The following is part of a transcript of the March 3, 2015 Westford Board of Selectmen meeting. Click here other parts of the meeting. You can watch a video of the full meeting at Westfordcat.org (approximate time code on video in parentheses.)
7:29 p.m. (0:00:00) – The meeting began with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Selectman Scott Hazelton, who is participating remotely.
Selectman Kelly Ross thanked retiring town employees Bill Turner and Joanne Sheehan.
Selectman Jim Sullivan was absent.
Selectman Don Siriani gave an update on the upcoming governor’s budget, saying it looked to be a positive budget for towns like Westford.
7:33 p.m. (0:04:00) – The agenda then went to the matter of a liquor license suspension at Evviva Cucina.
Kelly Ross noted that the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission had already issued a license suspension and would not allow the town to issue its own suspension. However, he noted this would be seen as a first offense, with second offense penalties to be levied by the town in case of another offense.
Selectman Andrea Peraner-Sweet said that the town’s hands were tied due to the ABCC, but noted that the town would consider this a first offense.
Hazelton’s connection cut out and Peraner reviewed her comments for Hazelton once a connection was reestablished.
Hazelton agreed with Peraner’s comments.
There was a motion to re-open the public hearing on this item.
It was passed unanimously in a roll call vote.
Siriani agreed with Peraner, as did Kelly Ross.
No one in the audience wanted to speak on this.
There was a motion to withdraw any penalties under Westford bylaws for serving alcohol to underage individuals in light of the ABCC decision and any further offense should be considered a second offense under town policy.
Kevin Herron of Evviva Cucina asked if the Selectmen had read the decision from the ABCC and asked if their decision was consistent with the ABCC decision. They said it was.
The motion was approved unanimously.
7:40 p.m. (0:11:00) – The board then went to a request for comments on the Groton Road and Oak Hill Road intersection.
Town Engineer Paul Staratt said that the project is at the 10 percent phase and the town is looking for as much feedback as possible.
He had presented last night at the Planning Board and he was looking for the Selectmen’s comments.
Staratt noted that Town Meeting authorized this update and there have been significant crashes at the intersection, including a fatality in 2012.
There will be a traffic signal and sidewalks on all four corners with pedestrian crosswalks. There will also be bike lanes on Groton Road and markings indicating bicycle/car lanes on Oak Hill Road.
Funding will come in part from the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments. The project will go out to bid in 2017 and be constructed and completed in 2018.
Discussions also have occurred with the Pedestrian Safety Committee and neighborhood members.
An act of the state legislature is needed to obtain an easement for a sidewalk along the southern portion of Groton Road east of Oak Hill Road. State Representative Jim Arciero’s office has indicated that it will help in that effort.
Peraner-Sweet asked if there was a bus stop at the end of Sweetwood Circle, a small cul-de-sac just short of the corner, and if there was, if a covering could be made.
Staratt said that comment was why this request for comments was made, since no engineers had thought of that as of yet.
Staratt reiterated his request for comments from the community, with additional information at westfordma.gov/engineering.
Kelly Ross asked if there was a deadline for the public comment.
Staratt said that there would be a 25 percent threshold in the future where it would be arduous to make changes.
Hazelton asked if requests to study the area beyond state requirements had been accomplished. Staratt said this had happened, with additional area for sidewalk going to an office building at 515 Groton Road being added to the plan.
There will also be a survey to Ace Hardware, although the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is unlikely to provide funding for a sidewalk since it’s too far from the intersection.