Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Otis Town Hall
Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at 6:30 PM
This meeting is being conducted remotely through Zoom.
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 are kept for the sole purpose of drafting minutes and are available by request.
Time: Apr 12, 2022 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Attendance: Chair Larry Southard, Gary Thomas, Terry Gould, Brandi Page, Celeste Watman, Amy Golden, Candy Chaffee, Tanya Hawley, Lyn O’Brien, Arlene & Frank Tolopko, Charlene Auger, Ken Pettibone, Nick Beauchemin & Laurie Laport. On Zoom- 14132504689, 14133866120, 81623871179, ann odonnell, Betsy Gallup, Brenda W, Cody Gallup, Cody’s iPhone, Dave, Fred Ryon, Heidi Johnstone, iPhonelauren, Jeffrey Dressler, John Weldon, Kait Gallup, Kris McDonough, Lauren Harrison, Nick, Phil Magovern, Ralph Huber, Suzanne Smiley
Call to Order: 6:30 PM
Approval of Minutes: The minutes from Mar 22, 2022 were approved as written. Gary asked for clarification on a name difference.
Appointments: Kris requested the Board appoint Ken Pettibone, Charlene Auger & Nick Beauchemin as probationary part time police officers to increase staffing. He gave a brief background on each officer and asked they be appointed with a probationary period that ends June 30th. Larry made a motion they appoint all three officers, Gary seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
DCR land Acquisition: Gary read aloud the required notice and waiver statement for the record. There was no discussion. Larry made a motion to approve, Gary seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Berkshire Bank Branch: Larry stated that this was put on the agenda because residents have been concerned about the ongoing closure of the Otis branch. Amy Golden from Berkshire Bank spoke to update the Board that they are hoping to reopen around Memorial Day. They have been experiencing staffing shortages and are recruiting to get our branch staffed and reopened. She stated calls to the Otis branch are rerouting to the main branch so calls are being handled.
5k/10k Event: Candy Chaffee had presented the information and route for a 5k/10k event planned for July 9th to raise funds for the Smile Like Jack memorial fund. Berkshire Running Center is handling the event. Candy had already talked with Kris (Police) and Rich (Fire) and Chris Bouchard is helping with the DOT permitting. They are hoping to make it an annual event. Larry made a motion to approve, Terry seconded and passed unanimously.
Wireless Communication Bylaw: The Board reviewed the latest draft sent from the Planning Board. Terry felt it cleaned up a lot of the redundancy and looked good. Larry asked if it incorporated the edits Larry Gould had requested. It was confirmed Larry had attended the planning meeting and that the draft incorporated his edits. Larry made a motion to approve, Gary seconded and motion passed unanimously. The approved draft will then go back to the Planning Board for them to hold a public hearing.
Reservoir Road Condition: Jim Fink was not in attendance but had asked for this to be on the agenda. The Board took the opportunity to say they have included work to a portion of Reservoir Road in the upcoming town meeting warrant.
Library Grant Update: Brandi updated that Shutesbury had been chosen for the MBLC pilot grant for new library construction. The MBLC does want us to pass the required funding article in the event Shutesbury voters fail to pass their funding. During our previous budget meeting there was discussion of the Erbe house. The intent with the library opportunity was to take down the housee and ready the site for future construction. The Board felt the Erbe house had served the Town well in different ways and that the site has potential for something in the future if not a library. Larry made a motion to proceed with demolition of the building, Terry seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Dogs: Lyn O’Brien asked to move the deadline for the dog licenses to March 1st. She felt it would tighten up the timeline and streamline to process for her department. The Board had no problem with this. Larry made a motion to change the deadline to March 1st, motion seconded and passed. There was discussion of allowing dogs at the Town Hall playground and having it posted for owners to clean up after them. Larry said there may be concern with children playing there and dogs being allowed as well. Lyn stated there is interest in a designated dog park. Larry made a motion that we revisit this a later date. Motion seconded and passed unanimously.
Review & Approval of Warrants: Payroll and vendor warrants are on the table for signature.
Not Anticipated: Laurie Larpport asked for an update on the Town owned vacant house across form her property. The Board stated they would again follow up with the Treasurer.
Adjournment: 7:21 PM
Approved as amended May 10, 2022