Select Board/Board of Health

Tuesday, May 11, 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm
Remote meeting
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
  • Present: Melissa Colbert, at 7:00 PM

Also Present:

  • Mike Fair
  • Pete Sylvan
  • John Hillman and Nick Vento from the Board of Health plus Margie M. (Administrator)
  • and George from the Montague Reporter and several others by video and/or phone.

See original Agenda Approved Meeting Minutes

Meeting opened: 7:00 PM

Meeting closed: 9:27 PM

  1. Meeting Preliminaries

    • Meeting Opened / Attendance Taken (see above).

    • No minutes to approve.

  2. Appointments

    • 7:00: Life Path, update

      General Discussion...
      Nour Elkhattaby Strauch from Life Path (Formerly Franklin County Home Care) joined the meeting to discuss an Age Friendly Communities Program that Life Path has received grant funds to implement in Franklin County and North Quabbin towns. Mr. Strauch explained the Age- and Dementia-Friendly Project and the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities and requested Leverett’s support for the project. He will send his information and a draft support letter for the Selectboard to review.

    • 7:15: Revenue Committee, discussion of report

      General Discussion...
      Tim Shores, Pat Duffy, Michael Dover and Susan Mareneck joined the meeting to review the report of the Revenue, now the Sustainable Economy, Committee. Tim mentioned some highlights of the report and went through the recommendations the report makes to the Selectboard. Some assistance will be needed to follow through on these. There was a discussion about the balance of maintaining historic structures and their ability to generate revenue.

    • 7:30: Mosquito Control with Bd of Health

      General Discussion...
      The Selectboard and Board of Health members discussed the State’s new Mosquito Control Initiative, which requires towns to opt out by May 28th if they do not want spraying in their towns. Pete Sylvan has researched this and informed everyone that Leverett is a low-risk area for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and believes that we can advertise a plan of actions that can be taken to keep the risk low. Many residents have contacted Selectboard and Board of Health members to request that we opt out.

      MOTION, moved by Julie Shively, seconded by Tom Hankinson: Board of Health: Motion made to recommend to the Selectboard that Leverett withdraw from the State’s aerial spraying program and develop our own 2-year plan. Voted 3 in favor, no opposed.
      Selectboard: Motion made that Leverett opt out of the State’s aerial spraying program. Voted 3-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Julie Shively, Tom Hankinson, Melissa Colbert.

      The Board of Health members will work on a plan. Jono Niger and Portia Weiskel offered to help. Board of Health members left the meeting.

  3. Business

    • Approve minutes of April 27, 2021

      General Discussion...
      Minutes to April 27, 2021 meeting were approved with no changes.

    • Fire Chief replacement

      General Discussion...
      Fire Chief John Ingram has given the Selectboard his notice as of May 22nd. The Board agreed to advertise in the town hall to get the position filled as quickly as possible. Margie will work on the advertisement. Tom informed the rest of the Board that he thinks this might lead to combining the Emergency Management job duties into that of the Fire Chief.

    • re-organize

      General Discussion...
      Motion made for Julie to continue as the Selectboard Chair. Voted 2-0 in favor.
      Motion made for Tom to be the Selectboard Vice Chair. Voted 2-0 in favor.

      Julie took a minute to welcome Melissa to the Selectboard and her first meeting.

    • State Flood Plain Bylaw

      General Discussion...
      Richard Nathhorst attended the meeting to discuss the new US flood plain maps that are coming out next year. In order for residents to get flood insurance, the town will need to adopt a bylaw and appoint an administrator. Not sure if Selectboard or planning board should present the bylaw at next spring’s annual town meeting. Margie will ask the Building Inspectors if they are getting requests from other towns to serve as the administrator as it seems the best fit.

  4. Mail

    • Old Mountain Rd. blocking road with yard waste/intimidating walkers

      General Discussion...
      The Selectboard received a letter from Richard Thomas asking for help determining if a pile of dirt placed in the road by a neighbor is legally there. Mr. Thomas was present at the meeting and shared a map of the road. The pile is located before the end of the road. Margie reported that the road is a county road, so she has asked for information from the FRCOG as to how long the public road goes. It connects to Rat Hollow Road, which has been discontinued. Neighbor Kurt Adams noted that the pile stops motorized vehicles from accessing the hiking trails, which he likes. The group agreed that maybe Eversource would put a gate at the end of the road. Margie will get requested information from the FRCOG and ask if they have any opinions about the pile of dirt.

  5. Other business

    • Affordable Housing

      General Discussion...
      Julie updated the Board that the Affordable Housing Trust is looking to work with Habitat for Humanity by donating a housing lot in town to them for them to develop. The Trust plans to donate some land for a house in town. The Trust probably needs to go to town meeting next year to have enough available funds for the land donation. The question of if the town owned any land that could be used needs to be researched.

    • Police Regionalization

      General Discussion...
      Julie also reported that the Police Regionalization effort has a new consultant on board and they hope to have a new agreement with Wendell soon. One question to be resolved is the ongoing role of an Advisory Committee. Residents listening asked for more involvement in regionalization and community policing efforts.

    • Highway Dept. Truck

      General Discussion...
      Margie and Matt Boucher, Highway Superintendent, explained that the new truck to be purchased will go up in price when procurement requirements are followed, either by local bid or state bid. Matt just learned today that though the cab and chassis will be more expensive, he thinks he will save enough on the body to be able to afford the purchase with only $2,000 or so needed from his budget.

      MOTION, moved by Julie Shively, seconded by Tom Hankinson: Motion made to purchase the cheapest truck (the Peterbilt) through a legal procurement avenue as soon as he can to keep the price from going up any further. Voted 3-0 in favor.

      Pass: Aye: Julie Shively, Tom Hankinson, Melissa Colbert.

    • Miscellaneous

      General Discussion...
      Tom noted that he would like to recognize several long-term town officials that stopped serving this year in the newsletter. He will make a draft.

      Margie asked about a new construction oversight agreement with Tata and Howard for the Teawaddle project. It was agreed to wait until after the construction bids come in on May 19th to make sure we can afford it.

      Margie also shared that the insurance company will stop covering town employees’ notarizations for private/resident business as of July 1st unless that town pays for a $950 additional policy. Board agreed not to purchase the additional insurance and stop any private notary business as on June 30 of this year.

  6. 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 Margie McGinnis

Minutes approved on Tuesday, Jun 29, 2021

Posted to: Select Board