Select Board Met on Thursday, September 14th

The Select Board and Town Administrator met on September 14, 2023, without member
Ben Sparrell.

Chair Cronin announced the Blair Square Ribbon Cutting will take place at 5:30,
Monday September 18. Once that ceremony is done, folks are invited to walk along
Central to Goodwill Park to review progress on other projects.

Senior Center Update
Lisa Borchetta, Director of the Senior Center, gave an update about activities at the
Center and asked that $25,000 to be placed on the warrant for the October Town
Meeting. The intent is to hire an architect to study the Center to identify modifications to
meet changing needs.

The Director admitted some were cosmetic changes because the building needs a
facelift, but most importantly, the space needs to be reconfigured. As things are now,
the staff and volunteers have to set-up and take down seating and equipment
frequently, because there is no dedicated space for specific activities, be that
exercising, speaker meetings, training space or other.

Borchetta also noted that they must rebrand the Center to become more useful to the
“younger” seniors (55 plus.) They are almost one third of the population and growing.
“People are looking for Senior Centers to meet broader needs.” Seniors can be from 50
into their 90s. Their needs vary dramatically, “and we serve all those groups,” said Ms.
Borchetta.

When asked, the Director confirmed for Chair Cronin that the Gerontological survey that
was done for the center a year ago informs their programs and decisions. They learned
from the survey that they needed to rebrand and make changes.
The Board asked about the possibility of expanding the building and suggested further
examination.

In her reports, Borchetta said that the new Assistant Director Laura Parmensi has
“jumped right in” and has quickly established herself. The Center is looking for a fulltime
Outreach and Program coordinator, now, and they need more part time van drivers.
Borchetta reported that with ARPA funds and the work of Habitat for Humanity, they
have done five repair projects fixing things like decks and roofs that were in unsafe
conditions. They can do other types of projects, and there are more funds available.
People who might have a need should contact the Center. John Gannon is also
available through the Senior Center to install safety equipment in seniors’ homes.

Fall Fair
The annual Fall Fair that is organized by the Senior Support Foundation was very
successful last weekend. “They sold every cookie on the table!” Ms. Borchetta thanked
the SSF and all the other volunteers for their efforts. The funds from the Fair support
programming.

Chris Meo, IT Director, and James Keast, Facilities Director, installed a monitor and
cameras inside and out at the center, which has made everyone feel more comfortable.

Parks and Recreation
The Chair of Parks and Recreation, Shaw Lively, reported to the Board next, and he
also had a request for the warrant for Town Meeting. He explained that there has been
a long-standing problem with foul balls flying into neighbors’ yards from the High School
baseball field. Apparently, the back stop is just 12 feet back and should be a minimum
of 25. The Commission is requesting $250,000 to come up with a good solution, “but it’s
not a Cadillac; it is professional grade,” Lively assured them. Mark Frank, Director of
Recreation, has been working with the schools.

Lively reported that the summer camp programs were oversubscribed, and that the
Commission is considering options to expand offerings to more children.

Goodwill construction is going slower than hoped. They ran into issues with the high-
water table and needed to have engineering done. The new building will be welcome
with new opportunities, but not until next year.

Stoddard – the Commission is considering creating a big diamond, multi-purpose and
multi-use space. They are in the engineering phase now. They hope to access CPC
Funds. They do not plan to have this field lighted.

Lake Winthrop Restoration – Parks Department installed the 10-foot mats in the
swimming areas, but they weren’t as effective as hoped. They have been given the go-
ahead by the Conservation Agent Ryan Clapp to apply non glyspohate herbicide to 1.26
acres of weeds covering the two beaches and the boat launch. The treatment kills roots
but will likely need retreatment in a couple years.

Travis Ahern suggested that they investigate the purchase of a harvester to manage the
weeds mechanically. That request could be added to the Capital Plan. Lively agreed
and said, “If we don’t manage the weeds, vegetation will fill in the whole lake.”

Lively mentioned that the Scouts had raised the money and built changing stalls. And
the boat storage that they created last year was a total success again. He thanked them
for their outstanding work. (More on this tomorrow.)

Basketball and Pickle Ball

The Park Commission is looking at the site of the Flagg School as a possible location
for an adult basketball court in conjunction with the schools who have some ideas, too.
And down the road at 260 Woodland, Commission is exploring that vacant land for a
Pickle Ball court. The Recreation Department is busy!

Parking at Mayflower Landing
The Town owns land at Mayflower Landing Rail Trail crossing. Ahern explained that if
the town did the work in-house, it would cost about $12,500 to create four perpendicular
parking spaces, add bike racks, and create a path to the Trail (where car is parked in
photo.) The spaces would not be ADA compliant. In the future, it is possible that East
Holliston will get its own park on the left side of the road shown.

Review Warrant
The Board reviewed the warrant, and Ahern was clear that the list may need trimming –
it all depends on how much money is available in Free Cash. The state must certify the
amount.

Close
Before ending the meeting, Tina Hein announced September is Recovery Month and
Director for Holliston Drug and Alcohol Coalition, Zoe Moreau, is collecting personal
stories of recovery. The goal is to shine a light on the good news. If someone has a
story to share, they should contact her at Moreauz@holliston.k12.ma.us

Mary Greendale

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