Town of Otis
Select Board Meeting Minutes
June 13, 2017
Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room. It’s being recorded and a quorum is present.
Present: Chair Bill Hiller, Selectman Don Hawley, Selectman Gary Thomas, Chris Morris, Michael Ernst, Terry Gould, Roberta Sarnacki, Kathleen Rider, Larry Gould, Russ Loring, Bill O’Brien Jr., Rich Phair, Dan Hamill, Dave Sarnacki, Chris Bouchard, Sonia Morrison Kobrin
Approval of Minutes: Approval of the May 22, 2017 All Boards and the May 24, 2017 Select Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved as written.
Sign FY2018 Agreement with CET: This is a contract we sign every year with Southern Berkshire Regional Hazardous Household Waste and the letter was once again signed by all three select board members.
Eversource Shared Tractor/Mower Program: Chris presented Derek’s information to the Select Board. This is a program from Eversource for their Municipal Brush Control program where each town leases a tractor/mower for five years and then the host town owns the equipment. The host town is required to share the equipment with specified neighboring towns with the host town having first use rights. Eversource has determined this is Otis’ year to participate in the 5 year lease purchase agreement. Our cost is about $26,000 per year for five years, which is comparable to the town purchasing this equipment outright. Eversource will make a payment equal to the lease payment each year because we are responsible for maintaining mowing around all their equipment in town. Essentially, the town will get the equipment at no cost. Bill okayed the proposal and Don and Gary also approved, so Chris will have a formal contract drawn up for signatures at the next meeting.
Porchlight VNA: The contract to sign up for another year of service came in and it was signed. This has already been budgeted for FY2018.
Speed Limit Signs on W. Center Road: Derek found out the state will let us put up as many signs as we want but we have no authority to change the posted speed limits. We would need to pay for a road speed study in order to change the speed limit. Roberta also noted that the traffic speed sign will be posted there throughout the summer to dissuade speeding in that area. After more discussion Russ determined he did not need additional speed limit signs posted. But he did ask that the traffic sign and/or officers slow the traffic down.
Highway Sign: We are moving forward with the new sign and will send the bill to the driver’s insurance company. We will be installing the sign on the building this time to avoid future repairs.
Fire Chief Resignation: After 35 years with the Fire Department and eight years as Chief, Sandy Pinkham has decided to resign from the Fire Department. Bill read the letter aloud and asked Chris to draft a Letter of Commendation to present to Sandy in the near future.
Agenda Item #4:
Reappointments: The three Select Board members went thru the reappointments with discussion on only one item – Police Chief. Gary’s objection to reappointing Roberta was primarily based upon Fist Bump Fridays at Farmington River School as well as other instances that happened in the past. Gary was opposed to the TV crews filming children without parental consent. Both Rich Phair and Kathleen Rider defended Roberta as Chief and stated how well things have run in town since she was appointed Police Chief. Chris also noted the Fist Bump Friday participation was voluntary and he only received one complaint as opposed to all of the positive responses the school got from townspeople. It was also noted that the Kops ‘N Kids program and the CERT team were two of the many positive influences Roberta had brought to the town, including great response and rapport with both the Fire Dept. and the Rescue Squad. Don abstained from his reappointments, Bill abstained from his reappointments, Roberta was appointed Police Chief by Don and Bill voting yea and Gary voting nay, and all other reappointments were unanimous.
Tree Cutting on Town Property: Conservation heard this complaint and forwarded it to the Select Board because it was out of their jurisdiction. A member of the Brookman Association cut down some trees on town property without asking permission to do so. The Select Board unanimously agreed to have Town Counsel pursue remediation with the individual.
Bills for Sup ‘N Swing Event: Sonia had not received any of the checks for Saturday night’s event yet. Chris has spoken with Karen and Karen will be in Thursday to make certain the checks are ready then.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:08 pm.
Town of Otis
List of Documents
- A copy of the signed CET agreement will be filed with these meeting minutes.
- A copy of the letter from Porchlight VNA and a copy of the signed agreement will be filed with these meeting minutes.
- A copy of the Eversource Municipal Brush Control Program description, a draft of the Shred Mower agreement, and a comparative bid for the same equipment will be filed with these meeting minutes.
- A copy of the note from Derek about the speed limit signs will be filed with these meeting minutes.
- A copy of the Reappointment Name List will be filed with these meeting minutes.