Select Board Meeting Minutes 11/28/2017

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

November 28, 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, Sonia Morrison, Larry Gould, Mary Adams, Bill O’Brien Jr., Mike O’Brien, Bill O’Brien Sr., John O’Brien, Ray Damours Jim Wilusz, Derek Poirier, Ilona Packie, Ken Packie, Cindy Flint-Ragusa, Tom Ragusa, Chris Tryon



Approval of Minutes:  The November 14, 2017 Select Board meeting minutes were approved as written by Bill and Gary with Don abstaining.


Tax Classification Hearing:  The Public Notice legal ad was not published in the paper therefore we cannot hold the hearing.  This will be rescheduled for Dec. 12, 2017.


Board of Health:  814 Tolland Road:  This is a passing Title 5 but no one seems to have a record of it.  No pretreat system is in the design because only the owner’s well is affected at 64.98 feet per the design.  So a leach field was designed instead for a three bedroom home.  If the existing tank has been pulled, it needs to be certified.  Also, the home’s location was moved, which is not reflected in this design, and the well pump is now accessed from within the home via a panel in case the pump needs to be replaced.  It was decided that a new plan needs to be redone because the house has been moved.  The owner’s well needs to be tested before any permits can be issued.  The owner’s well will also need to be tested for three years.  This is a plan upgrade and the Select Board agreed to the new design and asked Jim to write up the condition letter.

Title 5 Policy Amendment:  Jim asked to add the following to the existing Title 5 policy:  “Heather will make certain Conservation, the Building Inspector, and the Board of Health will all get approved plan copies with a time stamp”.  This request was unanimously agreed upon by the Select Board.


Appoint Alternate to Historical Commission:  The Select Board unanimously appointed Thom as an Alternate to the Historical Commission.  In the meantime, there has been a resignation to this commission, so they may have him fill the full position if he so wishes.


Discontinuing Maintenance of Roads:  Derek had five roads that the town has not maintained but they’ve never been taken off the roads list.  Derek would like to have a hearing for discontinuance of maintenance: all of Miner Road which we currently maintain (3270 feet), old Stebbins Road Extension which has two sections we’ve never maintained (4110 feet and 1217 feet), Tolland Road past the air force beach through the State Forest (2635 feet) which is after the last house, Miller Swamp Road (739 feet to Blandford line), and Witter Road (316.8 feet off Route 8).  Discontinuing Maintenance will keep all accesses as public ways.  The Select Board will schedule a Public Hearing on this for January 23, 2018 in order to give the town time to advertise for two weeks and notify abutters.


Approval of Liquor Licenses:  All liquor licenses were presented to the Board and all documents were signed by all three Board members.




Old Police Cruiser:  Bill would like to send the old cruiser up to Larry’s to see what is wrong with it and how much it will cost to get it fixed.  Depending upon the results we may decide to keep it instead of putting it out to bid.  The Animal Control Officer may be able to use it.  If it isn’t going to be used every day, it’s going to deteriorate quickly.  The Board unanimously agreed to have it looked over at Larry’s.


December All Boards and Select Board meetings:  The All Boards meeting falls on Christmas night and the Select Board meeting falls the night after.  The Select Board unanimously agreed to cancel both meetings unless something urgent comes up.


Vacation Issue:  With the ongoing projects in town, the Building Inspector has not been able to take any vacation this year.  Every time he tries to take time, something comes up with one of the projects.  He has four weeks of vacation and carried over five days.  The Select Board decided to grant him a one-time exception:  He will take two weeks before the end of the year, he will be allowed to roll over two weeks, and he will be paid for a week.  He has to use at least three weeks of vacation next year.


Condemnation of Property:  Gary asked about the procedure to condemn property and the Building Inspector responded:  Someone files a written complaint, the Building Inspector visits the site and does an assessment.  If anything is found unsafe, the Inspector writes up a Notice of Condition or condemns the building and the owners have 24 hours to make the building safe or secure an unsafe building with fencing or take it down.  If the owner does not respond in 24 hours, it becomes the town’s responsibility to make it safe or tear the building down.  This can become very expensive.



It was announced the Holiday Party is scheduled for Dec. 15th at 6:00 pm and notices had been distributed.  Anyone planning to attend needed to contact Heather by December 4th.



The meeting was adjourned at 7:51 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis



List of Documents


  1. A copy of the Appointment Application for the Alternate for the Historical Commission will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email stating Lauretta Harris’ appointment was never sworn in per her choice will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the process to Discontinue Road Maintenance and maps of the locations under question will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the 2018 Select Board meeting dates, the 2018 All Boards meeting dates, and the 2018 Town Holidays will be filed with these meeting minutes.