By Christopher Roberson
Following the annual town election on April 10, the Board of Selectmen voted to appoint Richard Dalton as its new chairman.
“When I moved here 35 years ago, I could never have envisioned myself as the chairman of the Board of Selectmen,” he said.
Dalton said developing a “long-term budget plan” will be his top priority this year.
“I am very concerned with where we are headed,” he said.
During the board’s meeting, Town Administrator Robert Dolan said the town is in the “eighth or ninth inning of success” regarding the project at the Perley Burrill site on Lynnfield Street.
Town Engineer Charles Richter proposed building a two-lot subdivision with a shared driveway, 20 feet wide, that would be accessible through a right-of-way.
He said there would also be a 60-foot turnaround, which meets the Fire Department’s requirements.
“We feel this is an improvement to the property,” said Richter, adding that tree removal will be kept to a minimum.
Town Counsel Thomas Mullen said the town is free to proceed with selling the land at auction. He also suggested imposing certain restrictions such as only allowing single-family homes and not allowing the lots to be combined with other parcels. Mullen also recommended that the homes not be included in the 40B affordable housing stock.
Selectman Philip Crawford said he was pleased that the process is coming to an end.
“This has been a thorn in everyone’s side,” he said, adding that the auction could happen in June. “It’s going to make two very nice house lots.”
Crawford said the opening bid would be “$450,000-$460,000” as that is the approximate amount of money that the town has invested to revitalize the site.
In other news, Dolan said the Finance Committee recently voted to take $40,000 from free cash and add it to the town’s Capital Budget. Within that figure, he said $37,000 would be used to pull up part of the library’s carpet, which may have been contaminated during the septic backup in February.
It was determined that the backup was caused by a “softball-size” wad of tissue paper being jammed into one of the toilets and clogging the system.
Faith Honer-Coakley, vice chairman of the library’s Board of Trustees, said that as a result, the building’s basement was closed for one month.
She also said it will cost about $3,000 to replace the hundreds of books that were destroyed – money the library does not have in its budget.
“Otherwise we have a vast open space that is empty of books in the basement and that’s a problem,” said Honer-Coakley.
In response, Dalton said the matter should have been brought to the board’s attention while the town’s budget was still being drafted.
“It doesn’t sit well with me,” he said.
Crawford also said there is no documentation to support that $37,000 is needed to pull up the carpet.
Jordan Park/Jordan Road
Bruce Siegel, director of Veterans Services, said Jordan Park and Jordan Road will receive Gold Star designations on Patriot’s Day, April 16 at 10 a.m.
He said there will be a plaque to honor First Lt. Allan Jordan who was killed in Vietnam on April 6, 1968 at the age of 24.
Siegel also said that Jordan’s three brothers will be in attendance as well as State Sen. Brendan Crighton.
“Hopefully we’ll have a big show,” he said.