The Select Board Meets, April 12, 2021

The Holliston Select Board met Monday, April 12, 2021 to conduct Town business. The meeting began promptly at 7:00pm.

Stipend Committee Update / Report

Joan Shaughnessy, Stipend Committee Chair, reported that the committee had continued its research following the last Select Board presentation.  The additional research led to more data, clarified some misinformation, and led to unanimous recommendation to present at the May Town Meeting.

The highlights of the Committee’s presentation are shown below.

The Select Board thanked the Committee for its continued work that led to this recommendation.

Coronavirus Community update

Fire Chief / Emergency Management Director Michael provided the Board with his weekly update.  In addition to the statistical report, he shared some exciting news for Holliston residents. 

The eight-community vaccine regional collaborative that includes Holliston will have 1,500 doses of Moderna vaccine available THIS Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  While the Doubletree Hotel that houses the clinic is in Westborough, people need to search Northborough Doubletree to find the available appointments.

Holliston remains in the Yellow category for the 11th straight week.
The infection rate begins to decline this week.
Hospitalizations are a lagging indicator, therefore the rate is still increasing.
Everyone 16 and older is eligible starting next Monday!!

Cassidy praised all the ‘vaccine angels’ at the Senior Center and elsewhere who are assisting residents in finding a vaccine appointment.

CARES Act Programmatic update

The Board approved the three requests presented below.

This amount represents Holliston’s share of the cost to set up the regional collaborative vaccination site.

Hearing Notice Summitpointe Drive road acceptance

The Board opened the Public Hearing at 7:34pm.  The images below illustrate the area in question.

Mr. George Connors (below), representing the NatureWalk developers, assured the Town and the Summitpointe residents that the drainage and erosion concerns that residents have brought forward will be addressed by the developer.  Adequate funding is available to make the necessary improvements.  The developer’s design engineer will visit the street on Tuesday, April 13th to determine what remediation is needed.  Connors stated that the work “would be completed in the next few weeks.”

Town Planner Karen Sherman (below) added that the area relies on a cistern for firefighting.  The cistern pipe is in need of a fresh coat of paint.

Summitpointe resident Matt Coletti (below) requested that the hearing be continued as residents had not received the written notification about the hearing a full week before the hearing’s start. 

Residents Andy Pisano and Matt Brooks expressed their views on the poor drainage solutions in the area that have led to flooding and erosion.  Mr. Pisano asked if the Town would review the developer’s remediation plan to ensure a satisfactory outcome.  The residents expressed concern that if the Town accepts the road, then there is no leverage to complete the remediation.

The Board voted to continue the Hearing until next Tuesday’s meeting at 7:30pm (pending review by the Town Counsel about timing).

Warrants – The Board approved the weekly warrant totaling $1,860,849.54.

Public Comment –

  • Mrs. Hein: She encouraged citizens to avail themselves of the electronics recycling event being held by Cub Scout Pack 47 this Saturday; 9-1 at the High School
  • Mr. Cronin: Encouraged support for the Holliston veterans fund raising effort to place a monument near Blair Square. Click HERE to find out more about this effort.

Comments from the Town Administrator

Mr. Ahern shared the following:

  • A heads up – a request will be coming regarding displaying the Pride flag during the month of June
  • Thanked Y&FS Director Jackie Winer for her efforts in assisting others get vaccinated
  • Pointed out that HignMark Provisions will be holding a virtual Outreach session on April 27th at 6:00pm.  Ahern clarified that an earlier press release incorrectly mentioned retail operations.  The proposed site on Summer Street is a CULTIVATION facility.

FY22 Budget v. Revenue Discussion

The three Latest Updates (at the bottom above) required the Board to vote on the resulting revised budgets.  The approved the following revised budgets:

  • DPW Highway – $1,472,392
  • Wastewater treatment – $97,700
  • Liability Insurance – $320,291 (the increase is due to a 175% increase in claim payments)

Annual Town Meeting

  • Logistics discussion – Chief Cassidy presented to alternatives for the May 10, 2021 Town Meeting.  The Board agreed with Town Clerk Liz Greendale’s and Cassidy’s recommendations to use the Auditorium/Cafeteria option. 

The Board is expecting that more citizens will feel comfortable attending this important meeting and that the quorum of 100 registered voters will participate. 

  • Warrant discussion – Mr. Ahern presented the current list of Warrant articles.  The 37 articles are listed below.  The possible use of a consent agenda (lumping several articles into one vote) may shorten the meeting’s length on ‘routine’ items.

Board Business: The Board took the following actions:

  • Authorized the Town Administrator to execute a contract with Robert B. Our Co, Inc. for the construction of a treatment facility at Well #5 in the amount of $8.1 Million (below the $8.3 previously approved)
  • Authorized the Town Administrator to submit the Chapter 90 Request Form – for road reconstruction on Exchange, School, Spring, Pleasant, Mechanic and Union Streets
  • Appointed Evan Reseska to the Agricultural Commission. His term to expire June 2023.  Mrs. Hein thanked Evan for volunteering.

Other Business: None

The meeting adjourned at 9:20pm.  No meeting next Monday (Patriots’ Day).  Meeting will be next Tuesday.

Chris Cain

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