Selectboard Meeting Minutes 07/11/2017

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

July 11, 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, Roberta Sarnacki, Russ Loring, Sonia Morrison, Nancy Sweatland Pigman, Pat Constantino, Eve Kummel, Frank Tolopko, Arlene Tolopko, Rich Vinette, Lori Mahoney, Diane Dyer, Chris Tryon, Lynn Pyenson, Kathy Carroll, Dennis Stempel, Thom Garvey, Diane Provenz, Andrew Namiot, Jim Wilusz, Larry Gould



Approval of Minutes:  Approval of the June 26, 2017 All Boards and the June 27, 2017 Select Board meeting minutes were approved as written by Bill and Don, with Gary abstaining for both.


Board of Health:  47 North Lake Ave was continued from the last meeting.  Chris Tryon made some changes to the plan per the Agent’s request.  The new design gained an additional 10 feet of distance and has a better appearance.  There is definitely a water drainage issue that was plugged.  The runoff from this site is minimal, but the neighbors in the association should work together to resolve the runoff issue.  Well testing will be done per the usual standard for pretreat systems:  pretest and then testing again for two successive years.  The Select Board unanimously approved the revised design.

                        1898 Monterey Road  original plan called for tanks to be too close to well.  Revision by Chris increased the setback distance for the owner’s well.  Health Agent is again requesting standard well testing on owners well for pretest and two years thereafter.  The Select Board unanimously approved this redesign.

                        189 Brookman Drive is another tight lot and designer was asked to move the tank locations closer to the abutters property and further away from the reservoir to give more ground water absorption area.  The Select Board unanimously agreed to this redesign.


Rich Vinette needs to discuss 1892 North Main Road with Board:  Rich realized he was in conflict due to his firm, Hannon Lerner, being of counsel to the town as well as the individual involved with this lien release request.  He will submit a letter of withdrawal and will ask the land owner to represent herself in this matter.  Chris also explained the basic background in this program.  It is an old county program that is at least twenty years old and she is asking that the Board forgive the lien.  The town does have precedence for doing this in the past.  Because the county was disbanded by the state, there is no entity to pay the remaining balance to.  Releasing the lien on this property will not affect the town either way monetarily.  The Select Board unanimously agreed to grant the forgiving of the lien.


Eversource Shared Tractor/Mower Program:  Chris presented Derek’s information to the Select Board.  Derek is on vacation this week and Chris has not gotten the final figures from him so this will be continued to the next meeting.


St. Paul’s Church:  Bill spoke with Larry and Chris and brought Don and Gary up to speed with this.  Bill would like to have the Historical Commission do all the research, the quoting, and bring it back to the Select Board.  Sonia questioned if this was the “will of the people” and the town should do that prior to the Historical Commission getting this directive from the Select Board.  Chris clarified that per Town Counsel at the Annual Town Meeting, the “people” voted to accept the church provided that Town Counsel certifies the marketable and insurable title of the church and the Select Board is asking the Historical Commission to proceed with researching the information we need to determine the marketability and insurability of this property.  Town Counsel has requested the structural study in order to determine the marketability and insurability of the building.  Sonia also stated that Chris Vreeland had requested that St. Paul’s Church be torn down.  Chris and the Select Board corrected this statement saying the building had been posted to be closed to access because it was unsafe for public use as it is and the town was legally required to post this notice, but that once it is determined what repairs need to be made and are completed, the building will be reopened and NOT torn down.  Sonia believed this was putting the cart before the horse.  Diane Provenz recalled from the Annual Town Meeting that the townspeople also voted to allocate $10,000 for the town to do due diligence on a basic assessment of the repair needs of the building and she believed we should move forward with this as the Select Board is requesting. Bill reiterated that the title to the church has multiple claims and before the town takes ownership, we need clean title to the church.  This means we need signoff from the Episcopal diocese, and from the Executive Committee of St. Paul’s, and this information has been relayed to Jeff Pigman. Diane noted that right now the Historical Commission is brand new and probably does not have sufficient manpower and would like additional support.  Gary suggested we establish a separate committee to do some of this legwork under the auspices of the Historical Commission.  Chris agreed Gary’s suggestion was good and the committee should have at least one person from Historical and Gary volunteered to represent the Select Board.  The Select Board reiterated that we want to move forward with this and are not against acquiring the church.  Sonia insisted this was not what discussed at the Annual Town meeting and got ahold of a copy of the minutes from that meeting.  She read the minutes and publicly apologized to the Select Board members for misinterpreting the minutes and stating falsehoods about spending the $10,000 that was voted on during the Annual Town Meeting.  Lynn Pyenson then questioned the qualifications of Chris Vreeland and was informed he was a qualified engineer and has done several structural studies for the town.  There was additional discussion about the separate committee.  Bill made a motion to have the Historical Commission be the lead on the research for St. Paul’s Church and work with the volunteers to collect information and get back to the Select Board.  The motion was seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.





Locks for guns:  The Library Museum has several rifles, muskets, and guns on display in cases and have no locks for the cases.  The Library wants them checked that they will not hurt anyone and wants a recommendation for the best way to safely store them and still allow them to be on view.


Library Fair:  The fair was very successful even though we had a miscommunication with traffic control.  Steve Graves took responsibility for the miscommunication.


Boats and Life Jackets left on Beach:  There was new vandalism done to the Town Beach.  Jim Crandall is looking into this.


Notes for Third Year of Borrowing for Fire Truck:  Karen needed the Select Board to sign on five separate sheets to move forward with borrowing for the truck.  All three Select Board members signed in all the appropriate places.


Diane Provenz thanked the Select Board for being so far ahead of the other towns with both the wind turbine and broadband.  So many of our surrounding towns are still trying to figure out what direction to go in.






The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis




List of Documents


  1. A copy of Richard Vinette’s Lien Release letter and recorded deed for 1892 North Main Road will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email correspondence from Steve Graves regarding the Otis Library Fair police coverage will be filed with these meeting minutes.