Kelly Ross on July 8, 2014

Selectmen Vow to Fight Beacon Hill Cell Phone Tower Proposal

The following is a transcript from a portion of the July 8, 2014 Board of Selectmen meeting. For links to other portion of the meeting, click here.

8:00 p.m. – Next was a request to support opposition of S. 2183 and Sections 74 and 75 in H. 4181 made by the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

Siriani said that the legislation was related to economic stimulation, but it also provided a provision would eliminate Westford’s ability to place cell phone towers in certain areas.

He said that the Senate recently adopted some of the legislation without the cell phone provision.

Future action may be taken by the legislature, and he advised that Westford should draft a letter saying that local control should be kept regarding zoning issues.

Paul Fassbender thanked Siriani for the summary, but said more work is needed. He had been working on the issue since 2006 since T-Mobile tried to get 30 towers across Westford.

The issue eventually came to court, but the threats to build the towers have not been made yet. However, Fassbender said that it’s just a matter of time before more applications go in again due to increased cell phone usage.

Fassbender mentioned that Westford’s senator, Eileen Donaghue, was involved in committees dealing with the legislation.

Siriani said that he has worked in the legislature for 20 years, and advised anyone writing to legislatures to ask on where they stand on the legislation.

Fassbender said that State Representative Jim Arciero had been active on the issue, although often people did not care about the issue unless the cell towers are in their neighborhoods.

Hazelton made a motion to support the opposition, it was unanimously approved. He also said that resident activism was needed.

8:10 p.m. – The next agenda item was disbanding the Dropbox Advisory Committee since it had completed its mission. It was disbanded, with thanks to former Selectman Val Wormell, who spearheaded the effort.

8:12 p.m. – Next was a request for Octoberfest at Nashoba Valley Ski Area regarding a special liquor license.

Attorney Doug Deschenes told the board about the festival and said that the Nashoba Valley Ski Area had extensive experience with such festivals, such as the Blues and Brews and Pig’n’Pepper.

The Police Department asked for specific times for when alcohol could be sold, and Deschenes said that the Nashoba Valley Ski Area had always complied with such requests.

Deschenes also said that the event was occurring in coordination with Littleton’s 300th Birthday celebration and it would be an authentic Octoberfest celebration

Town Manager Jodi Ross advised that when the vote was made, it should be made contingent upon compliance with Police requests.

Deschenes said that Lt. Chambers asked for the music to end at 10:30, although a letter mentioned 10. The Tiki Lounge at the property normally operates until 11.

Kelly Ross made a motion to approve the licenses contingent upon the public safety requests. It was unanimously approved.

8:18 p.m. – Peter Mullin of the Westford Rotary came to the board asking for a one-day liquor license for the Pig’n’Pepper festival as well as the Blues’n’Brews festival.

Over the past six years, there have been no incidents.

A motion was made to approve the two separate one-day licenses. They were unanimously approved.

Kelly Ross on July 8, 2014

Kelly Ross on July 8, 2014

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