Select Board Meeting Minutes 01/26/2021

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Select Board Meeting Minutes

Otis Town Hall

Conference Room

January 26, 2021

7:00 p.m.


*This meeting is being conducted remotely through Zoom. You must check back within 24 hours of the start time for a link to join.

Pursuant to the Governor’s March 12, 2020 order suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law, G.L. c. 30A, Sec 18, this meeting is being held via remote participation to the greatest extent possible. Every effort is being made to ensure that any member of the public may access the meeting in real time, via technological means. Agendas will be amended to show the link and participation code to access the meeting no sooner than 48 hours before. Recordings and/or draft proceedings of the meeting will be available on our website as soon as possible.



Attendance: Chair Bill Hiller, Selectmen Larry Southard, Heather Morgan, Brandi Page (for a complete list of attendees please see addendum.)


Call to Order.

7:00 PM


Approval of Select Board Minutes, Jan 12, 2021

The minutes were approved by Bill Hiller and Larry Southard.


Contract Extension, Broadband grant

Motion to extend the broadband grant contract for another year.  Bill Hiller and Larry Southard approved.


Complete Streets, Contract & State Highway position

There was some good news regarding complete streets.  Rona has been communicating with Mass DOT and sidewalks and bike lanes can be added to state roads as long as it isn’t a thru way that prohibits pedestrians and bicycles such as I90.  In regard to how the technical assistance will be paid, the contract is now with the Selectmen.  The cost matches the exact amount of the grant so there will be no cost to the town.  Bill and Larry agreed that the contract will be signed.  It was suggested a small working committee be formed.  Hal and Rona will coordinate with Brandi.


Community Center Account

Moving the money out of the Community Center should go to town meeting according to recommendation from Town Counsel and the Accountant.  It seems inappropriate to simply have the Board redirect the money. Diane was unaware of Jeramiah’s advice and would have liked more time to prepare. She does not feel it needs to go back to the voters.  She requested to table the item until the Historical Commission can do some research and Gary can join the meeting.  Bill and Larry agreed to table the vote until the next meeting.


Joint Budget Meeting Schedule

Gary could not attend the meeting because of technical difficulties so this topic was tabled.


Planning Board, Solar bylaw and TIPS Representative.

Rona spoke regarding the proposed solar bylaw.  Larry Southard mentioned that it looked like it was thorough.  Rona would like the Select Board’s approval to move it to town meeting. Larry Gould would like to speak to the Planning Board regarding some edits. It was felt the permitting authority should be the Zoning Board not Planning Board. Feedback will be provided to the Planning Board within the 14 day window.  TIPS need the Town Administrator or a Selectmen to be appointed to their committee.  A Representative from Planning Board can attend but not vote.


Continue Discussion of Proposed Cell Tower

There is no new information from the last meeting.  The Board is still waiting on feasibility information on the emergency radio equipment from the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office. There were heated comments from opponents of the tower and they stated the Board should drop the project without waiting for the additional information. There was frustration that our zoom account maxed out at 100 participants. Bill replied we typically have 10 attendees and we will have to explore upgrading to accommodate additional people in the future. This topic was tabled until the Select Board receives all the information at which point it will be placed on a future agenda.


Review and Approval of Warrants.


Any topics not reasonably anticipated by the Chair at the time of the original posting.






Respectfully submitted by,

Heather Morgan

Selectmen Secretary, Town of Otis



List of Documents


Attachment A – Scope of Work

Broadband Grant

Otis Complete streets contract(TM)

Otis Ground Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations ByLaw – DRAFT_1.5

List of Attendees