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SHIRLEY – With a light agenda and weighty matters – such as COVID-19 – on its ongoing to-do list, the Board of Selectmen wrapped up its business in about 17 minutes Tuesday night.

As it has for the past several weeks, the board again met semi-remotely, with Town Administrator Mike McGovern and Chairman Bryan Sawyer at the table – socially distanced by a couple empty chairs — in the main meeting room at the town offices.

Members Debra Flagg and Andree Lourdes Jean Jacques participated remotely via ZOOM, an audio-video internet platform the public can also tune into.

The meeting was also filmed by SPACO to air on the town’s public access TV channel.

With town buildings shut down for the past few weeks and only essential personnel allowed into the town offices, employees who can do so have been working from home.

But Sawyer said that has changed. “Today, we reopened (the town offices) to employees only,” he said. The building is still closed to the public.

Sawyer also said the Covid-19 working group he’s part of — along with public safety officials, the health board chairman and the town administrator — continues to meet regularly. Part of the group’s job is to assess incoming information in terms of town services.

Recapping the current list of what’s open, closed, changed or deferred due to the pandemic, he noted that the due date for quarterly property tax bills has been extended a month, from May 1 to June 1. The May town election has been moved out to June 23 and annual town meeting has also been postponed, with no new date on the calendar yet.

If the ATM date extends beyond May 30, however, town government can still operate, he said, with a green light from the state and procedural guidance provided.

Addressing “alarming” numbers posted on the town and state websites regarding confirmed COVID-19 cases, he said the figure listed for Shirley includes cases within the prison population. (The town of Shirley hosts a federal and a state prison within its borders.) Minus that number, the town has a total of eight COVID-19 cases to date, unrelated to the prison, Sawyer said.

In other business, the board signed an extension of an existing contract with MassDevelopment for continuing to use the waste water treatment plant at Devens. The contract expires May 11, McGovern said. “This extends it to September.” Meantime, the sewer commission can continue negotiations with MassDevelopment, the state agency in charge of Devens to hammer out a new deal.

The board also noted receipt of a right of first refusal – basically an option to buy property on the town’s behalf that is currently in “Chapter 61B” protection, so-called. The property is a 39-acre parcel on Lawton Road that the owner has removed from protection – a 75-percent tax deferral arrangement for agricultural, recreational or other uses unrelated to development.

With a valid $950,000 offer on the table, the town can act on its option or pass, McGovern said. But the board didn’t vote on the matter yet as the notice makes the rounds for comment from other town boards. The Board of Assessors, Planning Board, Conservation Commission and the town clerk also get to weight in, he said.

Participating remotely from home, Lawton Road resident Jim Yocum said he recommends that the town buy the land, which he has noted is “flooding” right now but would be a valuable town asset.