WILMINGTON — The Select Board discussed two memos in communications regarding the 40B proposal at 79 Nichols St. during their meeting on Monday night, among other communications, before they received public comment.
The first memo came from Attorney Michael Newhouse indicating that the applicant was prepared to revise the design of the apartment building for a three-story building instead of four. He also shared that the applicant would meet with the town to discuss five single-unit subdivisions.
The second letter came from Director of Planning and Conservation Valerie Gingrich, wherein she said that residents identified their concerns at the Mass Housing site visit. She also advised that the four-story building would probably fail the design requirements of the Planning Board and that Mass Housing requested the applicant revise their plans accordingly.
Select Board Chair Judy O’Connell suggested a plan for the messages that the town received from residents, which were to be presented as part of the town’s letter to Mass Housing, to be forwarded with the new comment letter to Mass Housing. She clarified that the board took action on this property due to resident concerns and this comment letter opportunity.
Town Manager Jeff Hull responded that there might be concerns from the letters they received that would not apply to the new proposal or a possibility their concerns may not be taken as seriously if they only pertained to the old proposal.
O’Connell still said she wanted to acknowledge the time residents took in submitting their letters of concern and invite people to revise their letters. Hull proposed a reply to individuals who submitted letters explaining the situation and letting them know about the new comment period instead.
The board mostly wanted to make sure that residents would be notified about the new comment period beginning. O’Connell mentioned that Mass Housing would notify the town when the comment period begins again. She said the town is committed to communicating the same information with residents as soon as they know.
Hull also clarified that the proposed meeting with town leaders would be private and not during a public meeting.
Other communications came from Hull regarding Wildwood remediations, railroad crossing updates, KP Law trainings, job openings, and the maple meadow brook monitoring wells. Hull wrote to the board that the town might need to pay at least $945,000 for the remediation at the Wildwood School and the Finance Committee would be consulted to help find those funds.
On the railroad crossings, he shared that the MBTA installed air conditioning into five bungalows and completed circuitry work at all 11 crossings. They’d also be releasing the report on the Jan. 21 incident to their safety committee which was expected to meet in July.
Hull proposed KP law trainings in acquisition and dispositions and effective enforcement for various boards, which the board approved under their board to consider items.
Lastly, he wrote that Olin had requested to use a marsh master vehicle on the Maple Meadow Brook to help with the establishment of the NDMA-affected boundaries.
Safety Committee Chairman Brian Scouten wrote a memo to the board about credits received by participation in safety programs which could be applied to premiums for town insurance.
Another item of communication was an update from the EPA on the Community Involvement Plan and where Olin stands in terms of remediation at the superfund site.
Select Board member Kevin Caira provided an update for the Town Hall/School Admin Building Committee’s approval of setting the building at the rear of the Swain Green site and an upcoming public forum.
There was also a letter from Susan Inman on the Senior Center Building Committee meeting where they discussed building materials. Inman attended the Select Board meeting in person that night to explain how their meeting had bad audio, so they recreated the meeting on Zoom from the minutes and published the recording on their website.
The last two memos regarded tree cutting and trimming along Eversource’s utility corridor and changes to Verizon Fios programming.
When it was time for public comment, Kevin MacDonald brought up issues with the Olin site and suggested the town take the property by eminent domain to ensure the best cleanup process. He also said he wanted to see a public hearing of some kind held with town counsel and the folks impacted by cancer.
His next concern was regarding the Wildwood cemetery, to which he suggested adding several areas. He also brought up a legal matter about a property the town had taken by eminent domain.
O’Connell replied saying that legal proceedings limited what could be shared about this situation, but she confirmed that the town is working cooperatively and peacefully to follow the process at the advisement of legal counsel.
Lastly, MacDonald shared his opinion that the fire department recently misused their tower truck as a barricade. O’Connell responded that she spoke with Fire Chief Bill Cavanaugh, who stood by the decisions made and stated the vehicles are being used appropriately.