Select Board Meeting Minutes 04/24/2018

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

April 24, 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:           Chairman Bill Hiller, Gary Thomas, Don Hawley, Becky Stone, Michael Ernst, Terry Gould, Larry Gould, Mike O’Brien, Judi Mabee, Thom Garvey, Sonia Morrison, Derek Poirier, Dave Conklin, Chris Bouchard, Joy Brown, Kim Spencer, Terry Walker, Betty Levinson, Candide Coddington, Raymond Coddington, Dave Hamill, Linda Hamill, Diane Provenz, Glynis Arnold, Douglas Arnold, Thomas Dean, Sheila Brimage


Approval of Minutes:  The April 10, 2018 Select Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved as written.


Public Hearing for MassWorks Infrastructure Program for Tyringham Road:    The Public Hearing was called to order immediately after the minutes above were approved.  This would be at 7:00 pm.  Bill read aloud the official Public Notice which was published and sent to abutters.  This is a hearing for an application for a $1 Million grant through MassWorks to tear apart and rebuild the 1.24 miles of Tyringham Road in the Town of Otis.  This work will include the rebuilding of culverts and will have sections of tree canopy along the road cut back for efficient sunlight.  The road currently has about a twenty-two foot wide blacktopped surface.  Residents were concerned about water runoff going onto their property and how much of their property would be reduced by the road work.  Derek said the culvert work was to prevent runoff on their property and there will probably be no reductions in acreage due to the road work.  Widening of the road is not part of the plan, we plan to do cleaning up and blacktop resurfacing.  It was reiterated this was only a public hearing for a grant application and there was no guarantee the town will be awarded the grant money.  However, we can still cut back vegetation and begin work on improving drainage for some of the culverts.  We will probably know by the end of October as to whether we have been awarded the grant or not.  All residents agreed the road desperately needs to be repaired.  Attendees were encouraged to submit letters of support for the grant application.

                        The Public Hearing was adjourned at 7:17 pm and the regular Select Board meeting was continued.


Approve Joint Budget Minutes:  The minutes presented at tonight’s meeting had been revised since everyone received the emailed versions.  Lisa suggested revisions to the April 2, 2018 Joint Budget minutes and they were approved by the Select Board with the stated revision.  The March 6, 2018, March 20, 2018, March 26, 2018, March 27, 2018, April 3, 2018, and April 10, 2018 Joint Budget meeting minutes were unanimously approved as written.


Draft Town Warrant:  Lisa asked if the Board still wanted to send a draft of the Annual Town Warrant with the Town Report.  She had a draft of a notice that could be sent with the Town Report if the board decided to forego the draft warrant.  The Select Board unanimously agreed the draft Annual Town Warrant would be sent out with the Town Report as we have done in the past with the insert clearly marked as “Draft”.  Sonia and Diane asked about the wording of the warrant article for St. Paul’s Church.  Becky stated she was still waiting to verify the wording with Town Counsel, but this would not hold hold up issuing the draft warrant.


Highway Laborer Interview:  Derek had one applicant he wanted the Select Board to interview, Mr. Thomas Dean.  Derek has spent extensive time speaking with Tom about the position and the benefits.  Tom has his hoisting license and has worked various equipment similar to ours with his last employer.  He has plowed with one ton trucks and keeps his equipment maintained, plus he has backhoe, excavation, dozer, and welding experience.  He likes to arrive early, takes pride in his work, and has a good work ethic.  He is outgoing and enjoys people.  He is currently laid off and can begin Monday if need be.  He has no health issues and has reviewed the hours, benefits, pay, and time off with Derek.  The Select Board unanimously agreed to hire him for the position.



Berkshire County Insurance Group:  BCIG will be disbanding as of July 1, 2018 and the town will no longer be able to get insurance through them.  Bill Hiller, representing the Town of Otis, signed a ballot to terminate the agreement with BCIG effective June 30, 2018.


Article 11 on the Annual Town Warrant:  Michael wanted to go on the record that he does not believe the wording is stated correctly for this article.


Highway Labor Budgets:  Derek wanted to discuss modifying some line item totals for the labor budgets so as to keep the bottom line the same dollar amount.  He proposed taking some of the money reserved for one line item of the labor budget to increase the pay of one of his employees.  The Select Board approved the adjustment.  Joe Daley will receive a one dollar per hour increase in pay, the new hire will be set at $18.50 per hour with an increase after probation, and the final labor dollar amounts will remain unchanged.


Repeater Info from Becket:  The Town of Becket is still waiting to get the area coverage map from Motorola, so they have no updates to present to Otis yet.



The regular Select Board meeting was unanimously adjourned at 7:57 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis



List of Documents


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


  1. A copy of the abutters list for the above hearing will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email from email from Berkshire Eagle regarding the advertising for the above hearing will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email from Becky with suggested corrections for the Joint Budget meetings will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. Copies of the seven Joint Budget meeting minutes will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the suggested replacement for the Annual Town Warrant will be filed with these meeting minutes.  The replacement will not be used.


  1. A copy of the application for Thomas Dean will be filed with the Highway applications folder and with Thomas’ personnel folder.