Select Board Meeting Minutes 08/22/2017

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

August 22, 2017


Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room, is being recorded, and we have a quorum.


Present:           Select Board Chairman Bill Hiller, Selectman Don Hawley, Selectman Gary Thomas, Chris Morris, Geoff Geane, John O’Brien, Rich Ardizoni, Larry Gould, Terry Gould, Michael Ernst, Patricia Richard, Mike O’Brien, Dave O’Brien, John Hyland, Pieter Vissev, Mac Vissev, Terry Cook, Chris Tryon, Craig Morton, Bob Shangraw, Rich Phair, Peter Kolodziej, Kathy Carroll, Sonia Morrison, Tonia Carrington, Geoff Pigman



Approval of Minutes:  The August 8, 2017 Select Board meeting minutes were approved as written by Don Hawley and Gary Thomas.  Bill abstained.


Board of Health:  131 D’Wolfe Drive:  the Sabia family had Chris Tryon redesign a septic system to replace an existing failing septic system.  The new system is a jet bat pre-treatment system that goes into a pump chamber and up to an ABS bed.  According to Peter this design meets maximum feasible compliance, but they are requesting a well variance for the owner whose well is at a distance of 56.9 feet from the system.  No abutters are affected by any variances.  Peter is recommending standard well testing of the owner’s well for two years.  The Select Board unanimously approved the septic design with the condition for well testing.

                        834 Tolland Road:  Peter acknowledged this was a difficult site due to its small size and the amount of rock and ledge on the property.  The existing well is a drilled well inside the dwelling.  Chris only had two options for this design – an alternate system or a tite tank.  Chris was able to design a jet bat system going into a perc right system with the owner’s new proposed well 52 feet from the system and a neighbor’s well also 52 feet from the system.  The septic system will require a maintenance contract for the life of the system.  The drilled well inside the building will be decommissioned.  Peter also recommends both the Highway Dept. and Jim Wilusz look over the design plans for their opinion.  The Select Board unanimously decided to approve the plan on condition that both Highway and Jim approve and sign the plan as is, the new well passes, there is yearly maintenance on the new system, and both the owner’s and neighbor’s wells will be tested for three years instead of the standard two years.

341 Brookman Drive:  tabled because plans were not yet ready to be discussed.


Dog Kennels for Animal Control Officer:  Tonia explained what was required by law for holding dogs.  They need inside and outside access with cement floors for easy cleanup.  Tonia determined an 8×8 or 6×6 area outside and a 6×6 area inside should be appropriate.  The inside needs a window with a fan in it, a heat source, and access to water.  A two bay kennel should be more than appropriate.  Tonia had been pricing 10×16 prefabricated kennels and they were around $5,000 which she thinks is too much to spend on this.


Census Liason:  Lyn O’Brien took this on with the 2010 Census and needs to formally be appointed for the 2020 Census.  The Select Board unanimously approved her appointment as liason.


Rec. Center Movie License:  The Select Board members had talked with Walter who says the Library has a license to rent and show movies in their building.  The Select Board determined that since the upstairs to the Rec. Center is the Library Annex, movies could be shown under the Library license in their annex.


Zoning Sign Bylaw Changes:  Geoff Geane, representing the Zoning Board of Appeals, requested some changes to the Zoning bylaws for signs in town.  The suggested changes would give business owners and residents a way to appeal decisions without having to go to court.  It would also give businesses the opportunity to make their business signs more visible to the public.  The specific recommendations were to have standalone business signs increased to 18 square feet, change enforcement to the Zoning Enforcement Officer, and some cosmetic numbering changes to the bylaw.  Lyn O’Brien also proposed that if Sign bylaws were being changed, she would like to add a bylaw for political signs as well and documented her proposal.  She felt that if this were included in the Zoning bylaws, the Zoning Enforcement Officer could enforce this also.  The Select Board requested that both bylaw sign changes be put on the agenda for the next Planning Board meeting.


Reappointment to Cultural Council:  Somehow the reappointment of Carol Lombardo to the Cultural Council was missed during the reappointments and she still wants to be on.  She was unanimously approved for reappointment at tonight’s meeting.


St. Paul’s Church:  Geoff Pigman stated that their association has no preconditions to signing over the church to the town and they are willing to sign the release.  Chris will give Town Counsel the go ahead to draft the release and forward it to the association and to the Episcopal diocese.  After additional discussion, Bill asked if the Select Board could have a documented list of whatever Town Counsel needs to determine the church is marketable and insurable so we can get everything we need up front instead of finding out later we keep missing important things.  The Historical Commission will work to do the RFP for the survey for the church.




Trailer at East Otis Fire House:  If this is not going to be used for the Animal Control Officer, Rich would like to use it for training.


Engine One:  Rich reported that he had Engine One’s first accident pulling it out of the Main Fire House.  The Fire House damage has already been repaired by the Maintenance Dept. and Rich contacted KME who estimates repairs at $3500.  Chris left an accident claim form in the Fire Dept. mailbox that needs to be filled out so we can submit a claim.


Dirt Bike Incident:  The Select Board stated up front that no determination would be made tonight on advice of town counsel, but they would listen to what the public had to say.  The incident occurred from a dirt bike incident on Tolland Road.  The parent of the accused says texting regarding the actions has become inappropriate and is unprofessional.  Things are getting to the point where he feels he needs to acquire legal counsel in this matter.


Gate Island Road Sign:  The tree with the Gate Island sign was removed earlier this year and now there is no way to identify the access road to Gate Island.  Many residents are concerned due to safety reasons.  The property where the tree was located is privately owned and the owner is unwilling to allow a new sign to be put up.  Gate Island residents are worried an ambulance or other emergency vehicle will drive past the access road.  The Select Board said they would talk with Highway and see if there is anything that can be done.



The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis



List of Documents


  1. A copy of Lyn’s email explaining her Political Sign bylaw will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of Lyn’s draft bylaw for Political Signs will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email stating Carol Lombardo’s missing reappointment will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of Zoning’s proposed Sign bylaw changes will be filed with these meeting minutes.