Select Board Meeting Minutes
Otis Town Hall
November 24, 2020
*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.
Attendance: Select Board Chair Bill Hiller, Selectmen Larry Southard, Selectmen Gary Thomas, Heather Morgan, Brandi Page, Diane Provenz, Jim Wilusz, Lyn Obrien, Terry Gould, Mike Kulig, Sonia Morrison and Jeremia Pollard
Call to Order
Approval of Select Board Minutes from November 10, 2020
Minutes from November 10th were unanimously approved.
Review and Approval of Warrants
On desk for review.
Board of Health Tight Tank Variance 1004 Reservoir Road
The current tank needs to be replaced. The property also requires a well. They currently draw water off the lake. Bill pointed out this is a very small lot and they have limited space to work with. The tight tank is within 30 feet and the abutters have been notified. A conventional system cannot be installed because of the lot size. It was recommended the well be tested for two years in a row. The well will be close to the road and where the property owner’s park so it was felt it should be protected from plows. The property is for seasonal use only. Mike Kulig reviewed the footage and the well is to be shifted over five feet to give a little more room from the parking area. The Select Board unanimously approved.
Appointment for Finance Committee
There is currently one applicant. Brandi would like to wait to see if there is anyone else interested. All agreed to table it.
Waste Hauling Contract
Brandi and Jim had worked through the contract changes with Waste Management and were happy with the final draft. The agreement had gone to Jeremiah for approval. Bill needs to print, sign, scan and return to Brandi. The Board unanimously agreed.
St. Paul’s Donation Agreement
Jeremia Pollard read paragraph 7 of the agreement. There were questions regarding the last line. Bill feels the agreement is between the Otis Preservation Trust and the donor so there was discussion on why the Town needs to be involved at this particular agreement and what the Town’s resulting liability is. Bill would like the liability taken out of the contract. Gary asked if transferring ownership of the building to the Otis Preservation Trust might be a better solution and if it would require Town Meeting approval. Diane explained that Charles will be giving $50,000 and he will be giving an additional 50,000 to have his name on the building for at least 50 years, the second 50,000 contingent upon additional fund raising. Bill is good if the Otis Preservation Trust takes responsibility for any funds that need to be returned as a result of failure to raise the additional money per the agreement. The Otis Preservation Trust will have to agree to hold $50,000 until the fund raising effort is sufficient so the Town will be covered. The current agreement will be left as is and Jeremia will draft a memorandum to add stating the Preservation Trust will hold the $50,000. All Select Board members agreed.
Town Hall Hours
Due to the rise in cases the Select Board agreed to close town hall to the public until further notice. A robo call will be going out. A tent and table will be set up outside for people to pick up their food from the Food Pantry. The Board agreed.
Business License Fees
The Select Board agreed the license fees are very reasonable and they ultimately decided not to lower any this year as relief from the virus. The question of if the fees should be increased was brought up. It’s important to note that some business may have multiple licenses increasing their total fees. The fees have not been adjusted in a long time. After the first of the year the Board may want to look to see what other towns are charging.
Any topics not reasonably anticipated by the Chair at the time of the original posting.
Jim Wilusz mentioned a new septic system for a lot on Vine Street. There is no variance request, so they are all set.
There was another complaint about an employee in Katie’s not wearing a mask. Larry Southard recused from this topic of discussion. The owner of Katie’s has been made aware she can be fined $300 if the non-compliance continues. Brandi received a complaint over the phone and two members of the Board witnessed the employee not wearing a mask. Jim Wilusz suggested the town may want to do more than simply fine the business if it continues. Such penalty could include license suspension and/or possible closure. Jim is suggesting progressive discipline. The Board agreed to assess a fine of 300.00. Katie’s will be notified with the appropriate form.
Diane wanted to know when the steeple repair was going to be started. John Field has offered to come up with his bucket truck so we can fix the board. Bill said that if it ends up being out too far we will hire a lift.