Short and Sweet for the Select Board this Week
Holliston’s Select Board met on Monday, November 28, 2022, with Chair Ben Sparrell calling the meeting to order at 7:00pm. This brief report summarizes the one-hour meeting.
The Board heard from American Legion Post 47 Past Commander Steve Bradford and the request to designate a veterans’ parking spot convenient to downtown businesses. The request was not based on any specific inquiry made of Mr. Bradford but rather something that would further recognize veterans for their service. Mr. Bradford (below left) noted that Ashland has designated a veteran’s spot. Mr. Cronin noted that several commercial parking lots allocate such spaces.
The members of the Board voiced unanimous support for the concept. The Board passed a motion to authorize the Town Administrator to continue research as to the best location and how the designated spot(s) would be enforced.
Next up was the review of the seven responses received to date from Holliston’s farm business community regarding the brief survey (below) that was sent out to nearly 20 agricultural entities in early November.
Mr. Ahern summarized the responses in the following way:
- Yes, there should be an Agricultural Commission
- The Ag Com protects Holliston’s Right to Farm status
- Provides a sense of protection for farming
- The Farms Day event is very important to the agricultural community
The Board discussed ways to bolster Farms Day as a way to promote agricultural in town as part of the economic development of the Town.
The Board approved a motion to request the Town Administrator to identify a member of the Town staff to lead future Farms Days and to recruit new members for the reformatted Agricultural Commission.
COVID-19 Community update / ARPA Programmatic update
Mr. Ahern shared an update from Fire Chief Michael Cassidy regarding the Town’s request for FEMA reimbursement related to earlier COVID expenses. FEMA continues to move the request through the review / approval process.
The ARPA Steering Group will meet TODAY at noon to review the items listed below. Mr. Cronin asked that under item 1c. the request from the Historical Society related to septic needs be discussed.
Any recommendations regarding use of ARPA funds for these items will be presented to the Select Board at a future meeting.
Warrants: The Board unanimously approved the weekly warrant totaling -> $2,420,882.78
- Mrs. Hein: None
- Mr. Cronin – Thanked the Holliston Lions for Saturday’s Tree lighting ceremony at Blair Square
- Mr. Sparrell – He will be hosting his monthly “Select Chat” THIS Friday at 9:30 at the Senior Center. This session is open to all, and refreshments are provided.
- Public: None this week. Mr. Ahern provided answers to the four questions asked during last week’s public comment.
- Do all Firefighters attend Fire Academy? Yes, if not already certified as Firefighter 1 or 2, new members must be certified within one year.
- Is there a probation period? Yes, 180 days
- Were recently appointed firefighters replacements or additions to staff? Replacements to current and known upcoming vacancies.
- What is the current roster for firefighters / EMS? Fire = 54; EMS = 29 (Mr. Ahern added that the first round of new EMT’s applicants is being screened using the new pay scale approved at Fall Town Meeting.
Comments from Town Administrator:
- Leaf pickup which was supposed to start on Monday did not happen due to a vendor issue. All leaves left at the curb for Monday pickup will be retrieved along with the regular pickup on each subsequent day.
Board Schedule Review for End of Calendar Year: The Board arrived at the following schedule through December.
- December 5th – A detailed discussion regarding the Town’s Marshall Street Solar project – potentially including signing legal documents
- December 12th – A detailed review of Public Safety initiatives. Perhaps an introduction of the finalist candidate to become Treasurer / Collector following Mary Bousquet’s retirement.
- December 19th – All the necessary end-of-year business (including opening the Warrant for the Spring 2023 Town Meeting!)
- December 26th – NO MEETING
- January 3, 2023 – MAYBE a meeting
- Approved the minutes of October 24, 2022, meeting.
The Board authorized Mr. Ahern to request $32,000 in Chapter 90 State funds to conduct a town-wide “pavement management plan” using engineering firm Beta.
Mr. Cronin and EDC Chair John Drohan held the first of what will be several outreach calls to Holliston business owners. Cronin reported having a very productive conversation with Wayne Griffin, owner of Griffin Electric headquartered in the Hopping Brook Industrial Park. Mr. Cronin has shared information from the call with Mr. Ahern.
The meeting adjourned at 7:56pm. (NOT a typo)
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