Select Board Meeting Minutes 09/22/2020

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Select Board Meeting Minutes

Otis Town Hall

Conference Room

September 22, 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: Chair Bill Hiller, Selectmen Garry Thomas, Selectmen Larry Southard, Heather Morgan, Brandi Page, goetcmo, k.Petschauer, William Taft, Diane Provenz, Candy Chaffee, Dana, Chris, Jamie, Jen Catolone, Kathy Couch, Leigha Chaffee, Lyn O’Brien, Mike, Phil Magovern, Aimee Magovern, Patricia Richard, Roberta Sarnacki, Sonia Morrison, Terry Gould, Robin Peterson, Phil Magovern, James Wilusz, Jim Crandall, Jeffrey Gamelli,   (26 people total)


Call to Order

7:00 PM


Approval of Select Board Minutes from September 8, 2020

Minutes were unanimously approved


Review and Approval of Warrants


Board of Health, Variance 8 & 18 Drive D

James Wilusz from the Otis Board of Health spoke regarding variance 8 and 18 Drive D.  He said that there are no variance issues although the well must be tested.  The system is a pretreatment system and it is more than 100 feet from anyone else’s well. The Board unanimously agreed to approve the plans.


Eversource Pole Hearing, North Blandford Rd

  1. Petschauer spoke regarding the need to install two poles to accommodate the installation of a voltage regulator platform. The paper work for the pole hearing was not submitted. It was an oversight.  The two poles have already been installed.  William Taft, the home owner whose land the poles were installed on, has written a letter to the town explaining the damage Eversource has done to his property.  According to William Taft the site was left a mess.  Some trees were trimmed without their permission and trees were removed and left on the ground. Eversource also removed part of their bank.  The bank is already washing out.  The homeowner is also having issues with their insurance company because the wires are too low and can be reached from the bank.  Bill would like to table the petition and send the letter to Eversource.  The home owner’s letter will go to K. Petschauer and he will get it to the right people.  Brandi will send a letter and the pictures to Wagner Tech.  All agreed to table the pole hearing..


Access to St. Paul’s waiver

Jeremia suggested not allowing a waiver because the Town is aware the building is unsafe.  Sonia feels that the building is safe enough and that the engineer’s report said that it is not safe for occupancy but didn’t mention a problem with a few people accessing the building.  Diane referred to the March 2018 engineer’s report.  Sonia would like the Select Board to talk to Larry Gould regarding the safety of the building and she would like to be present for that meeting.  Diane mentioned the Historical Commission would like to proceed with stabilizing the building and she is concerned that the architects will not be allowed into the building.  Sonia is also requesting that the lawn be mowed.  Jim Crandall is concerned the steeple is moving and people may be injured by falling debris.  Diane suggested tabling the discussion until she can make some phone calls to see if there is a waiver that will work.  Jim Crandall is willing to take a video of the inside of St. Paul’s for the Historical Commission.  Larry would like to hear about the process of how the Historical Commission plans to move forward.  Sonia will put something in writing.  Diane expressed that she would still like a subcommittee.  Bill is willing to come to another Historical Commission meeting.  Discussion tabled until the next meeting.



Appointment of Robin Peterson to the ZBA Board, Anthony Middleton as an Inspector/Deputy Clerk, Kenneth Mayer and Katja Mayer as poll workers.

The Board of Selectmen unanimously agreed to appoint Robin Peterson, Anthony Middleton, Kenneth Mayer and Katja Mayer.


Food Pantry

Terry Gould mentioned that they had 12 people for the Food Pantry and people have been making donations of food.  Brandi will bring the food into town hall if the doorbell is rung.  The Food Pantry will be open on Saturdays 10 AM until noon for food drop off.  They still may need a rolling shelf.  Larry mentioned that a rolling shelf can cost anywhere from $80 to $300.  He will measure the space and look into it.  Brandi would like permission to buy a bear proof food box for outside of town hall.  She feels the town could get reimbursement through the Cares Act. The COA has also offered to purchase it.  It was mentioned that it needs to be assessed if the box should be bolted down.  The Select Board gave Brandi the permission to purchase the bear proof box.



The Selectmen unanimously agreed to have Halloween on Friday October 30th.  Sonia expressed concern over traditional tricks and treating due to Covid CDC recommendations.  Brandi proposed a drive through one way trunk and treat behind Town Hall.  Bill suggested asking people to give the food pantry a donation.  Larry thinks it should be kept simple.


Town Reimbursement Policy

The Otis town Treasurer requested to have a formal reimbursement policy.  Bill Hiller suggested some modifications.  Under policy, the vendors should be specified, ie Amazon, Quill etc.  Larry suggested adding all expenditures must be approved by supervisor


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

Naming Rites were brought up for St. Paul’s church by the Historical Commission..  The Historical Commission would like approval to assign value to the naming opportunities.   Major donation would be the naming of the building.  Other naming opportunities will include a meditation garden including a circle of bricks. Zero maintenance will be involved.  The Select Board unanimously agreed to accept $100,000 for naming the building.  Diane would like a letter stating that the Historical Commission has the permission to assign value to the naming opportunities.  Diane would also like to have something put up in town hall that has the names of donors on it.  All agreed if Jeremia agrees with it.


Brandi mentioned that Verizon has a new tower in Monterey that will offer more coverage.


Larry Southard mentioned changing the transfer station hours during the fall and winter.  Jim Crandall is not in favor of changing the hours because there are people that work and they need to use the transfer station at night,







Respectfully submitted by,

Heather Morgan

Selectmen Secretary, Town of Otis


List of Documents

Meeting Minutes Draft 9/22/2020

Appointment application

North Blandford Road Pole Hearing

Reimbursement Policy

Letter from William C. and Sara L. Taft

Email from Jeremia Pollard regarding St. Paul’s Church