Town of Otis
Select Board Meeting Minutes
February 11, 2020
- Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room. A quorum was present. The meeting was recorded. The Finance Board then called their meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
- Present: Gary Thomas, Bill Hiller, Larry Southard, Brandi Page, Derek Poirier, Jim Crandall, Tom Ragusa, Barbara Linden, Michael Linden, Doreen Vance, Randy Vance, Sonia Morrison, Steve Lebin, David Richard and Diane Provenz.
- Approval of Select Board Minutes: The Board voted to approve the minutes from Jan 28th and Feb 3rd as well as the Executive Session minutes from Jan 14th.
- Review and Approval of Warrants: These were signed at their work table prior to the meeting.
- Jim Wilusz, Board of Health Agent: Jim presented a quote from Full Circle Technologies to transition the Town to online permitting for the Board of Health Module. Jim admitted the initial cost ($8470) is a little steep for a small Town. He suggests we think about the online permitting and he is going to watch for any grants that could offset that initial programming fee. The yearly maintenance cost would be $2,820. Larry Gould spoke to say that he doesn’t feel Otis has the volume on the building permit side to justify the cost.
- Clark & Green Contract for Phase 1 & 2 of the East Otis Schoolhouse: Jeremia had weighed in on the contract. Things were approved to proceed. The Board signed the contract.
- Tom Ragusa for Norton Road Extension: Tom spoke about the Town possibly wanting to take Norton Road Extension as a town road before any federal designation takes place. The Board and Highway Super both expressed concern at adopting it and opening up a precedent for all the other privately owned dirt roads in Otis. They stated this is a common request and they want to remain consistent. The Board asked Tom to leave any information he had and it would be forwarded to Jeremia for a formal opinion.
- Transfer Station Sticker Sales: The Board was presented with a tax rate scenario if they were to proceed with building the sticker sales into the tax rate. The other option is to look into selling the tickets at Town Hall ad online. The goal is to remove the selling of stickers form the Transfer Station. Jim Crandall clarified that until a decision is made, likely later in the year, he will have to staff accordingly at the Transfer Station to accommodate sticker sales. The Board wants information on the online sales and how other Town’s handle it. This remains an ongoing topic.
- Budget Meeting Schedule with the Finance Committee: The Finance Board and Select Board agreed to start their joint meetings the following week on February 18th and also Feb 20t both at 6:00pm. Subsequent meetings will be posted accordingly.
- Need for Highway Garage: Larry Gould spoke to say that the Town needs to continue to have communication in regard to the need for a Highway Garage addition and/or new building. The need was identified and the Town in recent years has failed to decide a direction. This decision has implications as to the use and maintenance of other Town buildings such as the Fire Department, Library and Harmony Hall. Diane, on behalf of the Historic Commission, asked that when this topic is officially discussed they are allowed to weigh in.
- The Finance Board closed their meeting at 7:45.
- Applicant for Highway: The Board interviewed a third candidate for the Highway Laborer opening.
- Deliberation on Highway Applicants: After a brief discussion and comparison to the compensation across Berkshire County Bill made a motion to offer the two most qualified applicants the position at 23.50 per hour and to increase our current laborer to the same rate beginning next pay period (Sunday). Gary seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous. The Town Administrator was instructed to draft a letter for the current employee and make offers to the applicants.
- Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm.