Another Busy Night for the Select Board

The Holliston Select Board got an early start at 6:30pm to handle a very robust agenda for its June 28, 2021, meeting.  First up was an update from the Governance Committee.

Governance Committee Presentation – Work Plan Discussion

Governance Committee (GC) Chair Sam Tyler (above) reviewed the committee’s plan for the remainder of its term.  Tyler noted that, “Government has changed in the past 30 – 40 years, Holliston has not made changes in that same period.

Below is the current plan which targets certain aspects of Holliston’s governance for consideration at each of the upcoming Town Meetings.

Members of the GC added that the plan will be updated following each Town Meeting.  The committee will apply learnings from the May Town Meeting to its future work and presentations.

The Select Board members offered input and guidance for the GC to consider.  Also, the Board thanked Christina Lingham, who is resigning from the GC at month’s end, for her tremendous contributions to the work of the committee.

More information about the GC’s plan may be found here -> https://hollistonreporter.com/2021/06/governance-committee-adjusts-working-plan/

The Board held two discussions with marijuana cultivators / manufacturers who hope to enter into Host Community Agreements (HCA) with Holliston.  HCA’s are arrangements that have the marijuana company paying an annual fee to the Town for five years – in addition to property taxes.

HCA Transfer 91 Kuniholm Dr. – WLMA, LLC

White Label, MA (WLMA) wants to transfer an existing HCA the Town has with Mass Botanicals at the existing facility on Kuhniholm Dr. for the purposes of setting up a cultivation/manufacturing.

Below, WLMA CEO Jill Lamoureux (center) and Meg Nash (right) make their presentation to the Board.

Selected slides from their presentation are below:

The Board voted to authorize Town Counsel to transfer the existing HCA from Mass Botanicals to WLMA, LLC effective June 28, 2021.

HCA Request 56 Lowland St. – Story of Massachusetts, LLC

Several representatives from Story Cannabis Company presented their proposed marijuana cultivation operation at 56 Lowland Street. The plan would renovate the vacant Flexhead building in the Lowland Industrial Park.

The proposed renovations (below) have the building surrounded by a 10-foot-high sound-absorbing wall (not screen fencing) and vegetation buffer along the Upper Charles Rail Trail.  The facility would operate 7 days/week and employ 40 – 50 workers.

Residents in the area were on the Zoom meeting to pay particular attention to what Story presented as its six “Good Neighbor Considerations.”  The following six slides outline these considerations.

All members of the Board voiced concerns about the proposed facility.  Proximity to one of Holliston’s most heavily used recreation areas topping the list.  The recognizable odor and volume of water usage also came up in the discussion.  Neighbors Sarah Baroud, Liz Theiler, and Karen Langton expressed concern with the odor, water usage, and environmental safety of any odor-suppression actions.

The Board noted that Holliston currently has seven HCA’s in place or in-process with marijuana cultivators / manufacturers and is not adverse to the industry.  This particular sensitive location requires additional information / study before the Board takes action.  Town Administrator Ahern was tasked with gathering input from the Town Building Inspector, DPW Director, the Rail Trail committee, and other similar Story facilities that have been good neighbors.  No specific next meeting date was set up.

Coronavirus Community update Fire Chief Michael Cassidy had NO COVID statistics to report this week.

CARES Act Programmatic update Cassidy reported to the Board that some fraudulent unemployment claims previously charged to CARES Act funding were credited back to the Town from the State.  As such, $22,000 was reclassified in the Town’s accounting system.

Warrants The Board approved the weekly warrant in the amount of $394,048.

Public Comment

  • Mr. Cronin – Heard from Blair Square neighbors this Sunday that parking was encroaching on their property.  Cronin asked that Chief Stone be apprised of the situation for remediation.

Comments from Town Administrator Mr. Ahern shared the following:

  • The first Park & Rec Dept Summer Concert will be held TONIGHT (6/29) in Goodwill Park starting at 6:30pm.
  • The first meeting of the Comprehensive Long-Range Planning Committee (hereafter known as CLRPC) will be held on July 14th via Zoom
  • An RFP for support to the Economic Development Committee was posted Monday, 6/28.

IT Director Chris Meo and Mr. Ahern have posted a public survey to gather input on the future use of Town property and 260 Woodland Street.  The survey can be accessed on the Town website -> https://www.townofholliston.us/home/news/help-decide-what-happens-to-260-woodland-street

Once at the page (above) click the TAKE THE SURVEY HERE link.

FY21 Year End Budget (“line item”) Transfers

The Board approved the transfers as outlined above – except the $60,000 for trash removal.  The Board approved allocating the $60,000 cost to CARES Act funds as it is directly related to residents’ housecleaning during the pandemic.

Board Business:

  • Approved the Event Permit for the Lions Club Carnival July 7-10th
  • Awarded the Design/Engineering Contract for Blair Square to Beals & Thomas for up to $44,500.
  • Accepted the $1,700 donation to Veterans District Emergency Assistance Fund from the St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus.
  • Issued a Common Victualler’s License for Putts & More LLC 750 Concord St.

Made the following appointments:

  • 1 year term:
    • Robert Fogerty, Assistant Building Insp.
    • Michael Perkins, Deputy Wiring Insp.
    • Daniel Brown, Labor Counsel
    • Mary Bosquet, Treasurer
    • Kristen Stearley, Assistant Treasurer
  • 3-year term:
    • Jennifer Buttaro, Conservation Comm.
    • John Goeller, Town Forest Committee

Other Business:

  • Mr. Cronin wished everyone a happy July 4th and reminded everyone that next week’s Select Board meeting will be on Tuesday, July 6th.
  • Mrs. Hein noted that the Town has passed the 10,000 participant mark at Zoom meetings – thank you Chris Meo!

The meeting adjourned at 9:28pm.

Chris Cain

1 Comment

  1. Jackie Dellicker on July 1, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Surprised that Harvey not taking Monday as a holiday as they usually do. Especially since their budget is $60,000 over. But wishing everyone happy 4th. Remember to say Happy Birthday to our great country and how thankful we all are for the people who have brought us this far. Not an easy task.

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