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Busy Meeting for the Select Board

by Matt Ristaino
August 6, 2019

The Select Board heard a presentation from Good Chemistry, a cannabis grower and distributor, at its meeting Monday night. Good Chemistry is seeking to open a new marijuana cultivation facility in Holliston at 390 Hopping Brook Park.

Meg Collins of Good Chemistry gave a presentation to the Board outlining the company’s values, philosophies, and operations. Collins said that Good Chemistry already operates a cultivation facility in Bellingham and a dispensary in Worcester, and operates a number of facilities in Colorado as well.

Collins said that Good Chemistry anticipates that its new facility would create at least 70 new jobs here in Holliston, ranging from tending to and harvesting the plants to packaging and labeling.

Meg Collins of Good Chemistry presents to the Board.

She also emphasized Good Chemistry’s desire to be heavily involved in the community.

“We are very active in the communities in which we do business,” said Collins. “We want to know what the community’s needs and wants are and help in any way that we can.”

The Select Board voted to sign a letter of non-opposition to Good Chemistry’s business plan in Holliston, and a Host Community Agreement will be drawn up.

Board member Tina Hein said after the presentation that she has concerns about the impact that the marijuana cultivation industry has on the town’s water supply. John Cronin responded, saying he once had the same concerns, but after seeing the water bills from cultivators in town, he is no longer worried.

Left to right: Town Administrator Jeff Ritter, Board members John Cronin, Mark Ahronian, and Tina Hein.

The Board heard from David Bautista and Douglas Bush from Lenard Engineering, who inspected a few dams that the Town is responsible for operating. The Town is looking to decrease its involvement and liability associated with operating the dams.

They reported that two dams, at Houghton Pond and Factory Pond, could possibly be removed, as they no longer serve a functional purpose. Bautista said that the Lake Winthrop dam is small enough that it could be exempt from state inspections, saving the Town a lot of money with less frequent inspections.

Bautista also said that the Weston Pond dam appears to be a part of Route 16, meaning that the State could be responsible for maintaining it. All four dams that were inspected were reported to be in “poor” condition.

Leonard Engineering recommended work to be done on each of the dams so the Town can be more informed of their options going forward. Cronin asked Town Administrator Jeff Ritter to reach out to State Representative Carolyn Dykema to see if the dam work could be covered by bond money that she helped secure for the Town from the State.

Kris Westland of the Community Farm Advisory Committee talks to the Board about new signage at the farm.

The Board voted to approve a number of new signs at the community farm. The new signs will include signs on Route 16 directing traffic to the farm, an entrance sign at the property’s driveway, signs asking people to pick up after their dogs and to keep them leashed, and “private property” signs to be placed on the property line.

Cronin also recommended some sort of “no trespassing” signage, and possibly even a gate at the front of the driveway. Kris Westland, of the Community Farm Advisory Committee, said that the Committee will discuss exactly what they want those new signs to say. The Committee will also reach out to the DPW to see if speed bumps can be installed on the driveway.

The Board also heard from several residents who are seeking a citizen’s petition for the October Town Meeting to ban dog kennels which source from puppy mills, such as Pick-A-Pup, from operating in town. The Board recommended that they talk to the town clerk, who can help them through the process.

During the public comment section of the meeting, Ron Gray, who owns Keystone Auto, told the Board that his business no longer gets its trash picked-up under the new collection program. Chair Mark Ahronian emphasized that the new program is residential-only, but encouraged Gray to attend the public meeting on September 9th when the Town will consider adding small businesses to the program.

 

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