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.)
7:50 p.m. (0:21:00) – Selectman Kelly Ross then began discussion on a decision on what will happen to the old Graniteville Fire Station.
Selectman Andrea Peraner-Sweet asked for the delay and noted a solution she had, but learned it will not work.
She also noted that town counsel said giving the property to the Lowell Area Habitat for Humanity would open the town up to a bid challenge.
This was critical for her. The request for propsals went through the process and agreed that the bid should go to the Perrons since they responded fairly to the bid proposal.
Selectman Don Siriani said that the creative solutions reflected good will in trying to solve this proposal.
He noted the respect throughout the process and made a motion to allow the sale of the property to Mike and Stacy Perron for $95,000.
Selectman Scott Hazelton noted that Habitat for Humanity is a great organization and noted that the best use of this property is for the neighborhood and said he would support the motion.
Kelly Ross said there was some concern deferring the resolution to this meeting, but noted that a better consensus was reached after additional deliberation between the meetings.
He also noted that it was advantageous to achieve unanimous consensus following deferring, although the move to defer was not unanimous.
Hazelton asked if the town could act proactively with Habitat for Humanity to find a location for them.
Kelly Ross said that the Selectmen could do better next time around.
Brenda Gould of 9 Flagg Road, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity, noted that they were withdrawing their protest for the fire station.
She noted that it was unfortunate that affordable housing was not given more consideration and it was a good location for a small family home.
Gould said she is looking at seven locations in Westford, including the fire station. At all seven there was a problem, but they want to work with the town to search for properties.
She also hoped that in future situations like this, additional information related to historical preservation and energy savings could be addressed.
Town Manager Jodi Ross said she would go through the purchase and sale agreement by the Perrons with a fine toothed comb.
A motion to sell the property to the Perrons was approved unanimously.
8:01 p.m. (0:32:00) – The agenda then went to considering that a member of the Affordable Housing Committee be included on the Town Farm Housing Committee.
Affordable Housing Committee Chairman Robert Downing said that it was important to be proactive in looking at properties regarding affordable housing.
This was approved unanimously.
8:04 p.m. (0:35:00) – Brian Alcorn was appointed as the Historical Commission Represenative to the Town Center Parking and Traffic Study Committee.
Director of Land Use Management Chris Kluchman then provided a report on the Cottages in the Woods development on Boston Road.
The town provided a correction regarding a different figure in the net loss on the property. If there are any profits from the development, the town would share in the benefits.
All the units are now occupied and some minor landscaping still needs to be done.
8:07 p.m. (0:38:00) – Then Kluchman requested that the town accept and sign a grant of easement for a conservation restriction on 4 Lan Way, where an office building will be constructed by Robert Walker.
Kluchman noted that there is a complex trail network in that area.
The request was approved unanimously.
Lastly, there was a request to approve $1,250 for consulting services with retiring Conservation Agent Bill Turner during the transition until the end of the fiscal year.
The Conservation Commission has paid for other funding relating to consulting.
It will be $50 an hour.
A full-time Conservation Agent will be hired soon and will have some contact with Turner, but Turner’s role will taper over the next few months.
A motion to approve the funding was unanimously approved.