The Halifax Board of Selectmen, who have been meeting with greater frequency than usual, met in-person on June 11. They dealt with some regular town business including approval of line-item transfers and ambulance abatements. They also signed off on a road opening for White Island Road to install a new gas service requiring one detail. There was another road opening request for 160 Holmes St. to install a new gas service as well.
Selectmen Chair Gordon Andrews recused himself from the discussion of the Host Community Agreement (HCA) with Green Earth Cannabis. “There’s nothing, as far as I know, in State law that says that simply because someone proposes a Host Community Agreement the town is obligated to say so. I think, you know, it’s the Board’s judgment call not just on zoning issues or site plan review which are being done by the Planning Board but whether it’s worth it to the community to have this establishment in here… it’s one of the reasons we ask for the public comments on it,” Town Administrator Charlie Seelig explained.
He told Selectmen Ashley DiSesa and Troy Garron their options including agreeing to the HCA, saying no to it, asking for additional provisions within it, or asking for additional public comment. Garron said he has very strong feelings about it and said he has heard from more residents against the idea than for it. Seelig said that a valid reason to say no would be that there was significant opposition to the establishment particularly due to its close proximity to residents resulting in traffic worries, etc. Garron made a motion that they not agree to the proposed HCA and DiSesa agreed. Seelig said he would communicate the decision to the applicant.
The Selectmen also reviewed the Police Department rules and regulations. Seelig asked the Board if they wished to move the discussion to a further date and have Police Chief Joao Chaves attend. Andrews pointed out that they hadn’t been updated in a really long time and Seelig laughed saying, “Yea, in about 45 years.” Selectmen DiSesa and Garron both said they had reviewed the new rules and saw no issue. The Selectmen then unanimously approved.
Seelig also discussed several documents pertaining to the Franklin St. Solar Field. “There are two documents, one is the final document related to the actual payment of taxes pilot agreement and that is going to go to the Registry of Deeds… the other is for financing purposes for the developer,” Seelig explained. The Board unanimously agreed to approve the documents. The Solar Field itself was approved at a previous year’s town meeting.
The Selectmen also re-evaluated their own duties and liaisons. Garron agreed to stay on as the liaison to the Animal Control Officer. He also agreed to be assigned to Cemetery, MBTA, Memorial Day, Monponsett, Advisory, and Old Colony Planning Council delegate. DiSesa was assigned to the Capital Planning Committee as well as the Highway Department. Seelig remained on for Chief Procurement Officer and the insurance plan. Andrews agreed to be the liaison to the Finance Committee and Fire Department as well as the Halifax Emergency Management. He also took on Government study. DiSesa agreed to Traffic Safety.
The Selectmen also discussed the surplus equipment procedure. Seelig said, “We have tried to be transparent in the past when we’re selling property, to get the information out; this helps formalize what locations, what venues we’ll be putting out notices and such when we’re putting property out for sale whether it be vehicles or something else.” He said that for vehicles they would still do the auctions and advertise on the town website. Seelig told the Selectmen that this way any resident who may be interested can find out about it and no one can say they weren’t aware of the proceedings. The Selectmen voted unanimously for the policy.
Seelig also addressed reports received regarding OUI (Operating Under the Influence). He said that for the last several months there were none reporting that someone pulled over said they had had their last drink in Halifax. “Most of the time we get a clean sheet,” Seelig said.
Seelig also said he was looking into reports of erratic power outages in town.