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Senior Center Neighbors Oppose Parking Lot Expansion


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The following is a portion of a transcript from the Nov. 18 Westford Board of Selectmen meeting. For other parts of the meeting, click here.

7:56 p.m. – Minutes were approved 4-0-0. The consent agenda was approved 4-0-0.

7:57 p.m. – Andrea Peraner-Sweet made a motion to execute the purchase and sale of the Timberlake Property. The motion was approved 4-0-0.

A motion to make November “Pancreatic Cancer Month” in Westford was approved.

The following committee appointments and reappointments were approved

  • Vincent Florek to the Energy Committee
  • Kristen Frueter to the Affordable Housing Committee
  • Jeff Hillman as an Alternate to the Economic Development Committee

There were no updates from the board.

7:58 p.m. – Town Manager Jodi Ross requested direction from the board on behalf of the Capital Planning Committee for the following potential projects.

  • Center Fire Station
  • Town Farm Road facility
  • Roudenbush Community Center
  • A parking lot expansion at the Cameron Senior Center
  • And the Town Center Parking and Traffic Study
Kelly Ross on Nov. 18, 2014
Kelly Ross on Nov. 18, 2014

Capital Planning Committee chairman Mark Kost then came to the microphone saying they’d like an answer by the end of January.

It’ll be discussed over the next few agendas and there was a discussion leading to the decision that there will be two meetings in December.

7:59 p.m. – Jodi Ross said she had just received the NMCOG study on the Senior Center parking lot and that will be discussed at the next meeting.

Wendy Gloyd, an abutter to the senior center, came to the microphone.

She appreciates the senior center as a neighbor, but talked about the green area next to the current parking lot during the last expansion.

That, she says, is one of the last green areas in Forge Village and it was formerly conservation land, but now it’s used as the building’s septic system.

Occasionally it is used as overflow parking, but not paved.

Gloyd was unsure an agreement that no more parking was needed in 2009 if this item continues to be discussed.

She said there usually isn’t a need for the parking most of the time due to proper planning.

She said that the area down by Forge Beach could also be used for overflow parking and vans could shuttle people.

Jodi Ross said that last year the board asked NMCOG to do a study.

Patti Dubey, the secretary for the Selectmen and another abutter, echoed Gloid’s comments.

Paul Rosenfield, another abutter to the field, echoed that the Senior Center rarely needs the lot and it should remain as a multi-use field.

Stan Kolodziej of 36 Pleasant St. is an abutter and says he is retired and spends most of his time at his home, which is next to the field.

He said he sees little to no activity at the field.

Martha Rosenfield said that seniors should use that field and Westford should be proud of it.

Thomas Tomasello of 34 Pleasant St. says he lives in the same building as the Rosenfields. He moved in four years ago and the field was one of the big selling points and missed going to Bertucci’s with his five-year-old to come to this meeting.

Tomasello appreciates the Senior Center, but he echoed earlier sentiments.

Dubey also said that other people in Forge Village use the field.

Tomasello asked when a decision would be made, the answer was that a decision will be made on Dec. 9.

8:03 p.m. – Assistant Town Manager John Mangiaratti announced that the town has gotten a deal to lock in its electricity costs over the winter, which will save almost $150,000. It will also be in place next winter.

Selectman Kelly Ross asked if this was factored into the budget.

Jodi Ross said it was not factored in and the total savings may be even higher in the long run.

8:04 p.m. – The agenda item relating to the Nashoba Valley Tech School Resource Officer was postponed.

Jodi Ross asked the board to extend a three year contract with ACME Waste, a sentiment that was echoed by Sue Thomas, chairwoman of the Recycling Commission.

Thomas thanked the board for their help and then said that the vast majority of Westford residents dispose of three or fewer barrels per week and currently the town can get up to five barrels disposed per week per resident.

Thomas also recommended lowering the bulk sticker cost from $10 to $5.

Jodi Ross said that at previous Town Meetings, people were against lowering the barrel maximum from five to three and no decision should be made tonight.

Selectman Andrea Peraner-Sweet made a motion to extend the ACME Waste contact.

Selectman Don Siriani noted that the town has a good deal with ACME.

The motion was approved 4-0-0.

8:06 p.m. – There was a request to extend the contact with Whitewater Inc. for Professional Wastewater Treatment Facilities Contract Operation Services for an additional year at a 1.7 percent increase.

This was approved contingent upon approval of the Water Commissioners.

Jodi Ross asked a question about an upcoming breakfast, the reading of correspondence was waived, and the meeting was adjourned.

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