WILMINGTON — The Board of Selectmen approved requests about removing earth and holding the Santa Parade before they went into communications and other requests at their meeting on Monday night.
Dan Ray of Jewett Construction presented the current plan requiring a permit to remove earth at 36 and 38 Upton Drive. They would be exporting around 24,000 feet of topsoil. He explained that while the work had been approved by the Planning Board and Conservation Commission, they were making a slight change and seeking reapproval accordingly.
This involved combining two of the existing structures into one, leaving three buildings total.
Town Manager Jeff Hull read the conditions proposed by the DPW, including appropriate hours and times for blasting and avoiding use of residential areas. He also specified that any changes in the quantity of earth removed necessitated amending the permit.
Director of Planning and Conservation Valerie Gingrich, who was present in the audience, confirmed that the applicant’s revised plans were being reviewed by the engineering department for the Planning Board’s December meeting. She assured the board that the site layout and footprint of the development would still be similar.
Town Engineer Paul Alunni spoke up to agree with what the town manager and planning director both said.
The board voted in favor of the permit as the plans stood, knowing that re-approval would be required in the near future.
The next proposal came from Police Chief Joe Desmond and Traffic Officer Dan Furbush for the 2021 Santa Parade. Desmond specified that the same precautions would be taken as last year. Even with COVID-19 restrictions, he said that what they collected last year had been more than what they ever received.
He also mentioned that the event was put together in combination with the fire department, the DPW, and a lot of volunteers.
Selectman Greg Bendel asked whether they would broadcast Santa’s location live so that residents could follow along. Officer Furbush answered that they would use their Facebook page to do so. While they’d try to follow the schedule, he said that they wouldn’t turn down any kids.
Judy O’Connell said that this event shines a bright light on Wilmington and brings in the spirit of Christmas. She thanked Desmond and Furbush and their fellow officers for participating.
Furbush responded to say that they’re glad to participate. He said that the Santa Parade will start on Dec. 5 at 8 a. m. and end around 5 p. m. As they go, they’ll collect food and toy donations along with letters to troops which will be sent out by the Veterans Services Office.
The board received updates in communications on infrastructure improvements, PFAS, precincts, and the fiscal year 2023 budget preparations. Some of the upcoming places for improvement are the Lowell Street and Woburn Street intersection and the bridge project at Butters Row, which are both scheduled for fiscal year 2023.
Since the previous meeting, Hull wrote regarding PFAS that the carbon beds were successfully changed out and the Sargent Water Treatment Plant taken back online and retested. The result that came in on Oct. 25th was 16.5 parts per trillion, which was lower than the minimum requirement for action. He also said that further test results would be posted on the town’s website.
Per Town Clerk Liz Lawrenson, the amended precincts had been approved by the state, so she said that the town would send out information to the affected residents and voters in general about voting locations.
Hull’s memo on the fiscal year 2023 budget said that the review process began and discussions would take place over the next month.
The town manager also wrote to the board inviting direction for the reference of the board’s name in the town by-laws, Town Manager’s Act, and zoning by-laws. Later, they agreed upon changing these to “Select Board.” Bendel reminded the community that these updates would need approval at Town Meeting.
Another memo from Hull discussed proposed uses of the funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act, which amounted to over $7 million. He discussed a $5.5 million water line replacement, replacing 200 cache basins for $1 million, $300,000 to be granted to businesses on Main Street and Route 129 for façade improvements, and $100,000 for administration costs.
While he didn’t ask for any motions that night, he hoped to get an item on the agenda for a subsequent meeting.
Kevin Caira asked who would monitor and decide on the grants for business façade updates. Gingrich suggested there would be a committee to come up with programming and reviewing for criteria, scoring, eligibility, and other important aspects.
One other update Hull wrote the board about concerned the tax classification hearing on Nov. 22, as the hearing would need to be continued another week due to staffing shortages. They later voted to approve this.
Robert Peterson also wrote to the board concerning legal analysis with regard to proposed revisions to the inhabitant by-laws. He said that the Inhabitant By-Law Commitee would come back to the board to discuss their approach to these revisions.
The board approved requests to transfer the names of officers and directors in the ABCC certification for Target, to put up a bench near Silver Lake to honor Robert Brown, and the use of the Town Common Municipal Parking Lot for the Sons of Italy children’s Christmas party on Dec. 12.
The Salute to Service honored World War II Veteran James Banda, who earned a purple heart, among other recognitions, for his service in the Army 2nd Armored Division before he was wounded and returned home in 1944.
The board will meet again on Nov. 22nd for the beginning of the tax classification hearing.