WINCHESTER - The Select Board this week approved sending a cost-sharing agreement letter to the MBTA that deals with several projects the town could pay to include in the Winchester Center Commuter Rail Station project.
Town Engineer Beth Rudolph said her and Assistant Town Manager Mark Twogood talked with working group member David Anderson about the 11 projects the MBTA outlined in their original letter to the town. Because the renovation has taken so long to get started, the MBTA can no longer afford to fulfill the town’s entire wishlist. Therefore, the town would have to contribute some of its own money for certain items.
Some of the projects received a favorable review from the working group while they dismissed others as unnecessary or too expensive. The group believes painting the pedestrian tunnel, at a cost of $17,500, was fair and the town couldn’t do it cheaper. But, although Rudolph said the town would pay for it, she hoped she could convince the MBTA to include it as part of the overall construction project.
For pigeon protection, at a cost of $19,000, Rudolph felt the MBTA needed a better plan than just adding some netting. She advised the board not to pay.
For the granite cladding at abutment, at a cost of $70,000, Rudolph thought it would be needed at two places: the Quill Rotary and the Waterfield lot side of the station. She wanted the MBTA to break those out into two costs and suggested the town should prioritize the Waterfield Road side.
Rudolph had no comment on whether the town should preserve the stone at the Aberjona elevation.
However, the Town Engineer disapproved of the town paying for the cantilever on the Aberjona roof ramp, a single-post, double cantilever for the outbound platform, at a cost of $100,000.
For the granite edging of planting beds, at a cost of $8,500, Rudolph recommended removing the shrub plantings and replacing it with a concrete sidewalk. When it comes to the proposed irrigation system, though, the Town Engineer wanted to focus on Laraway Road and hoped the numbers ($50,000) come down.
She did suggest salvaging stone at Laraway Road, at a cost of $80,000, would be “money well spent.”
When it comes to installing solar panels, Rudolph needed some clarification because the town potentially could ask the MBTA to make the canopies solar ready but not to install the panels. The MBTA initially estimated costs at $100,000, but without actually installing the panels that number should come down.
Lastly, Rudolph suggested installing and rotating art exhibits within the station.
For any project, Rudolph noted how the town can’t commit anything until after fall Town Meeting, because the money would need to be appropriated by Town Meeting members. But the immediate next steps involve waiting for the MBTA to respond to the letter before the MBTA puts the project out to bid sometime this summer.