Scott Hazelton on Sept. 30

Selectmen Recommend Five Of Seven Warrant Articles, Two Left Pending

The following is part of the transcript from the Board of Selectmen meeting on Sept. 30, 2014. For other parts of the meeting, click here.

8:24 p.m. – The agenda then went to a request for three sidewalk easements to create a sidewalk near Tech Park West along Technology Park Drive and Littleton Road as well as land owned by National Grid further down Littleton Road.

Scott Hazelton on Sept. 30

Scott Hazelton on Sept. 30

Westford Director of Land Use Planning Chris Kluchman talked about the request and said that Princeton Properties would be paying for the sidewalks as a condition set upon them by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The sidewalk is expected to be built within the next thirty days.

Peraner-Sweet asked what sidewalks needed to be built after this.

Currently the sidewalk ends near the western driveway of Nashoba Tech and that area will be addressed and the sidewalk would go down to the corner of Tadmuck and Littleton roads.

Kluchman said that more sidewalks may be addressed in the future, but that this was a priority area.

She also added that there would be re-stripings by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Hazelton then asked if this would allow residents to walk on sidewalks from Tadmuck to Cornerstone Square, Kluchman said it went further than that, to the Westford Regency.

The motion to approve the sidewalks was approved.

8:29 p.m. – The agenda then went to the Selectmen’s recommendations for the upcoming Fall Town Meeting.

The first article discussed was whether the town should appropriate $57,289 to supplement the Fiscal Year 2015 operating budget for the Crosstown Connect fees, and expenses for several town department staff positions.

Selectman Kelly Ross about the amount of the request and the timing, with Town Manager Jodi Ross saying that some part-time positions would be cut in half in January with the new positions requiring the money replacing those positions.

Mickey Crocker then came to the microphone to explain that four volunteers came to the Senior Center for ten hours a week and did not know how to use a computer, and that one full-time employee at the front desk was needed to help welcome people and register people who come in.

She said that if these appropriations do not occur, the current full-time hours would be impacted and there is a much larger senior population that is much more savvy and expecting more services.

Kelly Ross moved to recommend the first part of Article #1, it was approved 4-0-0, with Selectman Jim Sullivan absent.

Parts three and four of Article #1 were also recommended 4-0-0. They address the Ambulance Enterprise Personal Services Budget and $222,760.43 to be appropriated from the Water Enterprise fund for Phase II of the Route 110 expansion between Boston Road and Nixon Road

8:38 p.m. – Article 2 and Article 3 also recommended 4-0-0.

Article 2 addresses moving funding away from the budget director position to the finance department since there is no longer a budget director.

Article 3 is to appropriate $89,260 for a new rescue pumper for the fire department.

8:40 p.m. Article 4, a small amendment to the Pay Classification Plan for a Project/Procurement Specialist, was recommended 4-0-0. Article 5 is not ready yet.

8:41 p.m. – Kluchman returned to provide a presentation on Article 6, which would appropriate $350,000 from Community Preservation Funds to purchase parcels of land near Tenney Road and Wing Road known as the Timberlake Property.

Marilyn Frank of the Conservation Commission said that the cost of the land is $900,000. The Conservation Fund has $550,000 and that $37,500 can be used due to rare species on the property.

Frank said that up to $400,000 could be returned to the town if given soon due to a pending LAND grant application, with much of that grant going back to the general fund if it’s given to the Conservation Commission.

Kelly Ross asked the Community Preservation Committee had already approved this, Frank and Kluchman said yes and that the Finance Committee did as well in addition to the Planning Board, Historical Commission, Water Commission, Representative Arciero, Mass Audubon and the 495 MetroWest Partnership.

Finance Department Director Dan O’Donnell said that there would be $1.46 million left in CPC funding after this $350,000 appropriation from CPC funds is approved.

Kluchman then said it is a diverse site, with Peraner-Sweet saying it is beautiful.

On Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon, members of the public can go to the site and see it.

Kelly Ross made a motion to recommend Article 6, it was recommended 4-0-0.

8:49 p.m. – The Drew Gardens warrant article still requires additional information, so that recommendation will be taken up at the next meeting.

The Selectmen then addressed their consent agenda.

8:50 p.m. – Shari O’Connor was appointed to the Pedestrian Safety Committee and then the Selectmen approved a change of hours for A&P Spinners and Westford Wine and Spirits on Oct. 23 due to recent state law requiring a change of hours.

Kelly Ross asked about the law, with clarification from Assistant Town Clerk Patti Dubey saying the town had no choice ultimately.

The changes were approved 3-1-0, with Kelly Ross voting in opposition.

8:52 p.m. – There was then a discussion of the 12 North Main Property committee, currently led by Assistant Town Manager John Mangiaratti.

Mangiaratti said that a chairman would be chosen at the committee’s next meeting and the initial meeting was well attended.

Kelly Ross said a great number of options can be given and he hopes that a report of multiple options can be given by the 12 North Main Committee.

Mangiaratti said that members of the Finance Committee on the 12 North Main Committee will address cost points and that various nearby buildings are in various states of disrepair.

Different alternatives will be looked at, but there may be nuance needed and the 12 North Main Committee will look at what can be done and what neighbors will assist the town upon in the process.

Kelly Ross said his priority after the safety and aesthetics were addressed was cost.

Siriani said that there was a wide representation at the meeting and the level of input came from everyone in attendance.

Hazelton said he would like to see the property potentially as mixed use. Peraner-Sweet said that all possible uses should be looked at and that while cost should be a consideration, all ideas should be considered.