Friday, July 17, 2009
News from surrounding towns
The following news items were extracted from material available online.
• Asphalt plant. The town of Westford hired consulting firm Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc. to review the proposal to build an asphalt plant on Commerce Way near the border with Chelmsford and the consultants concluded that the emissions created “would not pose major health hazards.”
The new facility is to produce 1,000 tons of asphalt per day. Documentation from the applicant states that air quality will meet state and federal standards. However, the Westford Board of Health is asking for additional information on the emissions from the plant and associated trucks, one reason being because students at a nearby school already have above-average asthma rates. (“Some answers on asphalt plan health risks,” June 25, www.wickedlocal.com)
• Farmers market. A new farmers market opened on Pearl Street in West Acton and will be held Sundays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October. Farmers markets are held in Westford on Tuesdays, Bedford on Mondays and Carlisle on Saturdays. For a list of other farmers markets in Middlesex County, see the web site of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources: www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/farmers_markets.htm. (“Acton Farmer’s Market to open,” July 10, www.wickedlocal.com)
• Building projects. Chelmsford Town Meeting on August 17 will decide whether to support recommendations of the Fire Department/DPW Facility Study Committee to build a new fire headquarters and purchase property to expand facilities for the DPW.
• 40B. After months of hearings, the Billerica Zoning Board of Appeals gave approval for a 348-unit Aspen Apartments development composed of eight buildings on Rangeway Road near the border with Chelmsford. The developer originally sought to build 672 units in 14 buildings. The comprehensive permit was granted with 49 conditions and the developer will install traffic lights at the corner of Route 129 and Rangeway Road. (“Projects on Chelmsford Town Meeting warrant, July 1, www.wickedlocal.com)
• The Quinn Bill. The Quinn bill provides incentives to police officers who pursue college degrees, with the state and towns funding the stipends equally. However, this spring, Governor Patrick reduced state funding and eliminated the benefit for police officers hired after June 30. Towns are reacting to the cuts, with different results depending on the community and the wording in their police contracts. In some cases towns are picking up the entire state portion of the funding, while in other cases the police officers are either seeing cuts in pay now, or will receive smaller year-end stipends.(“Communities scramble to fund stipends,” July 12, www.bostonglobe.com) ∆
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