Select Board Meets October 19, 2020

Select Board Chair, John Cronin called the Monday, October 19, 2020 meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. Having had last week off, this week’s agenda was jam packed.

Coronavirus Community Update

Emergency Management Director, Fire Chief Michael Cassidy provided the Board the following update:

  • The Town now has a total of 120 cases – 14 active
  • The active cases are from separate addresses
  • Holliston has moved from Red to Yellow and back to Red over the past weeks
  • The color rating does impact re-opening and guidance for schools and sports
  • Chief Cassidy will be adding an ‘executive summary’ to the Town’s COVID page -> https://www.townofholliston.us/home/news/information-on-the-covid-19-virus  each Thursday that discusses the weekly changes.
  • He reiterated that the Board of Health of health and other Public Health agencies have rated the risk of normal trick or treating on Halloween is HIGH.  He recommends alternative low risk activities that are less likely to negatively impact the school community.
  • Cassidy reported back to the Board that there are currently adequate security cameras to observe the locked storage areas for early voting ballot.
  • Mr. Cronin expressed the Town’s appreciation and the Board’s support for the emergency work that Chief Cassidy continues to provide the Town.

CARES Act requests

  • Chief Cassidy and Youth and Family Services Director, Jackie Winer, gave an update on the Town’s use of CARES Act funds for rent and mortgage support.
  • $22,247 of the allotted $25,000 was disbursed to nine families (28 total individuals)
  • The Board asked Director Winer to write up a proposal for a second round of rent / mortgage support for the Board’s review in the near future.

Public Hearing: Change of address 360 Motor Sports LLC Class 2 License to Buy / Sell Motor Vehicles

Martin Garvey (right) and his son have bought a facility at 72 Jeffery Avenue and want to move their current license from 275 Hopping Brook Road.  The Board asked several questions about this move request.  Mrs. Hein asked about the hours of operation.  The owners do business from 9 am to 6 pm.  Mrs. Hein wanted to continue the Hearing to give time to gather abutter input on these hours of operation.  The Board voted to continue the Hearing until next week’s Board meeting at a time to be set.

Warrant – The Board approved the weekly warrant of $1,151,944.89.

Public Comment:

  • Mr. Sparrell:
    • Reminded citizens about curbside leaf pickup and overnight parking ban
    • Early in-person voting has begun
  • Mrs. Hein:
    • This Saturday, October 24, 2020, is the final day to register to vote in the November 3rd election.
  • Mr. Cronin: None
  • Public: None

Comments from Town Administrator:

  • Mr. Ahern, on behalf of the Town Clerk, asked voters who have received a mail-in ballot and would rather vote during early voting to please bring the ballot / envelope they received in the mail when they come to Town Hall to vote.
  • Candidates for the Building Inspector position have been screened. Mr. Ahern will invite Mark Kaferlein to be interviewed by the Board at next week’s meeting.
  • As noted previously, there is a special webpage for the 555 Hopping Brook Road project.  It allows citizens (about 100 so far) to sign up for e-mail updates on the project -> https://www.townofholliston.us/planning-board/pages/555-hopping-brook-information
  • Mr. Ahern gauged the Board’s feelings about the Town’s involvement in ‘re-balancing’ The Rock.  The Rock is on private property and in a conservation area.  The Board discussed the matter and decided that the Board not get involved at this time.
  • The Casey’s crossing trail / parking project is on schedule.
  • The Board will discuss feedback received on the Pilot one-way flow, parking, and signage at next week’s meeting. Submit your feedback here -> https://www.townofholliston.us/home/news/front-street-changed-to-one-way

Special Town Meeting Warrant discussion

The Board approved the inclusion of Articles 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, and 14 on the list below on the Special Town Meeting Warrant – to be held Saturday, December 5, 2020 in the HHS Auditorium.

Humanitarian Awards discussion

Mr. Cronin introduced the topic of Holliston Humanity awards which were first awarded in 2019. The award, the idea of former Board Chair Mark Ahronian, whose description includes, “Caring ways toward others; Consideration of others; and Compassion for others. Caring to take the time and the mind set of consideration for others lead to the compassion enough to act in a humanitarian way for others. These people make our town a nicer place to live!!” Each Board member will receive the criteria from Mr. Ahern and nominate one deserving recipient.  The awards ceremony will take place in November.

Ambulance Billing

Chief Cassidy was back in his lucky chair to present a proposed approach for collecting outstanding ambulance service receivables.  The Board approved the plan which includes use of a collection agency to track down FY 20 and future accounts that are in arrears.

EDA (Economically Distressed Area) Status

Mr. Ahern alerted the Board to this poorly named program (Newton is currently designated an EDA).  Achieving the designation allows access to grants and tax credits for public or private development within the EDA.  The Board asked Mr. Ahern to discuss the possibilities with Holliston’s Economic Development Committee and report back at a future date. 

 Board Business: The Board approved the following:

  • Re-appointment John Drohan, to the Holliston Cable Access TV Board (3- year term)
  • Appointment Paul Guyon, Bonded Constable (3-year term)
  • Meeting Minutes of September 9, 2020 and September 29, 2020
  • Acceptance of Fire Department Gifts: $200, $100, and $50
  • Green Community Annual Report Submission
  • MDAR Agricultural Preservation Restriction Thistle Dew Farm – Notice of Proposed Acquisition
  • Special Town Meeting Warrant re-open now; Closes October 30, 2020 at Noon.
  • Recognition of Promotion of Rear Admiral Derek A. Trinque – Holliston native – his folks still live here.  Board signed suitable certificates.

Other Business

  • Mr. Sparrell – None
  • Mrs. Hein – None
  • Mr. Cronin – Provided an update from HPD regarding this morning’s pedestrian accident on Washington Street. If you are a witness, please call HPD 508.429.1212.

The meeting adjourned at 9:37 pm.

Chris Cain

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