Select Board Met on Tuesday, October 12, 2021

This week’s Select Board meeting was held on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 after observing Columbus / Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday.  Chair Tina Hein called the meeting to order with a quorum at 7:03pm.  Select Board Clerk John Cronin was absent.

CARES Act / ARPA Programmatic update; COVID-19 Community Update

Fire Chief Michael Cassidy presented two requests for CARES Act funds:

$6,000 – Treasurer / Collector for software to digitalize paper records

$5,000 – Holliston Police for air quality improvement equipment.

The Board approved the $11,000 to be charged to the Town’s remaining CARES Act funds.

There were no ARPA requests pending approval.  The ARPA Steering Group will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at Noon (accessible via Zoom).

Warrants – The Board approved the weekly warrant totaling $1,278,852.12

Public Comment:

  • Mr. Sparrell: Provided three reminders –
    • Winter on-street overnight (1 – 5 am) parking ban goes into effect Monday, November 1, 2021.
    • Curbside leaf pickup will be during the week of November 29th.  Leaves must be in compostable bags or loose in barrels.  Leaves will be picked up on the normal trash / recycling schedule.
    • The Community Farm Haunted Walk fundraiser on October 30, 2021 from 5 – 10pm at the Community Farm on Rogers Road.
  • Mrs. Hein: None

Comments from Town Administrator:

  • The hiring process for the Deputy DPW Director/Highway Supervisor is coming to a close.  The plan is to bring the finalist candidate before the Select Board at its October 25, 2021 meeting.  Shooting for a November 1, 2021 start date (before snow and ice season)

Update on Local Rapid Recovery Plan (LRRP) Report

Holliston, thanks to the efforts of Town Administrator Ahern and several citizens, had the opportunity to receive State support through the Local Rapid Recovery Plan (LRRP).  At no cost to the town consultants, engineers, and municipal designers partnered with Holliston personnel to generate a 46-page detailed report, that in the words of Mr. Ahern “positions the Town, if / when it chooses, to pursue the recommendations and funding, and use the report to request bids on specific projects.”

The entire report (which was received a day ahead of its planned delivery) can be found here on the Town website -> https://www.townofholliston.us/sites/g/files/vyhlif706/f/uploads/holliston_-_final_lrrp_report_-_2021.pdf

The report focuses on the downtown area including Goodwill Park and Blair Square. (see above) Several recommendations are included in the report.  Two are highlighted below as they drew the Board’s immediate attention.

The Board zeroed in on the recommended pedestrian improvements that dovetail with the upcoming Town Meeting Article on sidewalk infrastructure.  The report sites six different funding sources the Town can go to for to receive financial aid for the recommended improvements.

The notion of connecting the downtown area to the existing sewage treatment plant on Linden Street would be a major recovery win for downtown businesses – especially restaurants.

Kevin Conley(below right), fresh from a Blair Square meeting, dropped in to share his impressions of the report. Conley stated that he was “very excited” by the report and how implementing the proposed changes would link with the Blair Square improvements currently being developed.

October Fall Town Meeting Discussion

  • As posted in the Holliston Reporter on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 the Warrant and FinCom comments are available – both online and in print -> https://hollistonreporter.com/2021/10/hear-ye-hear-ye-fall-town-meeting-on-october-18-2021/
  • A Reminder – At least 100 Holliston registered voters must attend to achieve a quorum to conduct the Town’s business.
  • Chief Cassidy reviewed the logistics for the meeting – basically the same as WAY BACK in October 2019 – with the addition of wearing a face mask.  Ample seating is available.  He cautioned that if you do not feel well, please stay home and view the meeting via HCAT.

Board Business – The Board took the following actions:

  • Approved the minutes of the September 20, 2021 meeting.
  • Appointed Jason Breslau as Associate Member Town Forest.  Mr. Breslau was introduced by Town Historian and Town Forest member Joanne Hulbert (below left).  Mr. Breslau is a frequent user of the Town’s forest and other open spaces and is excited to join the committee.  Thank you Mr. Breslau for volunteering your time and talents.
  • Received a $500.00 donation to HPD from Ahronian Landscaping.
  • Issued Event Permit for the Turkey Trot on Thursday November 25, 2021.
  • Approved one-time event permit 87 Jeffrey Ave, live music October 16, 2021 fundraiser Safe with Us animal rescue
  • Approved the waiver of fees for the 87 Jeffrey Ave fundraiser

Other Business: None

The meeting adjourned at 7:53pm. 

Please attend the Fall Town Meeting, next Monday, October 18, 2021, beginning at 7:30pm in the High School Auditorium.

Chris Cain

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