Select Board Meeting Minutes 03/20/2018

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

March 20, 2018


Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room.  It’s being recorded and a quorum is present.


Present:           Select Board Chair Bill Hiller, Selectman Gary Thomas, Selectman Don Hawley, Town Administrator Becky Stone, Michael Ernst, Terry Gould, Lyn O’Brien, Michael O’Brien, Sonia Morrison, Diane Provenz, Arthur Provenz


Approval of Minutes:  The February 26, 2018 All Boards meeting minutes and the February 27, 2018 Select Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved as written.


Bill Huss’ needs a new Conservation Restriction for 51 Latimer Hill Road:  The Conservation Restriction for 51 Latimer Hill Road (land trust donation) was re-signed by the three current Select Board members.  Lyn was present at the meeting, witnessed the signatures, and will notarize the signatures tomorrow.


Caucus Call:  While signing the Conservation Restriction, the Select Board also decided to sign the Caucus Call as well.


Ethics Training Exemptions:  Lyn presented some job titles and cases where it may be possible to exempt certain volunteer positions from Ethics Training.  All three Select Board members reviewed Lyn’s proposal and all three unanimously agreed to exempt the following:  volunteer Firefighters who have no titled position, Recreation dance instructors, one-day workshop instructors, Movie Supervisors, and exercise and swim instructors, and Poll Workers acting only as checkers.  The vote passed unanimously.


EOHED Eligibility for Extra Mile Contingency Funds:  It was announced at the meeting that Gov. Baker has authorized $32 Million additional funding to cover overages on alotted make ready costs for broadband if the towns go over certain amounts.  Towns will be required to submit total make ready costs when completed and if they meet the requirements, an additional grant amount will be awarded.


Highway Dept. Resignation:  We have had a resignation and if anybody knows of a person who would like to apply please let the Highway Super know.


Building Security:  Discussed building security and options.  The Select Board is in agreement with seeking employee input and discussing security measures further.


St. Paul’s Church:  Sonia and Diane reiterated that in previous years the town had tried to get this church put on the Historic Register.  Doing so would not landmark the building, but the property owners need to agree to put the property on the Historic Register.  This would then allow the Historic Commission to apply for grant money for the church.  There was a lot of discussion as to the status of the church’s title.  Town Counsel has advised that the townspeople will need to vote on the church at the next annual town meeting with legal wording changed because the vote at the last town meeting does not encompass the current legal directive.  There was a lot of other discussion about interpretation of what was presented at the meeting with no resolution.  The Select Board unanimously voted to have Town Counsel draft an article for the Annual Town Meeting warrant.  The Select Board also requested Sonia and Diane draft a letter with their questions and the Select Board will consider asking Town Counsel for clarification regarding their questions.


Appoint ZBA Alternate:  Roberta Sarnacki had requested appointment as the Alternate ZBA member and ZBA was happy to have someone volunteer to do this.  Roberta was unanimously appointed through the end of the current fiscal year.


WWTP License Upgrade:  Both Jim Crandall and Matt Clark have been awarded their full Grade 4 Waste Water Licenses by the NEIWPCC.  Our congratulations go out to both of them on a job well done.  We now have three qualified operators to run our WWTP plant.




Open Meeting Law Complaint:  The first OML complaint lodged against all three members of the Select Board has been determined.  The MA Attorney General concluded there was no violation and the matter is resolved.


Selectmen Assoc. Dinner:  Lisa made copies of the invitation available to all Select Board members and noted she needed to submit their payments soon if anyone wished to go.


East Otis School House:  The Select Board has received a preliminary report of the different issues that are involved and the costs are unknown at this time.  This may have to go back for another town vote.


State owned land and PILOT program:  Sonia asked if anyone had looked into the town receiving monies from the state for state owned land.  Becky was aware of the PILOT program, but the Select Board suggested she hold off looking into this until after budgets were completed and the Town meeting was conducted.


Block Grants:  Sonia also asked if anyone had applied for Block Grants for low income persons needing assistance with home repairs.  Again the Select Board requested Becky look into this after budgets and the Annual Town Meeting were completed.




The regular Select Board meeting was unanimously adjourned at 8:14 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis


List of Documents


  1. A copy of the email from William Huss requesting the Conservation Restrition be re-signed and why will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the Lyn’s email explaining the Ethics Training Exemptions will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the letter sent from EOHED to the Town of Otis will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the Highway Dept. resignation letter will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the Alternate ZBA appointment application will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the letters from NEIWPCC will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the Selectmen’s Dinner email invitation will be filed with these meeting minutes.