Select Board Meeting Minutes 08/11/2020

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Select Board Meeting Minutes

Otis Town Hall

Conference Room

August 11, 2020

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.


Present: Bill Hiller, Larry Southard, Gary Thomas, Donna Thomas, Lyn Obrien, Sonia Morrison, Terry Gould, Brandi Page, James Crandall, Heather Morgan, Celeste Watman, Diane Provenz


  1. Call to Order

7:00 PM


  1. Approval of Select Board Minutes from July 28, 2020

The Board unanimously approved the July 28th minutes.


  1. Review and Approval of Warrants


  1. Signing of September 1, 2020 State Primary Warrant


  1. Otis Library & Museum Contract


  1. Otis Rescue Squad Contract


  1. Food Pantry

The individuals doing the meal deliveries during the COVID shut down see a need for a food pantry in Otis.  They’ve indicated there is volunteer interest to help. Brandi suggested possibly using the front room at Harmony Hall for a food pantry space. There are weights in the room currently.  Another suggestion was a shed where people could just grab nonperishable items.  Uses of the kitchen at Town Hall was also suggested.  With a hard floor and running water for cleanup the kitchen seemed a better option. James Crandall is concerned about the integrity of the floor at Harmony Hall, and having to maintain the kitchen if the food panty was in the kitchen.  Terry would be happy to volunteer and help out with the cleaning.  Larry suggested to find out how much space would be needed.  He feels that the room needs to be easily cleaned.  Bill suggested that the Board takes a look at both spaces and revisit this item at the next meeting. August will end the current deliveries to families and seniors. Tabled until the next meeting.


  1. Open Highway Position

Derek would like to advertise the highway laborer position that is still open. Derek would like to bring someone in and get them settled before the snow and ice season.  There is money in the budget and the Board agreed that the ad could go out.


  1. The Historical Commission would like to discuss the possibility of naming gift opportunities.

Diane Provenz spoke.  The Historical Commission would like to ask for permission to be in charge of creative ideas for fundraising.  They have already raised roughly $30,000. New members have joined the commission and are helping.  The committee is asking the Selectmen to take a look at their initial effort including their website and they need the Board’s support.  The town ultimately voted to accept the church with the goal of preservation.  Diane is asking for the Selectmen to be supportive of the Historical Commission.  Diane would like permission from the Select Board for the Commission to be able to negotiate with donors as to recognition levels. This may include naming the building in response to a substantially large donation.   The Board decided that the Historical Commission needs to set specific parameters and run it by the Board first.  The Commission will come up with money values for naming opportunities and get back to the Board.  It was suggested that we check with Jeremia about any legal ramifications.  Bill suggested starting small and congratulations to the Historical Society for doing a great job.


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

Historic asked that the minutes from May 12th be revised. Bill stated he did not want to change the minutes. Sonia strongly disagreed with the current minutes and stated there was never a statement that the Town was not going to put out any money on behalf of the Church property. Gary recalled that Micheal Earnst brought up that the town would not spend any money on the church during budget meetings.  Larry feels the May 12th minutes are correct.  Sonia does not agree. The minutes were not amended.


Eversource has a program this summer for small businesses. Information will be available on our website if anyone is interested.


Brandi brought up reviving All Boards meetings again.  Larry would like to give it a try even if it’s quarterly. Gary reflected they weren’t well attended and that’s why they were stopped.  Bill suggested starting in October.  Sonia feels that if the Select Board makes it important then people would come.  The Board agreed to possibly schedule on in the fall.


Celeste asked about the Otis Library contract. It was simply signing the new agreement for this year. The Library will receive the contract tomorrow.


Sonia inquired about getting feedback from the accounting office confirming bills are paid.  Brandi and Bill both said that wouldn’t be a productive use of time for the accountant. Warrants are processed every week and if something is questioned it’s kicked back to the department.


  1. Adjournment

8:13 PM


Respectfully submitted,

Heather Morgan

Selectmen’s Secretary, Town of Otis



List of Documents

Request to amend minutes

July 28 BOS Meeting Minutes Draft

Highway Ad 8.10.2020

BOS meeting Minutes 5-12- 2020