Select Board Meeting Minutes 10/23/2018

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

October 23, 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 Gary Thomas, Town Administrator Becky Stone, Stephen Nelson, Larry Gould, Jeff Gamelli Jr., Terry Cook-Visser, Patricia Strauch, Stephanie McNair, Terry Gould, Michael Ernst, Steve Hofer, Jim Wilusz, Peter Kolodziej, Sonia Morrison, Chris Tryon, Kathy Adams, Annemarie Besancon, Tom Gecewicz, Charlie Farris, Lisa D’Orazio



Approval of Minutes:  The September 25, 2018 Select Board meeting minutes and the October 9, 2018 Select Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved as written.


Board of Health:  14 Phelps Road:  Craig Tighe is requesting a Title 5 upgrade on a tight lot that has already been approved by the Conservation Commission.  It is a proposed jet bat pretreatment system to a pump chamber to a traditional vent system.  This design is a 22% reduction in size.  There is a shared well that is within 70.8 feet and a letter from the shared owners at 20 Phelps Road was positively in favor of this upgrade.  The Select Board requested that this upgrade have the well tested first for viability, then testing for two years after installation with a routine maintenance contract on the septic system.  Board of Health agreed and the Select Board unanimously approved this plan.

                        64 Phelps Road:  Gary Boulet is proposing a fast system to the pump chamber for another tight lot.  This design is a reduction of 42%.  Both the owner’s and the abutter’s wells are outside of 50 feet, but within 100 feet of the layout.  The Select Board requested both wells first be tested for viability, then both wells have same requirements for the post-installation well testing and maintenance contract as stated above.  Board of Health agent agreed and the plan was unanimously approved.

142 Kibbe Road:  Steve Nelson is the designer for Steve Hofer.  This is a final plan for a four bedroom home and still needs to go before Conservation.  This is a final plan with a jet bat system that will leave the existing well where it is presently located and will eliminate a leaching pit.  This design should give them a 44% reduction in leach field area.  This will give the existing owner’s well a 50 foot setback from the system and only the owner’s well will require a variance.  They plan to remove the unsuitable leach field material and replace with a proper sand bed.  The designer also noted this will require the same well testing and maintenance contract as required above.  The Select Board unanimously approved this final plan.

Tobacco Regulations:  Jim Wilusz presented a draft with revisions and updated language.  The last revision was approved in 1999 and the laws and language have changed considerably.  If the Select Board passes the revisions before the end of the year, it will give standard regulations for the retailers to follow.  Jim and the Select Board agreed to a Public Hearing to be scheduled for December 11, 2018.

Title 5 Penalties:  This was tabled to the November 13, 2018 Select Board meeting.


Appointments:  Three appointments were made.  RoseAnn DeRupo was unanimously appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals as an Alternate, and Celeste Watman and Tom Ragusa were both unanimously appointed as Historical Commission Alternates by the Select Board.


Dept. of Conservation & Recreation re: Tolland Road:  DCR notified Becky the day of the meeting that they would not be coming to the meeting and did not plan to reschedule.


Erbe Building Lease Renewal:  The updated lease agreement was presented to the Select Board who reviewed it and signed it as presented.  Lisa and Becky will present the new lease to the tenant.


Highway Labor:   Derek was recommending an increase for his most recent hire because that person had successfully completed their probation and was a good employee.  This potentiality had been built in to the approved budget for labor for FY2019.  The Select Board unanimously approved a pay increase to $19.00 per hour for this employee.


Police Dept. Staffing:  This discussion was requested to be postponed due to a time conflict.


Planning Board:  Terry Cook had some questions the Planning Board would like answered.  One was is anyone else interested in coming into town for marijuana and where are we with the first company inquiry.  Becky has not heard any further information from Bay State Canna Holdings (the first inquiry) and a realtor informally notified her they had dropped out of considering Otis.


CannaSure Cannabis:  Tom Gecewicz came to the town of Otis to propose a growing facility, a manufacturing facility, and a dispensary for medical marijuana and plans to locate the facility on the grounds of the Otis Poultry Farm.  They want to transform the back buildings and keep the front buildings in use as they currently are.  They came to the town first, before going to the state, because they want the townspeople to know they have a commitment they plan to keep with us and want to be a good neighbor.  They want to bring jobs and revenue to our community with a medical marijuana facility.  They are comprised of cannabis and health care executives, including health care providers, who are looking to manufacture oils for medical use.  They are planning to change their name to Medical Cannabis Project and David Gawitt is their head grower.  David has 30 years in this industry.  Tom is a certified Health Officer in Massachusetts and has been a health officer for 42 years.  Their group includes growers, manufacturers, and seed growers.  Don Hawley made the motion the Town of Otis enter into a Host Agreement with this company, Gary seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.






OML Complaint:  Becky received notice on October 23, 2018 of an Open Meeting Law violation complaint dated October 18, 2018 for the Select Board meeting of October 16, 2018.  This complaint has been filed with the Attorney General’s office.  The Board reviewed the complaint at the 10/23/18 Board meeting and reviewed the alleged violation.  The Town Administrator will reply to the complainant.


Debit/Credit Card:  Becky asked if this was being put in place, and if so did we have a policy in place for how this is to be used?  Becky also asked if the Dept. of Revenue was okay with this.  Don and Gary both agreed, if we are able to do this with DOR’s okay, we should do so and it should remain under Becky’s control.




The Select Board unanimously adjourned the meeting at 8:20 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary, Town of Otis



List of Documents


  1. A copy of the revised Tobacco Regulations will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the Amendments to State Tobacco Laws will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email and draft Title 5 Inspection penalties will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the three appointment application requests will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email requesting a pay raise for a Highway employee will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email from Stephanie McNair and a write up of CannaSure Cannabis will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the letter of consideration from CannaSure Cannabis will be filed with these meeting minutes.