Select Board Meeting Minutes 11/27/2018

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

November 27, 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, Selectman Bill Hiller, Town Counsel Jeremia Pollard, Jim Wilusz, Nate Smith, Vicki Smith, Stephanie McNair, Tom Gecewicz, Chris Tryon, Bill Dyer



Approval of Minutes:  The October 16, 2018 Select Board meeting minutes, the October 22, 2018 All Boards meeting minutes, the October 23, 2018 Select Board meeting minutes, the October 29, 2018 Select Board open meeting minutes were approved as written by Don and Gary with Bill abstaining, and the November 13, 2018 Select Board meeting minutes were approved as written by Bill and Gary with Don abstaining.


Board of Health:  75 North Lake Avenue:  Berkshire Geo-Technology is requesting a well variance on a lot that has already been approved by the Conservation Commission.  The lot currently has no water supply so the new proposed well is 78.6 feet from the leach field.  This new well will need to be tested for potability, and for two years afterward.  No abutters are affected by the new well.  The Select Board requested that the well be tested first for viability, then testing for two years after installation.  Board of Health agreed and the Select Board unanimously approved this plan.

                        Title 5 Penalties:  This was tabled from the October 23, 2018 Select Board meeting.  These were created due to a series of non-compliance issues and the board needed some jurisdiction to pull licenses if things ever got to that point.  Non-criminal dispositions are capped at $300, others at $500 per MGL.  Jeremia was good with the penalty section.  Don asked that the disposal permit have a sign off section on that form so there is no question.  Jim will provide Heather with the revised form.  The Select Board unanimously agreed with the new penalties and the revision to the disposal permit form.


ABCC Liquor Licenses:  Six licenses were presented for signature and all three Select Board members signed all six licenses.  They were for the Otis Poultry Farm, the Knox Trail Inn, Fratelli’s, L&M Auto dba Papa’s, EOS Enterprises dba Katie’s Country Store, and Otis Ridge.


Community Medical Cannabis Assoc. (CMCA – fka CannaSure):  Tom was back to introduce himself and his company and what they are proposing for the Poultry Farm.  He has known the area for over 35 years and has always felt comfortable with this location.  He wants to develop true medical marijuana products.  They are looking at one site in Otis depending upon community approval.  Sharon Williams, a former healthcare industry professional, Tom Gesewicz, a current and former Health Officer in MA, and John Sesenti, a former national president of national health associations working with the CDC and a current key training officer for the NJ Police Academy, are the three principal members of this organization.  They believe the Poultry Farm is centrally located and is perfect for their needs.  They want to grow and manufacture medicinal oils that they have had proven success with in the West (Washington State and Colorado).  They want to continue to sell the store products as they currently do at the farm.  They anticipate it will cost them $11.2 Million for startup costs including real estate, land acquisition, and construction.  There are also land locations nearby the farm that will work well for a solar farm for power and an education center.  They are looking for a letter from the Select Board that the Host Agreement is currently in negotiations, if Town Counsel approves, so they can move forward with their investors by January 1, 2019.  The Select Board unanimously agreed the host agreement was still in negotiations, but both Bill, Gary and Don agreed that legal costs incurred for negotiating the Host Agreement should be split 50/50 with the Town of Otis and CMCA.  The Select Board unanimously agreed to have Town Counsel write a letter saying the Host Agreement is in progress for CMCA’s purposes.  Bill recommended that CMCA have an Otis specific slide for the Community Outreach meeting, which is projected for after the holidays.



Rebecca’s email:  Becky said we should consider monthly reports be posted to website for transparency purposes.  Finance and the Select Boards both felt this might cause more confusion.  She also suggested we issue expense reports biweekly.  Bill felt we only needed Expense Reports quarterly for the first three quarters, then track them monthly.  Gary thought each department should have their Expense Reports monthly.  The Select Board said monthly reports are fine to distribute to the departments, but do not post them to the website.


Vadar Software:  They are working on the budget Chart of Accounts.  Bill wants Finance and Select Board to have final approval on the new Chart of Accounts.


Review and approval of Warrants:  The warrants are on the Selectmen’s table and are available for review.


Executive Session:   By roll call vote at 8:48 pm the Select Board went into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing strategy with respect to litigation.  Don Hawley – yea, Gary Thomas – yea, Bill Hiller – yea.  Executive Session will be closed to reopen and close the open session.


Adjournment:  At 9:25 pm the Select Board by roll call vote adjourned the Executive Session and immediately adjourned the Select Board meeting.  Don Hawley – yea, Gary Thomas – yea, Bill – yea.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary, Town of Otis



List of Documents


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