WILMINGTON — The first item for approval at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Monday night involved a Boy Scout Eagle Project for an honor roll memorial to be placed on the town common. An honor roll memorial, as explained by Eagle Scout candidate Liam Prigmore, is a list of Wilmington servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
For his project, Prigmore designed a plaque to be placed on a boulder that reads “Wilmington’s fallen heroes” and contains the list of names from each war and a quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt. He explained that the boulder would be placed on top of a cement base opposite another memorial on the common.
While the boy scout still needs to raise the funds for the $6,700 bronze plaque and has a plan to do just that, Director of Veterans Services Lou Cimaglia shared that the boulder they're using was donated to the town in a previous monument project.
The board was impressed by Prigmore and his Eagle Scout project idea.
“[In the spring,] most kids your age were balancing remote schoolwork and watching Netflix, and here you were, trying to honor our fallen heroes,” Greg Bendel said.
After the approving vote, Cimaglia added that the monument would be unveiled at the Veterans’ Day services on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.
Delegates from each subcommittee delivered reports on what each one has been working on later in the meeting. Gary DePalma, who serves on the Inhabitant By-Law Committee, shared that the team is looking again at their articles from this year’s Town Meeting and the Town Meeting itself in order to improve upon the structure of town government.
Kevin Caira said that he hopes that the Ice Rink & Recreational Facility group will be able to get back on track soon, having not met since before quarantine started.
On behalf of the Economic Development Committee, Bendel talked about how they’ve been considering how they can help Wilmington’s small business impacted by COVID-19. One of the ideas submitted by Mike Champoux was to let small businesses utilize town property and public property, an opportunity that several businesses have taken up.
Bendel also said the committee has been digesting the results of a recent survey, compiling a list of open business spaces in town, making PSAs with WCTV, and staying updated on small building projects.
Heated discussion came up during the communications section with regard to the EPA’s Olin Superfund Site comment period, when Caira expressed disappointment with the state delegation for meeting with the EPA privately to ask questions. Caira thanked Chairman Eaton for calling State Representative Dave Robertson to ask why no one from the town or the board was invited to said meeting.
Eaton explained that Robertson said over the phone that their questions were technical in nature and they’d be sure to include the town in any similar conversations going forward.
DePalma then went as far as to say that Caira’s action in using the Q&A with the EPA as a political space to attack their state delegation was embarrassing to the town. Caira maintained he simply wanted residents to be privy to whatever information was gained by the state delegation at the private meeting.
The chairman intervened to end the scuttle, reiterating the main point of the item, which is the comment period on the EPA’s plan extended into October. When Robertson called into the meeting, he established that while the town has the company Geoinsight to ask their technical questions about the cleanup plan, he himself doesn’t have that resource.
“Simple research for my job isn’t something that I should have to make note of every time,” Robertson said. “I want to be educated for when I sit at the table.”
The board also heard communication about a potential construction and demolition transfer station, KP Law trainings, and an emergency traffic warning light for Church Street.
Another interesting matter from communications came from former Selectman Michael McCoy. In his letter, he asked the board to extend his placements on the committees that he served on while he was on the board, given that the board has been considering changing them. These are the Inhabitant By-Law Committee, the Ice Rink and Recreational Facility Committee, and the MBTA Advisory Board.
“I stated that I wanted to remain serving on these boards… there was no objection from any board members serving with me,” he said.
Despite this, the board later approved Jomarie O’Mahony to serve on the MBTA Advisory Board in McCoy’s place.
After a brief update from Finance Director Bryan Perry, the board voted in favor of reducing the interest cost and refunding bonds for the WHS project. Perry said they’re anticipating that this will save the town upwards of $3.9 million.
The board unanimously voted to allow the selling of Christmas trees and the waiving of the fee to do so for the WUMC and for Boy Scout Troop 56. They also approved lighting up the town common pink in October for breast cancer awareness.
The only public comment of the night came from Kevin MacDonald, who questioned whether early payment on the WHS project would come with a fee; the EPA’s plan for the Olin Superfund Site; and whether Shriner’s would charge the town for election day.
Chairman Eaton responded to say that Shriner’s wouldn’t be charging, and the board will represent the town and advocate for residents at the EPA’s open forum on Sept. 22.
Some of the announcements that board members made were several birthdays on the board, the new school year starting, Pat Giroux named the Fourth of July Committee Chair, and a reminder to be positive on social media. The meeting concluded with a salute to service featuring Private First Class John Landry, who graduated from Lowell Catholic High School in 2005 and died serving in Baghdad in 2007.