Select Board Meeting Minutes 04/10/2018

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

April 10, 2018


Meeting called to order at 7:15 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, Larry Gould, Michael O’Brien, Sonia Morrison, Chris Bouchard, Jim Ebitz, Walter Engels, Bob Markle, Bill Elovirta, Mike Lavery, Arlene Tolopko, Frank Tolopko, Russ Loring, Derek Poirier, Tonia Carrington


Approval of Minutes:  The March 26, 2018 All Boards meeting minutes were unanimously approved as written.  The March 27, 2018 Select Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved with a correction.


Radio Repeaters:  Two of the Becket Selectmen, Bill Elovirta and Mike Lavery, and their interim administrator, Bob Markle, came to speak about what Becket was doing with their needed repeaters.  No one has the ability to use cell towers for free because cell towers were never required to keep a public safety area free for municipal use.  They have determined that there is a good location along Johnson Road for a repeater.  They were hoping to have a service map from Motorola to bring tonight, but that has not yet been delivered to them.  They will forward a copy to us when they get it.  They have negotiated the monthly tower rental fee down to $1400 per month.  They are hoping that the service area will be beneficial for Otis and that we may consider sharing the monthly fee with them.  They are looking at a 20 year rental contract with a 3% annual increase.  The repeater and necessary equipment will be purchased by the Sheriff’s department, who will actually own the equipment, through a Homeland Security grant.  The repeater will cover Fire, Police, Rescue, and can work for Otis Highway if their radios are reprogrammed for the frequency.  The Select Board is very interested, but they need to see the coverage area.  Becket has been working on this for almost three years because they had problems reaching the cell tower owner.  Otis has three cell tower owners, AMT, American Tower, and SMV, and they are talking about a $9000 bill just to do the engineering for this project in Otis.


Sharing of Kennel:  The previous Becket Town Administrator had a verbal agreement with Otis to use Becket’s kennel and no one in Becket had a record of what the agreement was.  The Otis Select Board informed them that we used the kennel as needed and provided 10% of all fees collected.  Becket informed us that the kennel is in poor condition and needs work.  They are estimating it will take about $1000 in materials to replace the inside walls and repair doors.  Labor costs will be handled by town budget.  Bob Markle will get a written list of what will actually be addressed.  Tonia asked if there could be something built in to keep supplies handy also.  The Otis Select Board unanimously agreed to share the material costs.


Support of an Economic Development District in Berkshire County:  The Department of Commerce has distributed a letter of support and has asked for Otis’ support.  This will enable the town to receive funding for economic development.  Signing the letter of support does not commit us to anything at this point.  The letter was signed after all unanimously voted to support this effort.


Announce Public Hearing for MassWorks Grant:  The Select Board has signed a letter announcing the public hearing and read the letter at tonight’s meeting stating this would be on the next Select Board agenda for April 24, 2018 at 7:00 pm.  This Public Hearing is to request a grant for up to $1 Million to propose reconstruction and safety improvements on Tyringham Road.


CET Letter of Intent for next year:  We sign this letter every year stating we intend to participate in Southern Berkshire’s Hazardous Household Waste group.  At this point in the process, we are not committed to anything.  Bill signed the letter stating we do intend to commit again.




Recreational Marijuana Workshop:  Lisa announced there will be a meeting in Lenox on April 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm and Hal will be representing Otis’ interests.  The DLS Bulletin on Retail Marijuana Sales was also presented to the Select Board.


Eversource Annual Emergency Response Plan meeting:  Lisa also presented information on this meeting scheduled for May2 at 4:30 pm.


MassDOT Open House:  Lisa presented information on this open house to discuss the new proposed interchange for the turnpike.  This will be held April 30 from 4:30 to 7:30pm at the Blandford Town Hall.


Wind Turbine Name Contest:  Arlene submitted the names for the new turbine to the Select Board members.  This contest was sponsored by the Otis Observer and the winner will be presented with an award on Friday.  Not all Select Board members had time to review the entries, but stated there would be a winner by tomorrow morning.



The Select Board meeting was unanimously adjourned at 7:50 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis



List of Documents


  1. A copy of the email email to Becky Stone regarding the Economic Development District along with a copy of Frequently Asked Questions for this topic will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the signed Public Hearing notice for the proposed Tyringham Road grant will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the signed Letter of Intent to CET will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the Recreational Marijuana Workshop and the DLS Bulletin for Retail Marijuana Sales will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the Eversource Emergency Response Plan meeting notice will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the MassDOT I-90 Interchange Study Open House will be filed with these meeting minutes.