The Select Board Approves the Farmers’ Market and Other Important Items

The Select Board was at full strength for the February 22, 2021 meeting.  The public agenda was full, followed by an Executive Session.

Coronavirus Community update

Fire Chief Michael Cassidy was pleased to share the following:

  • Holliston’s key metrics continue to trend downward.
  • Positivity rate was 2.27% the lowest its been since late October!
  • The Vaxfinder website is recovering from last week’s crash.
  • The State is receiving 110,000 first doses of the vaccines each week.
  • He asked that eligible populations be patient and persistent to get the vaccine.
Holliston is the orange line.
This the Massachusetts list of medical conditions that qualify as comorbidities.  People with 2 or more of these conditions – over the age of 16 – are now eligible to receive the vaccine.

Even those getting both doses of the vaccine should continue to practice the public health measures we’ve been using for the past several months.

Chair Cronin asked Senior Center Director Linda Marshall (above) to provide an update on how the Center is assisting Seniors – especially with vaccine appointments.

Director Marshall shared the following:

  • 85 appointments have been made by Sr. Ctr. volunteers for the 75 and older population
  • 30 more 75 and older are still awaiting an appointment and/or help arranging transportation
  • 8 people 65 and older have asked for assistance and will be helped by the volunteers
  • Many Seniors have taken advantage of the States 2-1-1 phone line to make appointments
  • These efforts will continue for the foreseeable future

CARES Act Programmatic update:  Chief Cassidy had no specific funding requests for the Board.  He shared this updated list of Holliston’s CARES Act funds allocation.

Warrants: The Board approved the weekly warrant totaling $1,203,465.98.

Public Comment:

Blair Square Farmers Market Discussion

Bobby Blair (below) returned to the Board with a business plan and answers to questions posed by the Board at his initial presentation.

The current plans are:

  • A weekly Farmers’ Market to be at Blair Square.
  • The market to be held Sundays from 9:00am to 1:00pm
  • The markets would run from June 20th – Mid-October 2021
  • There is space for approximately 20 – 25 vendors.
  • There are estimated to be 194 parking spots in surrounding public parking areas.
  • The Friends of the Community Farm would act as the Market management and retain any earnings.

Robert Weidknecht, Chair of the Holliston Trails Committee, prepared the above graphic to illustrate the potential vendor spaces.  He also shared the Trails Committee unanimous support for the project with the Board.

HPD Lt. George Leurini provided input (below) regarding traffic and safety.  Auxiliary Officers would direct traffic and safely cross pedestrians.

The Board wholeheartedly approved the plan presented by the Mayor.  Mr. Ahern will follow up creating the necessary paperwork.

Chair Cronin commented that Bobby is always working to “enrich our community.”  It should be noted that like all good plans, Bobby’s was literally written on the back of an envelope!

Comments from the Town Administrator

  • Rep Dykema and Senator Spilka will provide a legislative update at the Board’s March 8th meeting.
  • There are two open seats on the Economic Development Committee.  If interested in serving, please contact Mr. Ahern.
  • There will be a Select Board meeting this Thursday to review some Departmental budgets. The meeting can be joined on Zoom – not HCAT.
  • The Planning Board continues its Public Hearing on the 555 Hopping Brook project this Thursday at 7:00pm.

FY22 Budget & Revenue Review

DPW Director Sean Reese (below) presented the FY 22 budgets for the Highway and Water Departments.

  • DPW Highway – $1,482,607
  • DPW Water – $2,513,723 (approved 1/25/2021)
  • Motor Vehicle Fuels – $105,000

The Board approved these budgets.

Board Business:

  • The Board accepted a $113,742training grant for Police Drug Impaired driving enforcement from the International Association of Police Chiefs.
  • The Board accepted a $2,500 grant to the Auxiliary Police from the MA Emergency Management Agency.
  • The Board awarded the Town Hall Window work to Kronenberger & Sons with a bid of $92,000.
  • The Board awarded the Replace Water Main Winter St. work to CJP & Sons with a bid of $1,624,450.50.
  • Approved the meeting minutes February 1, 2021 and February 4, 2021
  • Approved an amendment to the Host Community Agreement with Mederi (44 Boynton Rd) to include manufacturing.
  • Appointed Aric Emond, Auxiliary Police Officer, term ending June 30, 2021
  • Appointed Shannon Gratton to the Community Farm Advisory Committee, term ending June 2021
  • Appointed Kristen Haddad to the Youth Advisory Committee, term ending June 2021

Other Business:

Mrs. Hein thanked Shannon and Kristen for volunteering to serve on Town committees.

The meeting adjourned to Executive Session at 8:36pm.

Chris Cain

2 Comments

  1. Bobby Blair on February 23, 2021 at 10:50 am

    In regards to the Farmers Market — thanks go out to Town Administrator Travis Ahern for formulating a workable plan, the support of the town’s Economic Development Committee, especially Matt Coletti for his work on a business plan and Lt. George Leurini of HPD for his work on parking and safety issues. Thanks also to Rail Trail Chair Robert Weidknecht and his committee for their support — along with PJ Kilkelly of the Friends of the Community Farm and Kris Westland Chair at the Community Farm. It really does take a village to make this undertaking possible. While the project can be an economic windfall for local farmers, artisans, entrepreneurs, and businesses, there is the intangible aspect of the enterprise – that of a public gathering space. Those who are old enough to remember the “old town dump” know exactly what I mean. As we move along towards spring and talks with our Board of Health regarding rules and regulations we’ll keep everyone informed as to our progress. “Some men see things as they are and ask ‘Why? I dream things that never were and ask “Why not?’ – George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950.

  2. Joanne Hines on March 5, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Such a great idea. And yes, I remember the town dump. It was a great meeting place. A farmers market will also be a great meeting place and make Holliston a destination. Thanks to all involved

Leave a Comment





Categories