Select Board Gets COVID-19 Briefing and Conducts Other Town Business

The April 6, 2020 meeting of the Holliston Select Board was called to order at 7:00 pm.

The first order of business was an update from Fire Chief / Emergency Management Director Michael Cassidy, who was joined by Health Director Scott Moles.

Chief Cassidy (R) presents his weekly COVID-19 briefing.
Health Director Scott Moles (L) answers questions from the Board

The Chief began by thanking the citizens, Holliston Public Schools (who used a 3-D printer to create safety visors – and a back pack sanitizer), the resilient Town employees, those residents who are abiding by the stay-at-home advisory and maintaining physical distance. The next 2 weeks are critical for keeping each other safe. Some essential businesses have chosen to close and some non-essential businesses have tried to remain open. The latter are being ‘educated’ by our public safety officials. He reported that supplies have been ordered and are coming in at a rate to keep pace with the current need.

Resident James Pond, 18 Temi Road, who was on the conference call, asked for more frequent reporting of Holliston’s COVID-19 data. The Board concurred and voted to authorize Chief Cassidy to post data on the Town website daily. See the Chief’s release below.

“At an April 6 meeting of the Select Board, Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Michael Cassidy announced that as of Monday afternoon, there were a total of fifteen confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Holliston. Cassidy went on to explain that five of those individuals had already recovered and been released from quarantine, while sadly one of those cases had resulted in a death. Of the remaining nine active cases in town, they are spread out over eight locations in town; two individuals reside at the same address.”

“Although an advisory from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health urged local boards of health to focus on county level data, after a brief discussion, the Select Board voted to direct community specific data to be posted to the Town website. By making this local information available to the public on a daily basis, members of the board expressed their hope that it might prompt residents to greater compliance with the stay at home advisory and physical distancing guidance issued by state and federal officials.”

COVID-19 data as of Monday April 6, 2020.

“For up to date information, residents are encouraged to check the town website (www.townofholliston.us), the state website (www.mass.gov/covid19) or the CDC website (www.cdc.gov/covid19).”

The Board approved payment of the weekly Warrant that totaled – $964,879.73.

Public Comment:

Mrs. Hein reminded everyone that the Holliston Community Action Fund is available for assistance and is accepting donations. https://hollistoncommunityaction.org/ Also, she pointed out that the Holliston Pantry Shelf is now supporting ALL who need assistance at this difficult time. https://www.hollistonpantryshelf.org/

Mr. Ahronian thanked the residents for supporting Holliston’s small businesses who are in fact our neighbors. He also gave Bob Nemet praise for manning the HCAT camera during Board meetings.

Citizen, Jay Sheroff, 51 Francine Drive, asked via the conference call: thanked all of our first responders and asked if there would be any impact on the upcoming tax payments due in early May. The Board will be discussing the matter at next Monday’s meeting.

Town Administrator, Jeff Ritter reported the following:

  • Reminder – Finance Committee meeting Tuesday (TONIGHT)
  • E.L. Harvey will NOT be doing bulk waste pick up during April
  • This Friday – April 10th is the deadline for submitting letters of interest to be on the Town Administrator Screening Committee

Board Business

  • Nicholas Cutone was appointed as an On-Call EMT
  • The Annual Town Meeting Warrant continues to be worked on. The petitioners sponsoring an article will present their article to the Board next week.
  • The Board accepted the following gifts:
    • $200 to the Community Farm from Willowbrook Farm
    • $975 to HFD from the Newcomers and Neighbors
    • $150 to HFD from the Berkholtz family
  • Jeff Ritter is coordinating with the involved parties to complete the approved downtown signal changes in the coming weeks while traffic volume is low.
  • To date there have been 10 citizens who have volunteered to be on the the Town Administrator Screening Committee. Mr. Cronin commented that there is ‘great diversity’ in those who have expressed interest. It is not too late to let Jeff Ritter know if you want to be considered for the committee. The Board will select the five-member panel next week. Also, there is now a link on the Town website to Paradigm Associates’ website where citizens can provide input about the position. http://CitizenInput@communityparadigm.com.

The meeting adjourned at 7:48 pm.

Chris Cain

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