BURLINGTON – The updated plans for the new Department of Public Works (DPW) and Parks & Recreation Department facilities on Great Meadow Road earned unanimous approval from the Planning Board.

At the board’s most recent meeting, the planners convincingly supported the proposals. Before a final vote was made, the Town of Burlington, the applicant for the two special permits and two site plans, briefed the planners on several modifications made to the plans.

The applications are categorized as a special permit and site plan for 1/3 Great Meadow Road and a special permit and site plan for 10 Great Meadow Road.

The 1/3 Great Meadow Road is for the DPW Highway Garage facility and 10 Great Meadow Road will be home to the Parks & Recreation facility.

The sites will create new state-of-the art facilities which incorporate such features as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) energy control systems, compliant storm and water management systems, secure hazardous material and liquor petroleum product storage rooms, and vehicle wash bays that treat and discharge water to the sanitary sewer. Additionally, the redevelopment of the existing DPW facility at 1/3 Great Meadow Road will remove 5,400 square-feet of pavement on the south side of the site, adjacent to wetlands, resulting in a net increase of 1,500 square-feet of green space pervious area.

These projects are a result of May Town Meeting’s approval in 2018, where the longtime initiative to centralize the DPW and Parks & Recreation facilities were supported.

The two-phased project will see upgrades to the existing DPW Highway Garage facility (1 Great Meadow Road) and former Clark & Reid site (10 Great Meadow Road), both of which are located behind Kohl’s.

The existing DPW Highway Garage and Central Maintenance Division, and the Recreation Maintenance facility behind Sullivan Funeral Home, off Winn Street, are “beyond sub-standard.”

On Great Meadow Road, the DPW and Recreation facilities will be centralized on the Clark & Reid site and existing Highway Garage site.

Phase I of the project consists of designing the entire project (both Phases I and II) and upgrading the Clark & Reid site so it can house a new Parks & Recreation Maintenance Facility and the DPW Central Maintenance Division. Phase I also entails installing a new truck bay wash for all the town’s trucks at the Clark & Reid site, which the town doesn’t have now.

Phase II will see the necessary upgrades made to the DPW highway and water and sewer divisions currently located at the highway garage site on Great Meadow Road.

James Fair, engineer for the projects, representing the Town of Burlington, explained to the planners, “The goal is to come up with a safe, efficient, and improved facility for the DPW and Parks & Recreation operations.”

DPW facility

The first project discussed in detail to the planners was the DPW Highway Garage facility at 1/3 Great Meadow Road.

The Town of Burlington is proposing a new Department of Public Works (DPW) facility to house their operations at 1/3 Great Meadow Road (with the exception of DPW Central Maintenance, which will be located at 10 Great Meadow Road). The new facility is necessary due to deteriorating conditions at their current facilities, which have been in use for many years and are past their useful life. This application includes a proposal to locate a new DPW facility at the site of the existing DPW facility. The new facility includes three main operational components, consisting of the DPW supervisors’ offices and employee support spaces, DPW vehicle and equipment storage garage, and DPW shops. In addition, the facility will include a diesel standby generator sized to power the entire facility and operation during an outage.

“With the new facility, vehicles and equipment currently stored outside will be stored indoors in a minimally heated space. Indoor storage extends the life of the equipment, reduces environmental impacts, and creates more efficient and cost-effective operations,” explained Fair, the town’s engineer for these projects. “The new DPW facility will be a vast improvement to the existing site, especially in terms of aesthetically and operations.”

Fair detailed the new facility includes numerous significant enhancements to both the site and operations, including improved storm-water and runoff management; improved storage of vehicles, equipment and materials, and improved bulk materials storage

The new facility will consist of an approximate 38,000 square-foot operations building and a 2,300 square-foot canopy. The facility has been sized based on the operations, counting the number of staff members, the number of vehicles and equipment, and the area necessary to support DPW functions. The operations building component is a one-story administration unit that fronts Great Meadow Road.

There will be a total of 38 parking spaces. The proposed facility will be staffed with 30 employees.

The town avowed there will be no impact to traffic on Great Meadow Road from this site given that the proposed facility is a replacement of the existing facility and the staffing levels will not change.

In addressing the board’s feedback from a previous meeting, the applicant modified this plan by relocating the generator, installing a black metal fence, and adding numerous plantings as part of a robust landscaping plan for both 1/3 Great Meadow Road and 10 Great Meadow Road. Additionally, the existing sidewalk from 1/3 Great Meadow Road will be upgraded so it can adequately serve pedestrians wanting to walk to the adjacent Vine Brook Plaza.

Recreation/DPW facility

The Town of Burlington is proposing a new DPW and Parks & Recreation Department facility to house their operations at 10 Great Meadow Road, the former Clark & Reid site.

The new facility is needed because of the deteriorating conditions at their current facilities which have been in use for many years and are past their useful life. The project involves installation of sediment and erosion control measures, demolition of the existing structures, removal of existing pavement, and construction of the new 28,500 square-foot building and appurtenances.

Exactly like 1/3 Great Meadow, this modern facility will have the same aforementioned improvements, such as storm-water and runoff management, as well as storage of vehicles, equipment and materials. The plan focuses on an upgrade to storage and handling of liquid petroleum products and vehicle washing operations.

The parking area in front of the building will contain 29 spaces.

The proposed facility will be staffed with 14 full-time employees. The Parks & Recreation Department also hires approximately 12 seasonal part-time employees.

Planning Board support

Throughout the brief hearing process for these applications, the Planning Board made it clear how much they were in favor of the new facilities.

“I believe this process has been done very well,” Planning Board member Jack Kelly said in praise.

Chair Barbara L’Heureux echoed the sentiment.

“I commend you for a job well done. I think this is going to look so much better than what is there now. I really appreciate how you have worked with us,” Chair L’Heureux acknowledged. “This is what Burlington should have.”

Planning Board member Ernest Covino went down memory lane, describing the decades-long wait for these projects to come to fruition.

“This is great. I have been in town 40 years and I think when I moved here, this was being talked about,” Covino said of the DPW Highway Garage project.

The Board of Health conditions, which the planners had been waiting on, were disclosed during last night’s meeting. They entailed 22 conditions revolving around controlling and preventing any contamination that might take place on the sites during the construction process. These conditions are incorporated in the approval.

The planners had also been waiting for the Conservation Commission (ConCom) to provide their formal comments and a vote, but that isn’t going to take place until ConCom’s next meeting. Under that timeframe, the planners decided it was still appropriate to vote and unanimously approve the two site plans and two special permits during the meeting. It was confirmed that any conditions put forth by ConCom will be reflected and included in the Planning Board’s approval.

Depending on what ConCom does in terms of a vote, the town is hoping to start construction before the end of 2019.

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