Town of Otis
Select Board Meeting Minutes
September 13, 2016
Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room.
Present: Select Board Chair Roberta Sarnacki, Selectman Bill Hiller, Selectman Don Hawley, Michael Ernst, Hank Wingate, Sandy Pinkham, Frank Tolopko, Cliff Hanson from Eversource, Walter Engels, Nick Hiller, lady in red sweatshirt, Marlyn Coffey, Carol Blakeslee
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Roberta Sarnacki who announced the meeting was being recorded.
Approval of Minutes: The August 23, 2016 Select Board meeting minutes were approved as written by Don Hawley and Bill Hiller with Roberta Sarnacki abstaining. The August 22, 2016 All Boards minutes were approved as written by Don and Bill with Roberta abstaining. The August 25, 2016 Highway Interview minutes were unanimously approved as written.
Eversource Pole Hearing #2760379: Cliff was here from Eversource to answer any questions the Select Board may have about the new pole for the corner of Tolland and Reservoir Roads. The purpose for this pole install is to improve reliability of electrical distribution. Cliff also assured the Select Board that the pole would be installed with the adequate space for accommodating the town’s municipal fiber. Roberta also noted that the Highway Supervisor had no issue with the pole’s location. The Select Board unanimously approved the pole hearing and signed the required documents. These will be brought to the Town Clerk’s office tomorrow morning.
Senior Work Abatements: Lisa noted that in August’s City & Town it mentioned that the financial restrictions on the Senior Work Abatements had been raised in Boston and brought this to the Select Board’s attention. The new upper limit of $1500 was unanimously approved by the board.
WWTP Proposal from SK Design: Chris mentioned that the WWT plant had passed the DEP audit with flying colors. Based upon the audit and the fact that the plant is due to be relicensed, DEP suggested we move forward with getting a five year master plan set up for the plant, including maintenance items and potential upgrades over time. The first quote from Tighe & Bond was for approximately $40,000 and listed specifications for a plant much larger than ours. SK Designs submitted an estimate for about $7500 and would provide everything DEP was looking for. Keith planned to pay for this from the WWTP Upgrade account which still has about $18,000 left in it. All three Select Board members agreed this is what the upgrade account had been set up for and the SK Design proposal was unanimously agreed upon. There was discussion as to whether Keith needed a third proposal, however there are only so many firms in this region qualified to do this kind of work and getting a third proposal may prove difficult.
Poll Worker Appointment: Lyn had inadvertently left Ralph Gleason off her Poll Worker list presented to the Board at an earlier meeting and requested he be added to her list. The Board unanimously agreed to this request.
Dual Sport Motorcycle Ride: The letter letting everyone know this ride was taking place through town this weekend on September 18th was presented. It was noted that they ride mostly on trails but all vehicles are required to be street legal. Both the Police and Fire were aware of this event.
Police Dept.: With the departure of our full time officer, Roberta was asking if we should consider adding another part-time non-benefitted officer to our roster. While our former full time officer is still working for the town as part-time non-benefitted, he has a lot less availability due to his full time job and current training schedule. She would like someone with some experience and would like to advertise to see who applies. Bill would like to see the shift schedule. Don thinks we may have too many with seven officers on our roster, but is also curious to see who applies. Bill and Don both agreed to table this until they can review the shift schedule and see where we’re at.
Reschedule November 8 Select Board Meeting: Due to the Presidential Election on November 8, the Select Board agreed to reschedule the meeting on November 7th at 7:00 pm.
Computer Policy: Bill presented the version of the computer policy that the Technology Committee had just drafted. Bill explained the first two paragraphs would be an introduction and the rest of the draft will be the actual policy that will be included in the Personnel Policy Manual. Bill will provide copies to everyone when the formal version is completed. The Select Board unanimously approved the computer policy.
Historical Commission: Hank thanked the Select Board for their support with the East Otis School House and St. Paul’s Church.
Library Board: Walter asked about the Library Board using remote communications for meetings during the winter. Lisa noted she believed a quorum had to already be physically present at the meeting in order to remotely connect with other members. Chris backed up this opinion, but we will check with Jeremia to be certain. Also, the Select Board has to adopt the remote connect option before it can be used.
Fire Dept. Surplus: Sandy noted that only the inner workings of the Center Fire House siren exist and he does not believe it works properly. The snowmobile club removed the siren from the old East Otis Fire House when they redid the roof and no one knows where the siren went. If the siren is unusable, get rid of it. If the town owns the existing washer and dryer, then that can be declared surplus inventory, but make certain it isn’t a donation for the Rescue Squad. If it is, it is theirs to decide what to do.
Moderator: Since Blake resigned from the elected position, Lyn still has no one to consider for appointment for a town meeting. She is hoping for a list of fill-ins until the position can be re-elected. Michael Ernst expressed interest and was asked to see Lyn.
Finance Board: Bill let the Finance Board know that he and Larry will be attending their meeting on Thursday. They are looking for recommendations from Finance as to how to handle short-term borrowing for the initial build-out for broadband in town. Technology is proposing we begin short-term borrowing against money already voted on for allocation by the townspeople at a special town meeting last year. Don was concerned about the tax implications by doing this. Technology is also proposing the build-out begin by hooking up residents as soon as possible so we can start bringing in revenue to offset some of the cost. But we do know not all of the cost will be offset by subscriptions to the service.
At 8:09 pm the Select Board meeting was unanimously adjourned.
Town of Otis
List of Documents
A copy of the signed Eversource Pole Hearing documents will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the notice in August’s City and Town about the increase in Senior Work Off Tax abatements will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the SK Design proposal will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the letter sent by Berkshire Trail Riders will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the Lyn’s emails regarding November 8th will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of the draft and final versions of the Computer Policy will be filed with these meeting minutes.
A copy of Lyn’s email regarding the Moderator position will be filed with these meeting minutes.