Select Board Remote Meeting

Tuesday, February 16, 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
9 Montague Rd.
A meeting of the Select Board

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Meeting of Select Board

Members: (Quorum)

  • Present: Tom Hankinson, at 7:00 PM
  • Present: Julie Shively, Chair, at 7:00 PM

Also Present:

  • 7:00 pm remote meeting
  • Present: Julie S.
  • Tom H.
  • Margie M.
  • Lisa S.
  • Scott M.
  • Jed P.
  • Melissa Colbert and others by phone and video

See original Agenda Approved Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 7:00 PM

Meeting closed: 11:37 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

  2. Appointments

    • 7:00: Jo Comerford/Natalie Blais

      General Discussion...
      This was the second annual check-in for Jo Comerford and Natalie Blais since they were elected. Sen. Comerford had a conflict, so hometown boy and aide, Jared Freedman, was present from her staff. Jared outlined past and future projects for the Senator. Priorities include: education funding, proposition 2 ½ issues, and, health and health education. She was appointed to subcommittees dealing with public health and COVID oversight and public awareness.
      Representative Blais is working on the Buy Local initiative and was instrumental in getting $200 million for a new municipal pavement fund to supplement Chapter 90, which has not been updated in years. She is also introducing a jobs act and a rural growth fund to address the issues faced by rural communities who have little or no way to expand their tax base.
      Jared and Natalie answered a variety of questions from all present.

  3. Business

    • Approve and sign Class II Auto License for Dewey Auto Body

      General Discussion...
      A Class II Auto License for Clarence Carey was approved.

    • Approve minutes of Feb. 2, 2021

      General Discussion...
      The minutes of February 2 were approved.

    • Board of Health vacancy

    • COVID Issues: BoH outreach director, Police Dept. vaccine/mask update

      General Discussion...
      Chief Minckler told the board that the two full-time officers do not want to get the COVID vaccine available to first responders. The rest of the Police Dept. has received both doses. Tom told Scott that he had had conversations with several residents concerned about the public health of Leverett with two full-time police officers declining Covid-19 vaccination. A letter of concern from the Select Board in Wendell was also received. Two letters in support of the officers’ choice have also been received. The board is still highly encouraging vaccination for the safety of the officers and residents. Margie said if the board wants to be able to mandate vaccinations that they would need to meet with the union. They do not want to take that step yet but Julie and Melissa Colbert (a Leverett physician) offered to meet with the officers to answer questions in the next couple of weeks.
      Mike Fair, Board of Health Chair, told the board that the Board of Health is interested in conducting outreach to seniors in town to make sure the are able to make an appointment for and have a ride to get the vaccine. In order to so, they would like to hire Diana Bella to make phone calls and follow up with people.

      MOTION, moved by Julie Shively, seconded by Tom Hankinson: Motion: To hire Diana Bella as a contractor, at the rate of $25/hour to conduct an outreach to Leverett seniors concerning the COVID vaccine. Vote: 2-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Julie Shively, Tom Hankinson.

    • Personnel Board Update

      General Discussion...
      Julie reported on the Personnel Board meeting. The Personnel Board voted to recommend a 1.3% COLA based on the rate of inflation for New England. John Ingram asked for the second part of a $6,000 raise for himself and Brian. Last year they were told that they could expect (and received) a $3,000 each raise. The Personnel Board did not support the increase.

    • Readdress ATM date (school vacation week 4/19-4/23)

      General Discussion...
      After having set the Annual Town Meeting for April 24, it was discovered that that was the end of school vacation week. Motion:

      MOTION, moved by Julie Shively, seconded by Tom Hankinson: . Motion: To move Annual Town Meeting to May 1, 2021 pending the Board of Health’s lifting of the restriction on social gatherings. Vote: 2-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Julie Shively, Tom Hankinson.

    • SRF Loan paperwork update

      General Discussion...
      The SRF loan for construction of the Teawaddle Hill Rd. waterline was approved. A meeting has been set for February 25 for neighbors to ask questions about the construction and timeline.
      The Teawaddle Hill Rd. project might also qualify for a new “One Stop for Growth” project grant for up to $400,000.

    • VOIP project

      General Discussion...
      Margie met with John K. and Brian C. about the VOIP project. The outlined what was needed for the remaining departments to switch (the Fire Dept. needs no changes) and presented it to the contractors and the price went down.

  4. Mail

    • Bridge Inspection for Millers Road Bridge - letter from Barbara Alfange re: plowing, Cell Coverage Mapping LLC letter

  5. Reminders

    • March 16- Town-wide Budget Hearing

    • March 2, 2021 meeting - School Committee Budget Hearing and Capital Planning Meeting

  6. Other business

    • - A resident asked about a new FRTA program and Margie will call about it. Margie asked for input the MVP action grant. Culverts and Dudleyville Road are suggestions. Board agreed to support what Highway Supt. wants to do. Becky Tew reported that the Social Justice Committee received 260 responses to their Town Meeting survey and will have a report in March.

  7. Meeting Wrap-up

The listing of matters is those reasonably anticipated by the Chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items not listed may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law.

Minutes prepared by Lisa Stratford

Minutes approved on Wednesday, Mar 17, 2021

Posted to: Select Board