March 28, 2022, Select Board Meeting

Holliston’s Select Board (SB) met on Monday March 28, 2022. Chair Tina Hein (wearing a mask as a personal precaution) called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.

First up, was HPD Chief Matthew Stone presenting a candidate for appointment as a Holliston Police Officer.  Stone introduced David Craig (below middle), a 30-year-old US Navy veteran who holds a BS from Syracuse and an MS in Cybersecurity.  He passed all phases of the selection process, that began last September, with flying colors.  His background check yielded phrases such as: detail-oriented, meticulous, level-headed, and demonstrates maturity and self-awareness.

Mr. Craig was appointed by unanimous vote and will start his 22-week training at Plymouth Police Academy next Monday!  Congratulations Mr. Craig.  We will likely see Mr. Craig be sworn in as Office Craig in early September.

Warrants: The SB approved the weekly warrant totaling -> $2,367,414.15

Public Comment:  None from Board members or citizens

Blair Square Update:  Kevin Conley, Blair Square chair (below right), was excited to share that the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is recommending at Town Meeting that $585,000 be approved to pay for the entire Blair Square renovation.  Any monies raised through grants and donations will reduce the amount needed from CPC funds.

As the project moves from design to implementation, the charge and composition of a renewed Blair Square Committee is in the offing.  The Board suggested that Fundraising and Opening Ceremonies plans should be part of the Committee’s work.  Details will be fleshed out shortly.

The Board thanked Mr. Conley and the entire Blair Square Committee for working diligently to accomplish their initial charge.

The entire presentation can be viewed here -> Blair Square Design Presentation.  This document might be good reading in preparation for May Town Meeting. Mr. Conley is still offering personal tours of the proposed renovations –

FY2023 Budget

The Select Board recommended budget as, approved last week, is posted on the Town’s website -> The Board approved the amended Water Department budget – LOWER by $42,000.  This is due in part to automation at the soon to be opened water treatment plant and other technology that should save a full-time plant operator being added to staff.  The Board asked for a tour (live and/or virtual) in the near future.

The Capital budget items list is unchanged from previous weeks.  The School Committee will be presenting its Capital requests to the SB at next Monday’s meeting.

2022 Annual Town Meeting

There are still 41 articles for the May Town Meeting Warrant (see last week’s SB report in the Holliston Reporter). 

The Board discussed changing the order of some articles to take advantage of available Town resources.  The possibility for a Consent Agenda (lumping some routine articles together for one vote) is in play.

Reminder – May Town Meeting will begin on Monday, May 9, 2022, at 7:00pm in the HHS Auditorium. 

Comments from Town Administrator:  Mr. Ahern shared the following with the SB:

  • Earth Day is April 22nd, Sustainability Coordinator, Matt Zettek sent along these eco-friendly items:
    • Early April – textile recycling program expansion with containers delivered to Sr. Ctr. 150 Goulding Street and 1750 Washington Street
    • Early April – new food waste collection program incentive introduced to get to 500; (grant funds used – $29 incentive increased to $50 for next 50 signups)
    • April 23rd – Scrap Metal recycling at Recycling Center (with focus on non – White Good items residents tend to put out for costly curbside service)
    • April 26 Waste Reduction related presentation at the Senior Center
  • The ViewPoint video highlighting Holliston’s attractive features will be distributed by the vendor nationwide beginning in late April.  It will soon be available locally too.  It might have a screening at Town Meeting!
  • Street Sweeping starts NEXT week.  The winter overnight parking ban ends this Thursday.
  • No candidates yet for the vacant seats on the Board of Assessors, Board of Health, and Library Trustees. Please consider serving your neighbors on these important Boards.
  • Two responses have been received for the Linden St. Wastewater Treatment plant feasibility study.  The bids are being reviewed now.
  • Next Monday’s meeting is likely to be a long one (that means more than 2 hours) with the Board receiving several updates from Committees and vendors!

Host Community Agreement (HCA) Request – 91 Kuniholm Drive (Paragon Harvest, LLC)

At 8:02 pm the Board opened discussions with the principals of Paragon Harvest, LLC.  This new company has already purchased the vacant building at 91 Kuniholm Drive.

The business model for this endeavor is different from other marijuana cultivators / processors who have HCA’s with Holliston.

Above, the proponents: Peter Zagorianakos, Michael Ford, and Jonathan Miller, come at this project from the real estate investment vantage point.

Mr. Zagorianakos heads up several different companies and real estate ventures.  Mr. Ford has legal expertise.  Mr. Miller brings operational experience.  Recognizing that this trio are not veteran marijuana cultivators, they are partnering with a respected grower, Mr. Terrance Mendez.

The proponents are prepared to take the vacant building (below), invest $6-7 million to make necessary structural, safety, security, and odor mitigation upgrades to meet all Town requirements. (next three slides)

The company has a very aggressive timeline.  Mr. Zagorianakos is ready to start work on the physical structure “as soon as possible.”

Town Counsel Kate Feoderoff (above) answered the Board’s questions and asked the proponents if there were any contingencies that could get in the way of an HCA, the answer was no.

The Board unanimously approved the HCA with Paragon Harvest, LLC for a period of 10 years and authorized the Town Administrator and Town Counsel to draft the Host Community Agreement.

Board Business:

  • Approved the minutes from the February 28, 2022, meeting.
  • Accepted a $200 donation to the Senior Center Nutrition Program from Ahronian Landscaping
  • Accepted a $150 donation to Youth & Family Services from Ahronian Landscaping. The Board thanked former Select Board member Mark Ahronian for these donations.
  • Approved the amendment to Cellular/Wireless Communications Lease Agreement – T-Mobile at 98 Fairlane Way, Holliston, MA – this will ultimately bring $300 / month more revenue to the Town.
  • Approved a One-Day beverage License May 15, 2022, for Zetus Beer Garden from noon to 8 p.m. at the Historical Society
  • Authorized the Office of Travel & Tourism Grant Application be completed by Town Planner Karen Sherman and signed by Mr. Ahern (for the Blair Square project) to be submitted before March 31, 2022.
  • Approved the Veterans’ District Membership (Mr. Ahern sits on the Board of Directors) and letter stating Holliston’s intentions.

Other Business:

  • Mr. Cronin asked that the hours of operation at the recycling center be looked at with the hope that service hours could be extended.
  • Mrs. Hein does not want the Board to lose sight of the potential increase in contacts about Holliston following the broad distribution of our brand-new promotional video.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:16pm.  Let’s see what time the meeting adjourns next week.

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Chris Cain