November 7, 2022, Select Board Meeting

The Holliston Select Board met on Monday November 7, 2022, convening at 7:01pm.  Chair Ben Sparrell promised a “familiar agenda” as two main topics had been previously discussed.

The Board received Update #2 on the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Feasibility Study from engineering firm Lombardo Associates.  Below left, Pio Lombardo, owner, and below right, Gary Rubenstein, Senior Engineer brought detailed plans for their presentation to the Board.

The ninety-minute presentation/discussion covered the three areas outlined on the slide below.

Key on this slide is the first bullet point, Very Promising results from initial tests.

Zone II mentioned above is related to the drinking water aquifer that supplies Town wells 5 and 6.  As noted, this will require higher treatment of wastewater before adding it back into the ground water.

Lombardo recommends a low-pressure system that collects effluent from existing septic tanks within the proposed downtown sewer district (127 properties in the Village Commercial Zone – includes a few residential properties).  Sewer lines would run “cross country” meaning cutting through properties off the roads to the facility on Linden Street.

Lombardo’s experience is that such a project takes about 5 years to complete.

Development potential refers to how much effluent will each property actually put into the system – the figures shown on slide 3 are estimates based on past water usage (water in = wastewater out).

Discussion quickly moved to the cost of such a sewage district.  Infrastructure grants are available that could defray some of the initial cost.  Annual usage fees from those on the system would cover the maintenance of the system.

Mr. Lombardo pointed out that having a sewer connection is seen as a value-add for home sellers.

The pipelines carry the effluent to the treatment plant which needs to be upgraded to handle the increased volume AND meet the MassDEP clean water requirements.  The prices are listed below.  The table at the bottom right indicates how many of any ONE of the four categories could be handled by the upgraded system. 

Next steps as presented by Mr. Lombardo are shown below.

The Board thanked Messrs. Lombardo and Rubenstein for their time and information.  Mr. Lombardo will work up what he called a “fast track” timeline to meet requirements for the existing ARPA funds and any subsequent money available through the state.  If you wish additional information, please check out -> Update #1 from June 6, 2022

Above, the Board discussed two policies that had been drafted by ATA /HR Dir Kathleen Buckley and reviewed with proposed revisions from Town Boards and Committees.

  • Code of Conduct Policy
  • Social Media Policy – Town-wide staff focused

The Board approved both policies, including new language offered by the Board for the Code of Conduct, and that both policies be forwarded to Counsel to be properly formed.

Public Comment:

  • Mrs. Hein: Reminders – No Overnight on street parking Nov 1 – March 31.  Leaf pickup week of Nov. 28th
  • Mr. Cronin: Friday is Veterans Day.  Holliston’s observance begins at 10:30 near Blair Square
  • Mr. Sparrell: None
  • Public: None

Comments from Town Administrator:

  • With expanded hours at the recycling center, new staff are on duty.  They are checking for current recycling center window decals.  They are free from the Treasurer / Collector’s office.
  • The annual Select Board Humanitarian Awards will be presented in Upper Town Hall on Monday, November 14, 2022, at 6:30pm
  • The reconstructed Envision Future Holliston committee has been formed.  Their first meeting will be on November 16, 2022.  The members are shown below.
  • Blair Square Reconstruction – Below is the project timeline.  Note that construction begins in January 2023.
  • 9 Green Street Reconstruction – Will be posted on the Town Project update page soon ->
  • As the Board requested, letters were sent to 19 farms in Holliston to solicit input regarding the role of the Agricultural Commission in town.
  • Early projections are that the construction work (approved and fully funded) on the Factory Pond Dam will take place in the summer of 2024.

Warrants: The Board approved the weekly warrant totaling -> $2,860,726.18

Board Business:

  • Appointed Kathleen Buckley as West Suburban Health Group (WSHG) representative, effective January 1, 2023, through June 30, 2023.
  • Appointed Cheryl Houle as WSHG alternate representative, effective January 1, 2023, through June 30, 2023.
  • Appointed Tim Smith as an Associate member to Golf Course Advisory Committee, for a term to expire June 2023
  • Executed and signed the Trail Easement as approved (Article 24, Oct. 2022 Fall Town Meeting)
  • Approved minutes of the October 3, 2022, meeting
  • Approved the Holliston Lions Club Holiday Tree Lights at Blair Square with tree lighting on November 26, 2022.
  • AFFF (aka “forever chemicals”) Legal Service Agreement joining any class action suit if chemical contamination is found in Holliston water – Sandman Law, LLC
  • Approved Amendment #2 to Lombardo Associates contract for Feasibility Study on WWTP – $11,790

Other Business:

Mrs. Hein asked about what is happening for Holliston’s 300th.  Will be on a future SB agenda.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:17pm. Chair Sparrell encouraged the public to attend next week’s Humanitarian Awards ceremony in Upper Town Hall.


Chris Cain


  1. Jackie Dellicker on November 9, 2022 at 10:35 am

    Great article with lots of information to digest, as usual. Thank you.

    No mention of “no pick up” of rubbish removal on Friday, Veterans Day. Checked my list and it still on the list as a Town holiday. Just curious. Jackie Dellicker.