Selectboard Meeting Minutes
Otis Town Hall
Tuesday, August 23, 2022, at 6:30 PM
This meeting will be held in person at the location provided on this notice. Members of the public are welcome to attend. A remote option is offered via zoom with the link provided below.
Please note that while an option for remote participation is being provided as a courtesy, the meeting will not be suspended or terminated if technological problems interrupt the virtual broadcast, unless otherwise required by law. Anyone with interest in any specific item should plan in person attendance.
Time: Aug 23, 2022 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Attendance: Gary Thomas, Terry Gould-Acting Chair, Brandi Page, Celeste Watman, Derek Poirier, Sandy Pinkham, Lyn & Ashley O’Brien, Diane Dyer, Tammy Weidhaas, & Sue Brofman. On Zoom- Ann O’Donnell, 4133443045 & Geoff.
Call to Order: 6:30 PM
Approval of Minutes: The minutes from 8/04 as written, 8/09 as written & 8/09 as amended.
September Primary: Lyn asked the Board to approve paying the police who serve as Constables for the election $25-27 per hour based on what they are currently making. It has been awhile since the rate went up. Terry made a motion to set it at $27.00, Gary seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Terry made a motion to appoint Brandi Page and Angelina Dubourg as election workers. Gary seconded, motion passed unanimously.
Highway Recruitment: The Board discussed recruitment ideas for the Highway Department. Terry asked if subcontracting out is an option. The Town had previously done that several years ago. Derek stated Mass DOT pays $32 to start and Windsor had a special town meeting to start paying Highway workers $30 per hour to hopefully get some interest. Celeste asked if we had thought of different ways to advertise. We stated that we currently run an ad, put it on the website and social media. The Board agreed to continue advertising and to also put out for a seasonal plow person and see what interest we get. Derek is concerned in possibly responding to emergency situations with only one person.
Request to rename a portion of Stebbins Rd: Ken and Ilona Packie had requested the Town consider renaming the Dimmock Road portion of Stebbins a new name to alleviate the confusion with delivery and directions that continues to send people over Ed Jones Road. The two ends of Stebbins do not connect and as the Packie’s have been building, it has been a struggle. They worry that if emergency medical services are ever needed there would be confusion or a dely. Brandi had asked the Police, Fire & Rescue if they had ever experienced an issue and what the departments concerns on the matter are. Renaming a portion of the Road is involved and would require a public hearing where all abutters and stakeholders would need to be notified. Terry spoke to say that she was not in favor of renaming the road section and wanted to fully explore that all GPS reporting had been done. The Packie’s disagreed. Terry and Gary agreed to double check and revisit this issue after they had done some more homework.
Paving: Derek has two projects at the top of his list for paving. Reservoir Road between Katie’s and West Shore and a 1.5 mile section of Algerie. Reservoir requires the changing out of roughly 10 culverts. With only one person on his crew he currently doesn’t have the capacity to take on replacing the culverts. He recommends paving the worst section of Algerie this fall. Terry was in favor of paving 1.5 miles Algerie and getting quotes to have the culvert work done by a contractor. Terry made a motion to move forward with paving Algerie and explore having the culverts on Reservoir done. Gary seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Surplus: The Highway department has a surplus 2009 GMC with plow. Also a broom and dozer blade. All three items are to be posted on municibid.
Personnel Policy Updates: Some items have been identified that need to be updated in the personnel policy. The Board set a procedure for reviewing and accepting updates to the policy. The Board will review material and begin discussion at their next meeting.
Review & Approval of Warrants: Payroll and vendor warrants are on the table for signature.
Not Anticipated: Brandi wanted to say what a great job Lyn has been doing. The parameters and work load in regard to voting has been changing daily and Lyn has navigated it so well. Diane Dyer asked for clarification on the logging and if the Town is planning to interview for a Recreation Director. She also wanted to make sure none of the items we have declared surplus are from Recreation. It was confirmed we have no plans to interview at this time and that the surplus items are from Highway. Sandy Pinkham was in to find out why the Highway used larger material the shoulder of Judd Road. Derek said it was to prevent washing out. Sandy wants smaller material so he and neighbors can mow to the roadside edge. Derek isn’t going to replace what is there but he said if homeowners fill in with smaller material his guys won’t disturb it. Sue Brofman asked what the plans for Harmony Hall were. Gary stated that he felt it was a larger decision than the board wanted to make and that it might be a question at the next annual town meeting for the voters to decide. Sue asked if we had money to start design or plans for the building. Brandi stated no that when we previously asked the voters for money for that purpose they voted it down.