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Selectmen's meeting 10-22-18

by Mary Greendale
October 23, 2018

Solar Panels on the Fire Station? Fire Chief Cassidy talks with Selectmen at their meeting.

Solar for HFD
Fire Chief Michael Cassidy asked for support from the Board on installing solar panels on the roofs of both the old and new sections of the Central Fire Station to help reduce HFD’s energy costs. The Department would get a guaranteed price for energy, and the solar company would pay for engineering, capital, maintenance, and everything to construct.  There would be no cost to the town and would move Holliston closer to its "green goals." Cassidy noted that he hopes to be a test site for other departments to follow.

The BOS asked about the viability of the roof, which has about another 12 years before needing replacement. Cassidy reported that it’s been checked and appears to be in good condition.

The only hitch is that the provider is Solect Solar. Selectman Jay Marsden was adamant that he would not approve them as a vendor if the work they were expected to do on the Rail Trail has not been completed. Solect is a neighbor on the Trail and has a solar farm that is adjacent. 

Cassidy explained that this company is the only one that can be used and has been state approved through the Power Options program. Marsden asked Town Administrator Jeff Ritter to confirm that everything was done on the Trail, because “I have zero interest in this vendor if they have been unable to bring the other project to completion.”

Encroachments on Rail Trail
Rail Trail Committee members Ken Henderson and Robert Weidknecht met with BOS to discuss their request for a Revolving Account, which appears on the TownMeeting warrant. They explained that there are eight parcels along the Trail where property owners have encroached on what is now Town Property. The Committee is trying to find reasonable accommodations that can ensure safety on the Trail without needlessly harming the businesses or landowners.

They are hoping to provide annually renewable licenses to allow people to remain on the Town property with whatever physical adjustments are needed in exchange for a fee . The Committee hopes that the fees would generate enough revenue to maintain the Trail in the years ahead, and they would like the fees to be placed in a Revolving Account.

Selectmen agreed in principle but said they need more facts and numbers to make a final decision. Marsden noted that some abutters might not agree with the fee when they get a number.  Cronin urged Henderson to get the licenses in place as soon as possible to have solid numbers. Ahronian asked for maintenance number projections that do not so heavily rely on volunteers, which has been the case historically.

The BOS will move to Indefinitely Postpone the request for a Revolving Fund at Town Meeting. Selectmen told Weidknecht and Henderson to consult with Town Counsel through Jeff Ritter, and John Cronin urged them to get the licenses in place as soon as possible even if funds just go into the General Fund for now.

Lincoln Liquors
Located in Village Plaza, 1566 Washington Street owner advised the Selectmen that he would be renting two adjacent retail units in the Plaza and expanding its footprint from 1250 square feet to 3,700.  The units became available when The Happy Retriever relocated to Summer Street. There were no relevant violations by the establishment, and the BOS supported the change subject to approval from the Building Inspector of all improvements and modifications.

Evergreen Square 
The Selectmen agreed to move the street acceptance for Evergreen Square forward at Town Meeting for final acceptance as public ways. The DPW Director Sean Reese had signed off already. The Town will continue to hold a $10,000 bond for a shared driveway that accesses two “estate lots” still under construction.

 

 

 

 

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Comments (2)

I am greatly supportive of Jay Marsden's position on working with Solect Solar on the panels for the fire station. The unfinished parking lot area abutting the rail trail & solar farm had no work done all year. Somehow we lost the leverage to have them finish the project before operating the solar farm, and now it sits unfinished. We can use Solect when they act on past promises they made, but not before. (You know... fool me once, shame on you: fool me twice, shame on me)

- Ed Daniels | 10/23/18 9:54 PM

Good news and good start for our environment. Thank You.

- Jean Morrissey | 10/23/18 1:34 PM

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