Old Blandford and Cold Spring west roads, put up horse crossing signs around town, and put up arrowed Town Beach signs. The Highway Super also worked with Becky to submit paperwork for the MassWorks grant for Tyringham Road. The employees did a great job handling the work smoothly while the Super was on vacation. Several pieces of equipment have been sent out for various repairs. MassDOT has awarded us Chapter 90 money to pave Cold Spring Road west and Town Hill Road – Highway hopes to do it this fall. The excessive rain has caused a lot of gravel washouts and downed trees and some road shoulders have needed repairs. Stop lines have also been painted on various town roads. Jim and Derek attended a meeting on the new OSHA rules and Highway personnel attended a required flagger/first aid training class.
Maintenance: Jim attended the above mentioned OSHA class. They continue to mow due to so much rain, power-washed the main Fire House siding, weeded and cleaned up the Fire House park, and power-washed the Maintenance building at the transfer station. The Library’s septic line was clogged up, that was fixed, and they found a cracked pipe that will be fixed next week. Someone keeps moving the swim area buoys at Town Beach and Maintenance keeps putting them back in place. They also did work on East Otis schoolhouse and secured the building.
Recreation: Bill read the memo provided for tonight’s meeting. The summer community events went well and had good attendance. Recreation needs more storage area. The Jewelry Workshop has been rescheduled to October 12th. They are advertising the public information hearing for Harmony Hall to ensure people who use the Rec Center know about the meeting. They asked if they are required to have an AED unit available.
Technology: Bill was invited to meet with Governor Charlie Baker this past week in Westfield. It was for the progress we’ve made with the fiber rollout and it was a good meeting. Bill was one of four Western MA people invited to attend. Phase 2 construction is getting close to completion so home hookups can begin, Phase 3 is authorized to begin construction, and we are still waiting approval to begin with Phase 4 construction – no approval on that as yet. We would like to begin construction on the fiber hut at the Main Fire House in the next few weeks.
Waste Water: The plant continues to run well. Keith is pulling together more documentation on the plant’s inflow and influent study, so Mass. DEP has documentation on file as to why Otis is not required to file certain engineering studies. This is to satisfy DEP’s checklist and to save the town from having to spend a lot of money on unnecessary engineering. He has completed pressure vessel testing, and this coming week is the final week for beach testing. We have consistently had good test results all summer even with the excessive rainfall this year. He attended the last Planning Board meeting and discussed WWTP requirements with the proposed expansion to Otis Ridge and the Grouse House. He does not see a problem with doing the DLTA grant request, but WWTP requirements do need to be included in the study. Doing the study does not mean DEP will approve the expansion plan without a major upgrade to the plant.
Zoning Board: They recently had a major resignation from a long time member and they will need to fill a full time member position. The new associate member will join them in September, and they will ask that person if they may be interested in stepping up.
The Fire Department’s Annual Steak Roast was a very good time. Great turnout, great food, good music, great donations.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:09 pm.
Town of Otis
List of Documents
- A copy of the email from Jeff at RRG to Russ will be filed with these meeting minutes.
- A copy of the Highway Dept. Update attachment will be filed with these meeting minutes.
- A copy of the status email from Recreation will be filed with these meeting minutes.