Select Board Continues Tax Classification Hearing

The Select Board convened for its December 7, 2020 meeting at 6:30 pm.  The agenda was modified so that the Tax Classification Hearing continuation began at 7:30 pm.

The Select Board gets down to business.

Coronavirus Community Update

Chief Cassidy talks COVID expenses and probable vaccine.

Fire Chief Michael Cassidy provided his weekly briefing to the Board as follows:

  • Holliston’s total case count = 258 with 46 active cases
  • The 46 cases are at 37 addresses – with family clusters at single family residences
  • A data correction now shows 6 (up from 2) COVID related deaths – the new deaths happened in April, May, and September
  • Positivity rate = 4.16%
  • Social media updates are reaching 1,200 – 1,500
  • Thanks to all who made the Special Town Meeting safe and efficient – especially the 82 citizens who participated in person
  • Public facilities remain open with precautions as posted
  • Cassidy responded to questions related to the vaccine.  MA is slated to receive 300,000 doses by the end of December.  Plans for distribution are not final and the duration of immunization from the vaccine is not yet known.
  • Board Clerk, Ben Sparrell shared a metaphor for the various mitigation strategies (mask, wash, distance, no crowds, etc.) called the “Swiss Cheese Model.” Like Swiss Cheese, each strategy has a hole or two.  When several layers of cheese are stacked on one another, there are effectively no holes.  This model appeared in the NY Times ->

CARES Act Programmatic update:  Two requests were approved by the Board:

  1. The Treasurer requests $147,583.46 to be transferred from CARES Act to cover unemployment claims for Mar – Oct 2020.
  2. The Fire Department requests $3,983 for HVAC and air filtration at HFD headquarters.

The Chief also alerted the Board to a $3,000 grant the Board of Health recently received from the State.

Warrants: The Board approved the weekly warrant of $1,672,208.37.

Public Comment:

  • Mr. Sparrell
    • Thank you to all who made the Special Town Meeting happen safely and efficiently
  • Mrs. Hein
    • The Safe Routes to School Task Force is meeting next week.
  • Mr. Cronin
    • Since Holliston just celebrated its 296th birthday, it is not too soon to looking forward to CELEBRATING our Tricentennial in 2024.
  • Public – None

Comments from Town Administrator:  Mr. Ahern shared the following:

  • He will present Blair Square trash removal recommendation to the Board next week
  • The Public Hearing for the Marshall St. Solar project should happen in January 2021
  • A public forum for the Front Street traffic pilot should be held in early 2021
  • Ahern announced – with back-up from Bob Malone, Council on Aging – that after serving the Holliston senior community for many years, Sr. Ctr. Director Linda Marshall will be retiring at the end of March 2021.  Mr. Ahern will begin the search / hiring process soon.
Bob Malone updates the Board regarding Linda Marshall’s plan to retire.

Continued Tax Classification Hearing

Mr. Ahern and Principal Assessor Kathryn Peirce alerted the Board that the Town had received the certified property values at 4:30 on Monday.  The Board continued the hearing to allow for digestion of the values and until the new growth is confirmed.  The hearing MAY continue Tuesday at 6:30pm IF all is ready for discussion.

Board Business

The Board:

  • Discussed the Select Board Meeting Schedule for January 2021-June 2021
  • Received a $250 gift to Fire Department from the Holliston Reporter
  • Received a $5022.50 grant to the Town Clerk from “The Center for Technology and Civic Life” for COVID related Election Expenses
  • Approved the Select Board Meeting Minutes for November 23. 2020

Other Business: None

The public meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 7:46 pm

Chris Cain

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