Select Board Meeting Minutes 03/09/2021

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Select Board Meeting Minutes

Otis Town Hall

Conference Room

March 09, 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, Selectmen Gary Thomas, Heather Morgan, Brandi Page


Call to Order.

7:00 PM


Approval of Select Board Minutes, Feb 23, 2021

Larry, Gary, and Bill voted to approve the minutes of 2/23/21.


Board of Health Fees, continued discussion.

It was suggested to discuss increasing the Board of Health Fees and not the fees for the businesses at this time.  Permits that were going live on Permiteyes were the first to be discussed. Those include fees for Wells, Septic Systems, Camps, Perc Witness, Swimming pools, and Food service permits.  Septic System fee is currently $100.  It was discussed changing from having one Septic fee to having three different fees for Septic: new, upgrade and repair.  The new proposed fees are $200 for a new system, $150 for upgrades, and $100 for repairs.  The new septic fees were approved by unanimous vote.  The next fee to be discussed was for a well permit.  It was suggested the well permit fee be increased from $50 to a $100.  The Board unanimously agreed. It was voted unanimously to keep the Perk Witness Fee the same; $100 for the first two hours, $25 per hour thereafter. The Pump and Transport yearly fee (Septic pumping transport through town) was discussed next.  It was voted unanimously by the Board to increase the Pump and Transport fee to $100 a year.  The Board voted unanimously to keep the recreational campground yearly fee the same.  Recreational camps for kid’s yearly fee was voted unanimously to increase to $60.  Tobacco will be addressed later with the fees pertaining to stores and bars.  The tobacco permits have already been issued for this year.  The Board unanimously voted to increase the disposal works septic license fee to $100.


Caucus Call

On the desk to be signed.  Larry and Bill have already signed it.


Assessor’s Dept, RRG

The purpose of this discussion is to see if there is any interest in investigating hiring an in-house full time Assessor.  The cost would not exceed what the town is paying RRG. In the past there was no one qualified interested in the position.  Bill would like to see an Assessor at town hall full time.  Gary feels it is more of a budget discussion.  Larry believes it is worth investigating.  The Select Board unanimously agreed to investigate hiring a full-time assessor.


Diverse Otis Update

Leigha Chaffee, from Diverse Otis, gave an update to the Board and to ask the Selectmen to sign a pledge.  Diverse Otis has been working hard to promote tolerance, mutual understanding, respect, and acceptance of all humankind. They are actively working with the school and the Otis Cultural Council to make sure that every student can take home a book about diversity and inclusion.  They have also been working with the library and have made many significant strides to educate the community. Diverse Otis’s members, along with Otis Ridge have signed the Pledge and committed to not stay silent in the face of intolerance or hate.  Diverse Otis would like Otis to join in with the other Berkshire county towns in signing the Not in Our County pledge.  She would like the signed pledge to be displayed at town hall and have a lawn sign put up outside.  Michael Lavery, Select Board Member from Becket, spoke at the meeting in support. The town of Becket has already signed the Not in Our County pledge. Becket had the pledge printed and hung it up in town hall.  They also put the yard sign up.  The Select Board has some concern regarding the yard sign.  It was felt that it might look like a political statement.  Larry, Bill, and Gary would like to look over the pledge before committing to sign it.  Michael Lavery stated the Becket Select Members also took some time to look it over prior to signing.  Many people in the audience were in support of the pledge.  Patsy Gay of the Multicultural Bridge spoke of her support and was willing to answer any questions. Sandy Balayan suggested going to the Multicultural Bridge website and signing the pledge online.


Re-opening, Phase 4 March 22nd

Re-opening town hall for half days starting on March 22nd, 9:00 AM -12:00 PM Monday thru Thursday was discussed. Bill is okay with reopening. Gary has had some requests for opening town hall so he is okay with it.  Larry is also good with opening town hall half days starting March 22nd.


Review and Approval of Warrants.

Warrants on the desk.


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





Respectively submitted by,

Heather Morgan

Selectmen Secretary, Town of Otis





Caucus Call


Establishment Fees


List of meeting attendees


Diane Dyer The Thomas’s
William Hiller Frank
Shari Lamanna (jay) B Page
ann odonnell Lyn Obrien
eric Kait Gallup
Donna Thomas Leigha Chaffee (Leigha Chaffee)
Christine Lawlor Kay Rice
JERRY WEINSTEIN Evelyn & Thom Garvey (Evelyn Garvey)
Betsy Gallup Deborah’s iPad
Larry Southard Therese’s iPad
Kathi Casey Sandy Balayan Diverse Otis
Elaine Downing Hunter & Dan Hunter (Elaine & Dan Hunter) Mike Sturges
Mary Jean Guidette Scott
Susan Ebitz Julie Engel (she/her) (Julie Engel)
Patsy Gay (she/hers) Fred Ryon
Phil Magovern Patricia Strauch
iPhone Larry Katelyn Chaffee
Katy Utenis
Jennifer Hibbins Michael Lavery (Michael Lavery)
Donna Rich Otis Preservation Trust
Pam Henry Susan Brofman
jeff bean diverse otis Eric Goulange
Gloria Mamokhin Lauren Harrison
Leigha Chaffee’s iPhone Jeffrey Lamanna
Mark Lamanna Tim