TEWKSBURY — At the Dec. 17 meeting of the Tewksbury Board of Selectmen, the board addressed a change of manager application for the Holiday Inn on Andover Street. Chairman Jay Kelly explained that the applicant met all the requirements, including a CORI identification, vote of entry, proof of citizenship, and payments received. The board approved the application.
The board set the dates for annual Town Meeting for May 4, 2020, at 7:30 p.m., and Special Town Meeting for May 6, 2020, at 7 p.m., both at Tewksbury Memorial High School. Warrants will be open until 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2020 for any articles to be considered.
The board looked at special speed regulations on Andover Street, Shawsheen Street, and Whipple Road. A study conducted by an independent consultant, run through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, resulted in the following recommendations: reducing Andover Street from 45 mph to 40 mph from approximately Deering Drive to the Andover town line; reducing Shawsheen Street from 40 mph to 35 mph from Ronald Drive to approximately Diane Drive, and from approximately Pinewood Avenue to approximately Trinity Court; and extending the 25 mph section of Whipple Road near Pleasant Street from 922 Whipple to 758 Whipple Road.
Town Manager Richard Montuori said that the changes would be monitored and if additional changes are determined to be needed, they could be addressed. The board unanimously approved the changes.
The board turned to liquor, common victualer, amusement, entertainment, pool table, and class license approvals. The board, feeling that all establishments had adhered to tax and alcohol safety requirements satisfactorily, approved liquor licenses for 2020.
The board also approved 2020 common victualler licenses, which pertain to the sale of food. The board approved amusement and entertainment licenses, noting that there are different forms of licenses based on different businesses. The board approved pool table licenses. The board approved class licenses specifically as they pertain to the sale of new, used, and salvaged cars.
The board mentioned that Tewksbury Police Chief Tim Sheehan is leaving the department on Jan. 3, 2020 after 32 years in the community. Montuori explained that the public safety consulting firm BadgeQuest has been hired to conduct a search for a new chief; candidates will have to go through assessments and exercises set by former police chiefs from other communities.
The town is planning to make an internal appointment to fill the vacancy in the interim. Deputy Chief John Voto will be the acting chief following Sheehan’s departure.
In committee reports, Selectman Mark Kratman reported that the Lowell Regional Transit Authority is reporting good usage by the residents of the regional bus service, and considering additional stops, including possibly a stop at the Tewksbury Public Library. He also encouraged residents to submit questions or comments regarding changes to the proposed zoning bylaws.
Selectwoman Anne Marie Stronach reported that the Elementary School Building Committee was scheduled to vote on the 60 percent design for the new school on Dec. 18.
The Public Events and Celebrations Committee was reorganized and completed a successful tree lighting event.
Stronach shared that the Tewksbury housing authority report has the affordable housing stock at 9.7 percent, close to the 10 percent required, though Stronach did caution that the 2020 census numbers will be a factor in future calculations.
Selectwoman Jayne Wellman mentioned that the cost for the Andover Street/River Road intersection improvements has risen and has asked NMCOG to ask the state to cover the increased cost of the project under the state transportation improvement plan or TIP.
Selectman Brian Dick mentioned that the Athletic Field Committee will be meeting to discuss the development of the fields tied to the new elementary school building.
Chairman Jay Kelly praised the DPW for its storm response during the recent weather events.
A reception on Jan. 3 at 9 a.m. will be held at the Tewksbury Country Club for Chief Sheehan for those interested in wishing him well as he moves on to South Portland.
Kelly also reminded residents that there are several openings on boards and committees in town with plenty of opportunities to get involved, and wished everyone a happy holiday.
The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 7, 2020.