Different Night – Select Board Still Fills Its Agenda

The Select Board switched it up this week and held its meeting on Thursday, August 26, 2021.  Chair Tina Hein called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.  First on the agenda was an update from Fire Chief Michael Cassidy.

Cassidy presented three requests for CARES Act funds: – yes there is still some money in that pot of gold.

  • $700 for a banner for the Fall Town Meeting – proposed by Town Clerk Liz Greendale
  • $1,600 to erect the 20 foot X 40 foot tent purchased by the Sr. Ctr. by Town resources – proposed by James Keast
  • $6,865 for computer software – proposed by the Town Accountant

The Board approved these requests.  The Board asked for a CARES Act funds status at its next meeting.

Town Administrator Travis Ahern presented six requests that the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) Steering Group recommends to the Select Board..  These requests were reviewed by the Steering Group during its last two meetings on August 18th and 25th.

Please note a second chunk of ARPA funds arrived in Holliston last week.

The Board approved the six requests with the condition that Chief Cassidy explore whether the Library request may be eligible for CARES Act funding in lieu of ARPA.

Verizon License Renewal – Cable Advisory Committee Update and Recommendations

Barry Sims, (above right) representing the Cable Advisory Committee presented the proposed 5-year contract with Verizon.  Below are some of the contract conditions.

The current contract is with Comcast and the vendor has requested a Public Hearing which will be held by the Cable Advisory Committee on September 9, 2021.  The Board thanked Mr. Sims and the Committee for their work on the proposed contract.

The Board accepted the the agreement and authorized the Town Administrator to send a letter to Verizon requesting the 5% fee collection be sent to HCAT (about $221,000 in three years)

Warrants: The Board approved the weekly warrant of $744,497.25.

Public Comment:

  • Mr. Cronin: None
  • Mr. Sparrell:
    • Holliston Farms Day will be on Sunday, September 12th
  • Mrs. Hein:
    • American Legion Post #47 will hold its annual September 11th Awards Ceremony at the Senior Center on September 12th.
  • Public:
  • Beth Hopper – 184 Winthrop (above right) presented the Board with some data on safe manganese levels in drinking water.  There is no State standard.  It has a caution for youngsters.  Ms. Hopper is growing increasingly concerned about the Town’s real intent to improve her water service.  The Board members sympathize and have offered a MassDEP water test which the resident has declined.  The results from the soon-to-be-available Stantec water study will include “dead-ends” such as Ms. Hoffer’s service comes from.  The Board’s goal is to find a real and lasting solution to Ms. Hoffer’s issue.

Recycling Center

Sustainability Coordinator Matt Zettek (above right) joined the meeting to update the Board on two proposed vendor changes at the Marshall Street Recycling Center.  The proposed changes would improve operations and take advantage of changing recycling market.  The changes are for: Cardboard recycling. (see below).  Currently the one bin does not meet the need.

The recommended vendor would provide two bins and charge less to remove each container.  Saving the Town roughly 20%.

Another ne vendor would pick up scrap metal.  The increased revenue from this contract could be about $10,000.  Mr. Cronin asked that funds from these contracts go into the revolving account set up for this purpose with an eye toward increasing the hours of operation for the Recycling Center.

The Board approved Mr. Zettek’s propoed vendor changes.

Fall Town Meeting

The first discussion about the Warrant for the Fall Town Meeting focused on logistics and timing so that the Warrant would be ready for the October 18, 2021 meeting.  Currently there are 19-20 Articles, including some placeholders for possible entries.  The Warrant will close at 4:00pm on September 20, 2021.  Mr. Sparrell provided a brief update on a probable Article related to the Blair Square project.  That Committee is meeting on August 31st with a plan to present its request to the Selecf Board on September 13, 2021.

Mr. Cronin reminded all Boards / Committees of the approved Capital Request process to be used for sugmitting such for consideration for the Town Meeting Warrant.

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

Mr. Ahern updates the Board.
  • The Local Rapid Recovery Plan (LRRP) from the State has devoted a resource – at no cost to the Town – in support of the LRRP recommendations
  • The Dam reports are in and are being reviewed by the Conservation Commission
  • The Financial Policies developed by Staff, and reviewed by the Select Board, are being edited by the Finance Committee.  Members of the Board expressed a desire to be collaborative in putting the finishing touches on these policies.  Mr. Ahern is “confident the process can be completed within the allotted timeframe.”
  • Mr. Ahern is away next week.  Fire Chief Michael Cassidy will be Acting Town Administrator.

Board Business:

  • Appointed John Drohan to a 3-year term on Cable Access TV Board.
  • Appointed Lynn Bajdek and Janet Alexander, to 1-year terms as Associate members on the Council on Aging
  • Approved the minutes of August 2, 2021 meeting i
  • Approved the contract extensions through December 31, 2023 for Anthony’s on the Green (restaurant) and New England Golf (course) as recommended by the Golf Course Advisory Committee
  • Accepted a $400 donation to the Senior Center gift account from the patrons of the Holliston Superette
  • Approved the TAC recommendation – to install 2 Dangerous Curve signs (seen below) on Hill Street
  • Awarded the Town Hall Septic Contract to Blue Diamond Equip. Co for $126,730 with work to be completed by the end of this calendar year.  Many thanks to Paul Saulnier for his volunteer service to move this project forward.

Other Business: None

The meeting adjourned at 8:47pm.  The next meeting will be next Monday, August 30, 2021 at 7:00pm

Chris Cain

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