Mike Raymond ~ Alderman Ward 6
Continuing to Make a Difference
North Woburn Residents:
Thank you for your support and for allowing me to serve as your Alderman for the next two years. This opportunity will allow me to work on issues that we all care about in our community. My main objective remains simple...to protect and improve the quality of life in North Woburn by making it a safer, more affordable and attractive place to live.
It is an honor and a privilege to represent you.
Alderman Ward 6
The North Woburn Voice
updated - September 21, 2014
Thank you for visiting my web site. This site contains recent news regarding projects in Ward 6, North Woburn. If you have any questions or concerns about an issue please contact me by email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 781-935-2438.
Ledges Update ~ September 18, 2014
Good News ! The Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) has denied all of the developer's pre-trial motions. HAC will now schedule a hearing on the petitioner's appeal of our first victory. They are trying to schedule the first hearing at City Hall. As soon as the dates are confirmed I will post on this site. For more information see (Ledges 40B Project) above and also scroll down for the Petition.
Traffic Commission Meeting ~ Update Sept. 20, 2014
The Commission voted to recommend to DPW Superintendent Duran (absent) to install painted crosswalks and to add signage alerting to the fact that there is a crosswalk. Regarding the crosswalk on Mountain/Townsend a temporary flashing sign (school) is posted as well as an upright sign placed in the middle of the crossing area. I addressed the Traffic Commission on August 28 regarding crosswalks on Mountain Street, Elm/Newbridge and School/Mostika.
Scrap-Metal Business 1095R Main St. - Withdrawn ~ September 18, 2014
Attorney Tarby representing his client Robert Holland of 1095R Main Street withdrew his petition without prejudice from the Board of Appeals last night. The petitioner also withdrew from the City Council in June.
There have been 7 meetings of the Board of Appeals since January that the Petitioner requested a continuance. The meeting held on August 20th was the first meeting that the Board of Appeals was able to hear testimony. If this petition was passed it would have given the petitioner a by-right use to operate without a permit. This would also allow other scrap metal businesses a by-right use to operate in other sections of our City without a permit. For more information regarding this issue see below.
Neighborhood Meeting ~ NELCO ~ Update September 19, 2014
Thank you to those who were able to attend the Neighborhood Meeting held on Thursday, September 18th at the Thompson Library. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss and update area residents on the proposed development of the former NELCO site on Baldwin Avenue. Baldwin Avenue is located off Merrimac Street in the Dartmouth Street neighborhood. The developer, Scott Seaver was present to answer questions and concerns from residents. For those residents present I will keep you updated on upcoming meetings by email/letter.
Count Rumford House 1714 ~2014
On Sunday, August 17th, I was pleased to take part in the Tercentennnial (300 yrs.) of the Rumford House as well as the Bicentennial (200 yrs.) of General Sir Benjamin Thompson the Count of Rumford. The Rumford House is located at 90 Elm Street in North Woburn.
Merrimac Street Paving Scheduled Sept. 18
Per DPW Superintendent Jay Duran: there will be a milling and paving operation along the marked out areas of Merrimac tonight. Milling shall commence around 8 pm and paving to begin somewhere around 4 or 5 am and ending at about 10 am or noon. This is part of the Winter Recovery Program set by Governor Patrick due to the severity of the winter last year.
Traffic Pattern Changes to Mishawum Road
A new traffic pattern was implemented on Mishawum Road on July 7 near the site of the soon to open Dave & Buster's. This change is a requirement of the Special Permit issued by the City of Woburn in November 2013 for the Dave & Buster's project. It is intended to improve traffic flow and circulation in the area.
A new traffic signal timing plan will be implemented at the three intersections of Mishawum Road at School Street, Ryan Road at Industrial Parkway and Industrial Parkway at Mishawum Road. These traffic pattern changes are being implemented before Dave & Buster's opens so that drivers have time to adjust to the new conditions, and any necessary adjustments can be made to the signals before store opening in the spring of 2015.
Mishawum (Dave & Busters) & Old Mishawum Road
Construction has started on the site for Dave & Busters.I requested a meeting of the Traffic Commission on October 17, 2013 for no parking signs on both sides of Mishawum and Old Mishawum Road. The Traffic Commission ruled at their November meeting that these signs will be installed for a six month trial.
As an incentive to minimize the traffic on Mishawum Road the "No Turn on Red" sign at Industrial Parkway at Ryan Road will be removed. New "Do Not Block Driveway" signs will be installed at the entrance to the Mawn Bank and entrance to Dave and Busters.
New Boston Street Bridge ~ Project Progress Report
The City's transportation consultant, VHB has completed 25% highway and drainage designs, preliminary plans, a bridge type study and sketch plan and a geotechnical recommendations report and are now with MassDOT for review. A Design Public Hearing is scheduled for sometime in June 2014. Timeline schedule: 75% Design by November 2014, 100% Design by April 2015, hopefully by September 2015 will be advertised for construction. This information was provided by Woburn City Engineer, Jay Corey.
Scrap Metal Junk Yard ~ Special Permits Committee
If this is allowed to happen there will be hundreds of trucks coming in and out of our neighborhoods from all over the region hauling scrap metal. Not only will this cause the value of our properties to decline, but most of all will have an effect on our health, safety and welfare.
At the City Council hearing on April 1, some spoke of how Mr. Holland runs a "clean" business. The petitioner was running an illegal business. He was ordered by City Building Commissioner to Cease and Desist and ignored AND continued to operate for 64 days until the City of Woburn took him to Superior Court AND an Injunction was ordered (see below). AND ignored the Superior Court order to remove the scale. The Scale is still there !
This is not a "clean" business by any means. Dumping of scrap metal, including boilers, oil tanks, water tanks, 55 gallon drums, refrigerators, air conditioners, siding, batteries and who knows what else !
Some also spoke that do not live in our City praising the petitioner and stating how CONVENIENT this businesswill be for THEM. As Alderman Drapeau stated too convenient. "If you build it they will come." Trucks lined up operating 7am to 5pm Monday thru Friday and Saturday 7am to 4pm.
DEP Issues Fine Holland Used Auto Parts in Billerica
DEP issued a penalty of approximately $180,000 for numerous violations over the past several years for approximately two acres of wetlands that were filled and is near a public drinking water supply and borders the state forest. In addition, a building was constructed on filled wetlands. Previously been issued enforcement orders related to wetlands and flood plain by the local board of Health and Conservation Commission in Billerica. read stories http://www.highbeam.com/doc1G1-119524419.html/print http://www.matr.net/article-9822.html
Re: Woburn Auto Truck Parts, Inc. 1095R Main St. off Breed avenue
The alteration and extension of pre-existing nonconforming use (motor vehicle junk yard) to allow heavy manufacturing (PROCESSING OF SCRAP METAL)
Superior Court Injunction
The City of Woburn through the Building Commissioner/Zoning Enforcement Officer vs. 1095R Main St., LLC Woburn Truck and Auto, Inc. Defendant(s). As part of the Superior Court Injunction ordered on 1/14/14.
a) Prohibiting them from operating a recycling/scrap metal facility and from maintaining debris, junk, scrap metals, old appliances or other waste material or waste products on the Premises
b) to remove from the Premises all debris, junk scrap metals, old appliances or other waste material or waste products and the scale;
c) prohibited from continuing to violate the Woburn Zoning Ordinances; and
d) to allow the Building Inspector to his designee to inspect the Premises from time to time, at reasonable hours.
Results of June 17 City Council Public Hearing: Attorney Tarby representing his client Woburn Truck & Auto, Inc., 1095R Main Street (Robert Holland) submitted a letter to withdraw the Petition without prejudice. Sincere thanks to all who took time away from their busy schedules to attend meetings, write letters, send emails and speak at these hearings.
City Council Public Hearing on April 1 continued to May 6, continued to May 20, continued
to June 17 - Petitioner withdrew his Petition
City Council Special Permits Meeting April 28, continued to May 27 continued to June 11 voted 3-1 approve.
Board of Appeals Meeting of January 15 continued to Feb. 15, continued to March. 19, continued to April 16,
Continued to May 21, continued to June 18, continued to July 16, continued to August 20,
continued to September 18 - Petitioner withdrew his Petition
Planning Board Meeting of March 25 continued to April 8 voted unfavorable - tie vote 3 - 3
because of a tie vote there was no recommendation made to the Council
Jan. 15 BOA Meeting was continued reason being abutters to the property on the Wilmington line side were not notified of the meeting held. The Petitioner and land owner of 1095R Main Street LLC and Woburn Truck & Auto Inc., appealing a Notice of Zoning Ordinance Violation/Order to Cease and Desist dated November 7, 2013 issued by the Woburn Building Commissioner for a use not allowed (recycling/scrap metal facility) relative to property located at 1095R Main Street (Breed Avenue).
The property owner at 1095R Main Street (Breed Avenue) on the Woburn/Wilmington line has started a Scrap Metal business. After my consultation with the City Solicitor, I believe that the owner's Class 3 license does not cover this type of activity.
The City Council Committee on license renewal met on November 12th to discuss the renewal of this Class 3 license. The owner was issued a Cease and Desist order on November 7th, and a fine of $300 per day starting on November 12th and has hired an attorney to represent him. The license is up for renewal on December 31, 2013. I have contacted the EPA and DEP regarding the close proximity of this site to the Superfund sites of the Olin Chemical site on the Woburn/Wilmington line, Industrial-plex site and adjacent to the unlined Woburn Landfill.
Ward 6 Neighborhood Meeting on Water Meters
On July 10, I held a Neighborhood Meeting at the Thompson Library to discuss Water Meters. I want to thank over 60 residents who took time away from their busy schedules to attend this important discussion. I have contacted Mayor Galvin and he has addressed the many questions and concerns that came from this meeting.
Double Utility Poles
I recently drove around all of Ward 6 Streets and recorded 31 double utility poles in our ward. I sent my report to DPW Superintendent Duran who is meeting with all of the utility companies to finalize a streamlined process to remedy the situation.
City Council Committee Assignments 2014 - 2015
I am serving on the following committees: Finance, Special Permits, Ordinances, Charter and Rules, Public Safety and License, Infrastructure and Public Lands, (ZORC) Zoning Ordinance Review Committee, Chairman of Concept Plan Review Committee, Historical Commission and Council on Aging.
City Council Meetings
City Council Meetings are televised live on local cable. Also visit the Woburn Public Media site at www.woburnpublicmediacenter.org where you will be able to view meetings that have previously been recorded by Woburn Public Media.
New Speed Signs "20 miles per hour" have been posted at both ends of Mountain Street.
I requested a meeting of the Traffic Commission on October 17th to reduce the speed on Mountain Street and to request more traffic enforcement. I presented to the Commission documents that were approved by both the State and City Council when Mayor Rabbitt was in office. The documents stated that the speed was to be posted at 25 and 20 miles per hour on Mountain Street. The Commission read the documents and agreed that this is the case and requested that the DPW Superintendent to post signs as previously approved by the State and City Council.
North Woburn Businesses go Solar
I was approached by the Woburn Business Association regarding the surplus of Solar Energy and was asked who would benefit from this. I immediately recommended the Council of Social Concern.
New England Pigments and Resin Corporation has recently installed Solar Panels to their building on New Boston Street in North Woburn. They have given back to the North Woburn community by donating their excess capacity to the Council of Social Concern on Merrimac Street. The Council of Social concern's first year of savings was $21,000.
On July 25th I was honored to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for a project that represents the future of renewable energy. Two New Boston Street companies New England Resins & Pigments represented by Joe )O'Connor, Vice President Sales and Marketing and NuPath Inc. represented by Dan Harrison, Chief Executive Officer have made the decision to go Solar. In the case of New England Resins & Pigments their project will actually produce more electricity than they use on site. The ribbon cutting agenda also included remarks from State Representative Jay Kaufman and Solect Energy Development Alex Keally.
Massachusetts has mandated that 15% of all electricity energy products delivered in the State come from renewal energy sources by 2020. If we sustain the same rate of growth we as a State will surpass that goal. Advantages for business going solar include tax incentives, financial incentives and lower operating expense.
As a strong proponent for Woburn's efforts to become a "Green Community" and to re-use the Woburn Landfill in a safe and productive manner I have sponsored the proposal for the Solar Overlay District Zoning Ordinance. The City of Woburn is in the planning stage of converting the Woburn Landfill to a Solar Farm. The latest milestone completed was the documentation of NSTAR leases. The next step in the process will be to issue a Request for Proposal for the project.
I requested a meeting of the Traffic Commission on October 17th for more traffic enforcement and signage on Merrimac Street. The Commission voted to complete a study on the need for signage and the speed will continue to be monitored. Neighbors should continue to contact the Police Department when trucks are seen prior to 6 a.m. on Merrimac. I am also in the process of contacting businesses on Merrimac to Request all truck traffic to use New Boston Street.
Chapter 40B Conference
On September 28, 2012 I attended a Chapter 40B Conference on the most up-to-date information on the latest developments in the Affordable Housing Law. According to the Department of Housing and Community Development Chapter 40B Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) as of April 30, 2013 Woburn has 7 % subsidized housing units. The compliance under 40B that is needed is 10%.
State Housing Appeals Committee ~ 40B
(HAC), can overrule the local decision unless the project presents serious health or safety issues that cannot be mitigated. Typically concerns about impact on traffic, schools, community services, taxes, neighborhood aesthetics or abutting home values are not considered by the HAC.
School Street ~ CVS ~ Ward 4
CVS on the corner of main and School Street will be opening soon. I would like to thank the residents of North Woburn for their patience and understanding during the construction of this project. One of the added benefits of the project is the extended turning lane on the Main and School Street intersection.
On June 7, 2013 I had the honor of presenting a Proclamation that was co-sponsored with Alderman-at-large Haggerty to NuPath President Sheri McCann upon retirement of her many achievements, accomplishments and contributions to the City of Woburn and surrounding communities. Sheri McCann has served more than three decades and has grown NuPath from serving 35 people to over 350 people a day with intellectual and physical disabilities.
Middlesex Canal Commission Receives Grant Walking & Biking Trails in Woburn
See Middlesex Canal Page Above
Site Visit ~ New Boston Street Bridge
On March 6th a meeting was held at City Hall along with a site visit of the New Boston Street Bridge. As Alderman of Ward 6, I joined State Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey, Senator Donnelly, State Representative Jim Dwyer, Planning Board Director Tarallo, and City Engineer Corey. I stressed the importance of opening the bridge as a critical link for both regional and local traffic, pedestrian and bicycle access to the Anderson Regional Transportation Center from the South and West, improving connectivity and reducing emergency response times in the area while encouraging safe multi model access to the Anderson RTC. This project will re-route truck traffic out of our residential neighborhoods and this will also complete the loop for the Commerce Way Overlay District. The CWOD is the tract of land between the New Boston Street Bridge and the Woburn Mall that was rezoned in 2009 to permit mixed use development, office, research, commercial, retail and multi-family uses.
On September 4, 2012 I sponsored an Order and submitted to the City Council for acceptance of a permanent easement to allow construction of the redesigned bridge, and for temporary easement that will allow the City access to adjacent property to reconstruct a portion of the driveway that will be necessitated by the redesign.
Senator Donnelly's office has confirmed the following: The borings are done. This means that they are going to be advancing with the sketch plans, which won't be done till June 2012.
The Woburn Redevelopment Authority on October 5, 2011 had a public meeting in City Hall Chambers regarding Community Development Strategy Priority. Infrastructure and Transportation Systems as listed High Priority - Provide better access to Anderson Regional Transportation Center by rebuilding the New Boston Street Bridge.
July 20, 2011, 25% Highway, Drainage, and Right of Way plans were submitted to MassDot. All proposed boring locations have been marked out in the field and surveyed. Geotech Engineering is the Company hired to do the work in the field by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
June 3, 2011 the EPA held a productive meeting regarding the institutional controls for construction on a Superfund site which applies to the New Boston Street Bridge. I along with City Engineer Jay Corey, EPA Project Manager Joe LeMay and representatives from Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. (VHB) the bridge design firm were present.
40B Ledges Project Information
I am pleased to announce that the Housing Appeals Committee ruled in our City's favor on the developer's motion for Summary Decision. The HAC accepted our legal arguments for denying the Motion, setting the stage for a hearing on the economics of the project, as well as the impacts from blasting and earth removal in our neighborhoods.
The attorney hired by the City of Woburn has informed me that both the City of Woburn and Woburn 38 Development have agreed to submit a brief requesting further clarification by MA Housing Appeals Committee (HAC). This will likely be filed by the end of July with a ruling possibly by the end of August at the earliest. A hearing will take place sometime this winter with a probable decision from HAC next year. I will continue to keep residents informed as I receive additional information.
I am pleased to announce that the Housing Appeals Committee ruled in City's favor on the developer's Motion for Summary Decision. The HAC accepted our legal arguments for denying the Motion, setting the stage for a hearing on the economics of the project, as well as the impacts from blasting and earth removal on our neighborhoods. Attorney Dan Hill was hired by the City to represent the Board of Appeals. No hearing date has been scheduled at this time. We continue to move forward and I will continue to keep residents updated as to the next step in this process.
I held a Neighborhood Meeting to discuss and update residents. A great turnout of over 70 residents in attendance including Aldermen: Rosa Ditucci, Dick Gately and Rich Haggerty in support of North Woburn. I want to extend sincere thanks to North Woburn resident John Flaherty for his generosity of funding a Lawyer to represent the residents.
Residents, together we have made a difference. I have forwarded to Mayor Galvin, Senator Donnelly and State Representatives Dwyer and Kaufman the online petition of over 250 residents from Woburn and surrounding communities who had the courage to sign their names, addresses and comments to a petition request for a strategy to protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents from the potential abuse of blasting, noise, removal of approximately 418,000 cy of materials with 120 truck trips per day in a residential neighborhood. The over 250 online signatures do not include the many petition letters that were mailed and continue to be mailed.
I have also petitioned Senator Donnelly and Representatives Dwyer and Kaufman for their assistance to stop the proposed quarry like operation at 1042 Main Street, "Ledges" and requesting their help to convince Mayor Galvin to assume a stronger leadership role and to protect our right to clean air, water and environment as granted in Article 97 of the State Constitution. The City Council unanimously voted funding to commission Lawyer Dan Hill to represent our City.
"Stop the Ledges of Woburn Project"