Select Board Meets On A Wednesday Evening

Due to the Labor Day Holiday, the usual Monday Select Board meeting was held on Wednesday, September 9th.  Following and Executive Session, the Public Meeting began at 7:35 pm.

Emergency Management Director, Fire Chief Michael Cassidy provided the Board with the weekly COVID-19 update.

  • Holliston has a total of 74 cases – 4 are currently active
  • The Holliston Public Schools has spent a lot of time and effort creating school safety documents which are now posted on the schools’ website. https://sites.google.com/a/holliston.k12.ma.us/holliston-schools/home/about/news-and-announcements/staffsafetymanualaugust272020
  • The schools’ Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems have been cleaned and filters replaced.
  • Windows will be open (weather permitting) to provide fresh air.
  • No specific dates have been set by the Board of Health for this fall’s flu shot clinics.  There will likely be multiple sessions at various locations to divide up the population at any one clinic.
  • The Town is back in the Green (<4 / 1,000) on the updated State map
  • The first report of CARES Act spending is due to the State by September 25th.
  • Youth & Family Services requested $380 to expand tele-health services.  The request was approved by the Youth Advisory Committee and by the Select Board.
Anne-Marie Dorning

Anne-Marie Dorning noted that as she passed a wedding taking place at the Holliston Historical Society this weekend, she noted the absence of face coverings and lack of social distancing and was concerned that such an event could be a ‘super-spreader’ episode.  Chief Cassidy clarified that local Boards of Health can issue fines for non-compliance.  The recommended procedure is to contact the local police to file a report.  The report can then be used as back-up for fines from the Board of Health.  Chief Cassidy has a ‘good working relationship’ with HHS and will follow up to feed back the concern for public health safety.

Warrants:  The Board approved a warrant for $492,204.06.

Public Comment:

  • Mr. Sparrell thanked the voters, the Town Clerk and staff, and the many volunteers that made last week’s Primary a safe and secure election.
  • Mrs. Hein – No comment
  • Mr. Cronin echoed Mr. Sparrell’s thanks and praise for a successful primary.  He also alerted motorists who park on the grass near Anthony’s will face ‘aggressive enforcement’ of the posted signs.

Town Administrator Comments:

  • American Legion Post 47 will make presentations to the Holliston Police and Fire Departments in a modified 9/11 awards event this Friday.
  • Holliston expects to hear tomorrow (Thursday) if it is awarded a Shared Streets and Spaces grant
  • The Town has been awarded a Green Community grant totaling $173,701 to cover several climate / energy related projects around town.  Chris Meo has once again taken the lead along with others in securing this 4th award of this grant.  Thanks Chris!!
  • Progress is being made at updating Department Head contracts.  The new contracts will include specific performance goals.  Mr. Ahern expects these contracts to be finalized by month end.

Capital Request Update:

Mr. Ahern shared with the Board progress he has made at updating the Five-year Capital Improvement Plan.  He will present a draft list to the Board by this Friday.  Next steps will be to prioritize the list.  The Board provided Mr. Ahern with detailed input regarding Capital planning.  He also has first draft of a Capital Request form for use requesting capital expenditures.

Sustainability Coordinator Update:

Matt Zetteck

Sustainability Coordinator, Matt Zetteck updated the Board on his recent work, grants, and future targets for his work.  The Board asked that Mr. Zetteck work with the Town Administrator to prepare a worksheet / dashboard that illustrates the initiatives / grants, the status of each, and the financial savings realized from his work.  He will be back to the Board soon to get support for the Food Composting service now used by about 125 residents.  He is working with Chief Cassidy to capture the impact of COVID on the Town’s trash and recycling costs.

Board Business:

  • The Board approved minutes from the August 3rd and August 17th meetings.
  • The Board appointed Thomas J. Dumas to the Stipend Sub-committee.  The sub-committee is now fully staffed.  September 24th will be the group’s first meeting.
  • The Board appointed: Amber Hebb and Robert Hansen as On-call EMT’s for the Holliston Fire Department.

Other Business:

  • Mr. Sparrell – None
  • Mrs. Hein – Updated the Board on a recent MetroWest Regional Council meeting she attended.  A Regional traffic study will be conducted by the council soon.
  • Mr. Cronin – The Board will meet next Tuesday with MassDOT as a follow up to the Lowland Industrial Park public forum.  He assured residents that the 555 Hopping Brook project is being monitored by the Select Board and all the other Town boards and committees that will interact with the developers through the application process.  He encouraged citizens to continue to provide e-mail information / pictures with members of the Board – those messages are read.

The meeting adjourned at 9:06 pm.

Chris Cain

1 Comment

  1. Nancy B Lamb on September 10, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    Holliston Historical Society wishes to respond to the concern about social distancing that was noticed at the wedding which took place on our property this past weekend.

    We assure the public that we have given to our renters very firm and clear instructions about mask-wearing, social distancing, and the many other requirements from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Town of Holliston. This includes, but is not limited to (1) written instructions well in advance of the event and (2) having at each event: signs about wearing masks, free masks provided for those that do not have them, hand-sanitizer, and signs reminding renters to follow the instructions there were given. This past weekend’s renters also paid for open-air tents in order to increase the safety of their guests. Our property managers were present as guests arrived to be sure all protocols were being followed. We understand that some people were sitting at outside tables eating and talking and not wearing masks. The renter told us that they planned to seat families together as masks are often not required for close family groups.

    The Society will continue to supervise the safety procedures for any events that take place on our property. And we are happy to discuss this issue further with Chief Cassidy, if needed. If anyone has questions, please feel free to contact us through our website.

    Nancy Lamb
    President

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