Select Board Meeting Minutes 07/09/2019

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Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

July 9, 2019


Call to Order:  Meeting was called to order at 7:02 pm in the Town Hall conference room.  A quorum was present and the meeting was recorded.


Present:           Select Board Chair Gary Thomas, Selectman Bill Hiller, Selectman Larry Southard, Town Administrator Becky Stone, Paul Reisinger, Terry Gould, Michael Ernst, and Nancy Crandall were present.


Review Meeting Minutes:  The June 24, 2019 All Boards meeting minutes were approved by Bill as written, with Gary and Larry abstaining.  The June 25, 2019 Select Board meeting minutes were approved unanimously with revisions.

Pole Hearing:  Verizon representative Paul Reisinger presented a map and request for a pole to be placed on Reservoir Road jointly owned by Verizon and Eversource for mid-span support of the existing pole line.  Bill asked for a copy of the map, since he would have to contact Verizon regarding fiber wires to be affected by the transfer of some of the cables.  Bill will contact Verizon about an application regarding any of the town’s fiber wires to be affected for permission to attach to the new pole.  Paul noted that he will let Al Bessette at Verizon know about the existing fiber wires going through there, as well.  The Board unanimously approved the pole position and signed three copies of the order to be filed.

Letter to Town Collector for Sewer Commitments:  Becky presented the sewer commitment letter for town residents on the sewer line.  She explained the formula used to support her draft.  The total sum for FY20 sewer charges is $66,450.00.  The letter was unanimously approved and signed by all three Select Board members.

Appointment of Chief Procurement Officer:  Gary made a motion that Becky be appointed the   Chief Procurement Officer.  Bill asked if the town has ever had a CPO and if it would be         an annual appointment.  Gary noted that the town has had a CPO in the past and that the position has typically been held by the Town Administrator.  Becky added that the term    would be in effect until revoked or amended.  The motion was seconded by Bill.

Review and sign the Library and Museum Annual Agreement:  Becky presented the annual    standard contract and how payments will be made.  Gary made a motion to accept and             sign the contract.  Bill seconded the motion.

Review and sign the Otis Rescue Squad Annual Agreement:  Bill made a motion to accept and       sign the contract.  Gary seconded the motion.

Request to Transfer Funds:  Becky presented a list of interdepartmental funds to be transferred                   for FY19.  There was discussion about totals needed, where the funds would be         transferred from and outstanding warrants to be posted.  There was also discussion about       reserve funds.  The following transfer from Gas/Diesel was approved for the following        for FY19:  Office Supplies, $200.00;  Police             Department Salary, $3,500.00;  Police             Department Expenses, $300.00;  Road Machinery Maintenance, $900.00;  Town Garage,          $1,400.00;  Health Agent Backup, $1,000.00, for a total of $7,300.00.  The Board signed the Request for Transfer.  The Finance Board did not sign this transfer, because they          thought it was not required of them.


New Accounting Software System:  Becky asked when the Town Accountant would be training the department heads with respect to the new software system.  Bill explained that             Margaret is still training on how to use the program and working on account assignments.             As soon as she is comfortable with the new program, she will meet with staff, which he         expects it will be a couple of weeks.  Bill added that department heads can continue to           turn in vouchers the way they have been until Margaret is finished with training on the new system.  They can use old account numbers and Margaret will take care of any            corrections necessary when she is ready to do the conversion.  Bill shared a Schedule of         Bills Payable Form that he and Margaret are proposing the staff can use as a voucher,            which is patterned after what they do in Great Barrington.  He explained each             information column and added that it can be handwritten or entered electronically.  Bill    reminded everyone that the process of a significant software conversion such as this takes        time.  Becky asked when expense reports for each department can be expected.  Bill    expects expense reports will be done this week or next.  He added that the town just   received the chart of accounts from Vadar in the past week.

Merritt Road Beaver Concerns:  Some residents on Merritt Road have expressed concerns about how the beavers are managed on a portion of the road, which is a town right of way.    Becky reported that the Board of Health checked and proper permitting procedures are       followed when trapping the beavers.  The Highway Superintendent did a site visit and             inspection today following the complaints.  He reported back on the procedure he has           followed for many years to keep the road from flooding, which can typically occur at        least twice a year.  The residents would like to be notified when trapping occurs, but Becky explained that since it this is on a town right of way, rather than private property,                      the town is not required to notify abutters.  The Board decided to extend an invitation to         the residents to attend the next to discuss their concerns.

Open Meeting Law Violation:  The Attorney General’s Office was notified by a reporter that the                  Board violated the Open Meeting Law.  Becky informed the Board that she spoke to the     AG’s office and they reminded the town to be cognizant about posting and holding              meetings in accordance with the law, as well as how the Board goes into executive         session.

Adjournment:  At 7:51 pm the Select Board unanimously adjourned the Select Board meeting.


Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Crandall

Selectmen’s Secretary, Town of Otis


List of Documents


  1. Pole position petition, order for location and map for placement on Reservoir Road, Job #1A3L4VX.


  1. Sewer Commitment Letter from the Board of Health to the Tax Collector dated July 9, 2019.


  1. Library and Museum Annual Agreement.


  1. Otis Rescue Squad Annual Agreement.


  1. Preliminary Schedule of Bills Payable form proposed for review by the Board.


  1. Letter from the Attorney General’s Office regarding Open Meeting Law complaint filed by Haven Orecchio.