Select Board Meeting Minutes 08/14/2018

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

August 14, 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 Don Hawley, Selectman Bill Hiller, Selectman Gary Thomas, Town Administrator Becky Stone, Terry Gould, Michael Ernst, Dave Hamill, Michael O’Brien, Jim Crandall, Rich Phair, Barbara Beaudry, Paul Davis, Sonia Morrison, Lisa D’Orazio



Approval of Minutes:  The July 23, 2018 All Boards meeting minutes and the July 24, 2018 Select Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved as written.


Verizon Pole Hearing #1A2QB1FPaul Davis was in for Al Bessette.  The purpose for the new pole is to remove the sag in the existing two poles.  Both the Highway Super and Building Inspector were fine with the map.  The Select Board unanimously approved the request.  Bill requested he receive a certified copy to submit for the pole applications.


Establish a Safety Committee:  This is a new requirement due to the updated OSHA laws taking effect October 1, 2018.  Our insurance carrier is requesting we review and update our safety policies.  Becky suggested a new committee be formed and recommended three positions for the committee: Town Administrator, Highway Super, and Maint. Super.  Don suggested Police and Fire be included as well.  We will set the guidelines for the town.  The Select Board unanimously approved this request with the five members.  There may be about $10,000 in grant money available.


Town Kitchen Usage:  Mrs. Beaudry was inquiring about using the kitchen for potential cooking classes in association with the Rec Center.  Don noted that the kitchen is open to any resident as long as the use is for non-profit purposes only.  Non-profit means that any cooking instructor cannot be paid for their services.


Health Regulations regarding Food Events in town:  It was noted that a resident attended one fund raising event where rolls were handled by a server without gloves.  Rich let everyone know that the person who did this was reprimanded that day and that person has not helped with the event since.  They take the health regulations seriously.  The resident was happy to know this as they would like to once again support the event.


Appoint a BRPC MPO representative:  Having an MPO representative means Otis would have to support Complete Streets and we decided there was no benefit to the town to be part of Complete Streets.  No representative was designated.


Building Security:  Becky met with staff in April to get their input on this topic and presented to the Board the top nine list of recommendations that came out of that meeting.  This does not mean the Board has to act on all nine items.  Installing cameras around Town Hall was at the top of the list and the Board felt this was something that should be looked into.  Phones were also mentioned in the list and it was noted that when broadband is installed in the center of town, a new voice over internet phone system can then be addressed to replace our current phone system, which is becoming very limited for our needs.  Technology was asked to find a camera system that we could use that could connect to a municipal loop when the center of town gets broadband.  Town Hall is the town’s designated Warming and Cooling Center when town hall staff is here.


Town Hall Office Space:  We may need to look into redoing the office layouts in the near future.



Accounting Software:  The School Committee unanimously approved the upgrade to the Vadar Accounting system.  An HR module has been included in the package and we are still about $1500 under the grant amount awarded to us for this project.  This HR module will allow us to email the payroll stubs for the direct deposits.  Bill calculates that both the town and school will see about $166,000 in savings of maintenance costs over six years time.  Becky also noted that our RRG contract people love using the Vadar system.  The Select Board unanimously approved the town move forward with a contract with Vadar for this upgrade.


DLTA Grant:  Hal has requested he apply for a DLTA grant to gather additional documentation to revisit sewer system expansion to Otis Ridge and the Grouse House.  This grant does not involve money but is an outlay of BRPC’s time.  The Select Board unanimously approved Hal go ahead with this grant application.


Harmony Hall:  The Planning Board has a Public Information Meeting scheduled for September 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm to discuss future use of Harmony Hall.  This meeting will also be advertised in the Shopper’s Guide, Berkshire Record, and Country Journal as well as posted around town.  Hopefully, we will get a better public turnout than when discussions were initiated previously.


Recreational Marijuana:  The Planning Board is requesting a 12 month moratorium on recreational marijuana from the AG’s office.  This will give us time to determine what the public would like to do and whether we need a bylaw and if so, what type of bylaw should be drafted.


Historical Commission Presentation:  They are having a brief talk about the historical buildings in the Center Village area of town and the value of preserving historical buildings.  It will be August 20th in the gymnasium at 7:00 pm.



Historical FY2018 Reimbursement:  A reimbursement request missed the end of fiscal year deadline and they asked how could payment for this be remediated.  The only recourse the town has now is to request payment at a Special Town Meeting or at May’s Annual Town Meeting if there are no special town meetings before then.


Steak Roast:  The Steak Roast is advertised as from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  They asked if there would be any problems if it went later than 10:00 pm.  According to the Board of Health paperwork, for the amount of people expected for the event, the guidelines say we need seven porta-pottys.  We have never needed that many and the Fire Dept. will be open and their restrooms will be available as well



The 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 map for the Verizon Pole petition will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email from Mrs. Beaudry will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the Public Health rules and regulations for Ready to Eat foods will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email, agenda, and what an MPO does will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of Becky’s list of Building Security recommendations will be filed with these meeting minutes.