Board of Selectmen, February 12, 2018

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Meeting Date: 
February 12, 2018



February 12, 2018

6:35PM                                                                                               Memorial Hall


Present: Geri Herlihy, Jeremy Kurtz, Anthony Renzoni


Not Present: Chairman Robert Lavigne, Tim Ethier


Others Present:            Peter Lukes, Town Manager

                                    Stephanie Bacon, Assistant Town Manager

                                    Liz Fotos, Town Recorder


Sel. Herlihy called the meeting to order at 6:35PM. The Board stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.


  1. Appointments, Licenses, and Permits




  1. Town Manager’s Update


Nominations Papers Available: The Town Clerk’s Office would like to remind everyone that nomination papers for elected town offices became available today for the May 14th town elections.  Offices on the ballot will be Town Moderator for one year term, two seats on The Board of Selectmen for three year terms, two seats on the Trustees for Damon Memorial for three year terms, three seats on the Wachusett Regional School District Committee for three years, with on additional 2 –year seat to fill a vacancy, and one seat on the Holden Housing Authority for a five year term.


Snow and Ice Balance Sheet: Attached is an analysis of the Town’s Snow and Ice Removal budget as of 2/6/2018.  We have had a total of 15 snow/ ice events this fiscal year.  We have expended about $322,000 of the $500,000 Snow and Ice Budget.


New Ambulance: The Holden Fire Department recently took delivery of the new Ambulance 1 on Thursday February 1.  It is a 2018 Ford F550/ Horton ambulance purchased from Greenwood Emergency Vehicles.  On behalf of the Fire Department, Chief Hall has asked to thank the Select Board, Town Manager, Finance Committee, and the citizens of Holden for their continued support of the department and our EMS program.


Holden Police Department Recertification: The Holden Police Department recently underwent their recertification process.  During this two day examination, police officials from across Massachusetts met at our Public Safety Facility to go over a list of over 150 functions that the department needed to meet in order to gain recertification.  Our Police Department once again showed the highest standards of professionalism and best practices.  I’d like to thank all of those involved, both on the Holden Police Department and those who were on the recertification committee, for their hard work and commitment to excellence in public safety.


Chief Armstrong thanked the team that worked on the recertification.  He stated that it was a three year process and that they take pride in all the work that goes into it.  He stated that they would be receiving an award in May and that they had help from other Departments as well and he wanted to thank all involved.


Year-To-Date Expense and Revenue Reports: Enclosed are the Year-to-Date Expense and Revenue Reports for the period ending December 2017 prepared by Lori Rose, Town Accountant.  This provides a snap shot of what departments have spent and the amounts of revenue collected at the half-way point in FY2018.  Expenses are not necessarily incurred on a regular monthly basis.  For example, General Government expenses are about 50% due mainly to pre-payment of our Worcester Regional Retirement assessment in July of each year.  We save 2% as an early payment assessment discount offered by the Worcester Regional Retirement System.  IT is another department where some contracts run on schedules that don’t necessarily conform to our fiscal year.  Revenues are about where we expect them at the half-way point. 


Water Management Act Grant: The Baker/Polito administration recently announced that Holden is one of the recipients of a Water Management Act Grant.  Holden will be part of a multi-town project that will evaluate the impact of new water conservation/demand management requirements on revenues and rates.  In addition to the impacts on normal water  rate structure, this evaluation will consider the use of seasonal water rates and ways in which towns can address the changes to their rates setting, which often varies between “wet” and “dry” years, but ultimately balances over time.  New water conservation efforts have led to dry years being lower and therefore not balancing the wet years.  The study hopes to provide towns with potential methods of stabilizing rates and revenues to reflect conservation and demand management.


Sel. Herlihy asked about how they came up with the information and if it was new to the state.


Mr. Lukes replied that he could get more information about the grant.


Census Forms:  The Town Clerk’s Office would like residents to know that the annual census has been mailed to each household. Please complete and return the census form to the Town Clerk’s Office, which is located in Town Hall, 1196 Main Street as soon as possible Residents may return the form by mail or drop off the form at the Town Hall, Starbard Building, or Senior Center.


If you misplaced your census for or did not receive a census form, please call the Town Clerks Office at (508) 210-5530.


Brush Burning Permits: Brush burning permits will be available until May 1.  Apply for your permit either at the Holden Fire Department or online.  For more information:


  1. Selectmen Subcommittee


Sel. Renzoni stated that the VA Committee was looking for volunteers for the Memorial Day Parade and stated that they could reach out to him or the Town Managers Office if interested. 


Sel. Kurtz stated he had none.  He asked if there was a Water/ Sewer Advisory Board Meeting coming up.


Sel. Renzoni stated that he served as a liaison to that Board and they called him only if they needed a gauge on an opinion or something similar.  He stated that they report to the Town Manager.


Sel. Kurtz stated that he was asking because last week Wyoming Drive had another water main break and he thought that was the fourth in the last 7/8 months.  He stated that he wanted to know if there were permanent repairs coming in the spring with how often it was occurring.


Sel. Renzoni stated that he felt that was a DPW question.


Sel. Kurtz agreed but stated that he had been reached out to by residents and he wanted to bring this forward.


Sel. Herlihy stated that the DPW Building Committee was meeting tonight, February 12, 2018 and was in the process of working on bids for remediation and demo.


  1. Selectmen Miscellaneous


Sel. Renzoni: none.


Sel. Kurtz stated that the Resource Profile was on Wednesday at the Senior Center.


Sel. Kurtz stated that he knows that DPW was working to reach out to the state to address the pot holes on Main Street.


Mr. Lukes stated that they had received several complaints about Main Street and that it was a state highway so MA Highway responds to and fixes the issues. He stated that they had set up communication between DPW and the Police in order to provide accident reports.  He stated that they have also been in contact with Representative Ferguson in order to help facilitate this and they were working to track down MA Highway in order to fix the road.


  1. Selectmen Minutes






  1. Citizen address


Diane Peyton, 20 Pleasant Drive, was present at the meeting.  She stated that she left a letter off last week in advance of the meeting and had placed another piece of information on the Boards desk.  She stated that what was going on in Holden housing was serious and there was a major meeting tomorrow, February 13, 2018 and she thought it would be nice if a Selectman would attend. 


Sel. Herlihy asked if she would like to explain what the letter says.


Ms. Peyton replied that she was hoping the Board would read it and she preferred to keep it low key if possible but she would like a response as well.


  1. Pool Rate Discussion


Sel. Renzoni stated that he wanted to remind everyone that he had proposed a pool rate adjustment fee increase and suggested that they limit non resident day passes.  He stated that he had spent some time with the Town Manager and suggested that they move ahead with the rate adjustment as suggested and ask the Manager to set a limit on daily non resident use.  He stated he suggests letting the Manager work with the Recreation Department for a proposed rate scheme.  He stated this was only a recommendation from the Board of Selectmen to the Town Managers Office.


Mr. Lukes stated that as they had discussed the pool rates and non resident passes was governed by the rules from the grant that they received from the state.  He stated the way it is now they were not in a violation of those rules and that he thinks putting a cap on daily passes also falls into what they can do as long as the cost does not exceed twice the cost that residents pay.


Sel. Renzoni stated that he was not suggesting changing the pricing, but limiting the number of daily passes given.  He stated that he thinks this is some good consensus and that it addressed the problem of overcrowding.  He stated that he does not think anyone anticipated that the Town would grow so quickly and that he thinks if the Board made an endorsement, the Town Manager could come back to them with some additional information.


Sel. Herlihy asked about the guest passes.


Sel. Renzoni stated that they should leave it to the Town Manger to iron out the details but that it was discussed to open the resident passes to Town Employees and to find a way to work with the district for the school choice kids as well.  He stated that he thought the intent was to decrease non resident daily passes but to include people that were very much a part of the Holden family.


Sel. Renzoni stated that without objection he would like to pass this along to the Town Manager for consideration.


Sel. Herlihy stated that she did not object but she would like to look at the Holden residents’ ability to bring a guest as well.


Sel. Renzoni stated he did not disagree but he thought they should leave the details in the Town Managers hands.


  1. Follow-Up to Citizens Address


Sel. Renzoni thanked Ms. Peyton for speaking. He stated that he knew that she asked to keep this low key however this was a public meeting and it was televised.  He read the name of the memo, Holden Housing Authority, in the interest of transparency and stated that the fact that it was turned in it was available as public record.   Sel. Renzoni stated that he was not prepared to discuss this but he asked the Town Manager to brief the Board at some point about where the Town stood with this issue.  He stated that it was his understanding that the Town did not have much of a role with this matter.


Mr. Lukes replied the Town had no role.  He stated that the Housing Authority was independent and they had not say in this matter.


Sel. Renzoni stated that the Board of Selectmen had no authority on this matter.  He stated that it was not the practice of the Board to go back and forth with a citizen during Citizen Address but if she wanted to reach out to the Chairman she could.  He stated that he can stay after the meeting and discuss this but the Board of Selectmen is not involved and this matter was outside the Boards jurisdiction.


Sel. Herlihy asked what the next step would be.


Mr. Lukes replied with the Housing Authority; not this Board.


Motion by Sel. Renzoni, seconded by Sel. Kurtz, it was UNANIMOUSLY VOTED TO ADJOURN THE FEBRUARY 12, 2018 BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING AT 7:02PM.



APPROVED: __March 5, 2018___________