The North Woburn Voice
updated - August 20, 2015
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.
40B Ledges Site - Update 8-20-15
This case is now in Land Court.
The MA Housing Appeals Committee has ruled in favor of the Developer. The report can be read on the HAC web site as posted. The decision may be reviewed by instituting an action in Superior Court within 30 days of receipt of the decision. What does this mean? This decision will be reviewed by the Woburn Zoning Board of Appeals, City Solicitor and Attorney Dan Hill.
The following is a Resolve that I presented to the Council and was passed:
Whereas, under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40B, known as the Massachusetts Comprehensive Permit Act, there is a goal to make at least 10% of every Massachusetts community's housing stock affordable for moderate income households; and
Whereas, the City of Woburn has made significant efforts to achieve the requirements of M.G.L. Chapter 40B;
Now, therefore, Be it Resolved that the Planning Director research and update the number of affordable housing units in the City for the purposes of verifying the accuracy of the Department of Housing and Community Development's calculations with respect to the compliance of the City with the Massachusetts Comprehensive Permit Act M.G.L. Ch. 40B.
5-21-15 40B Ledges Site ~ Good News
The fight is not over ! The City of Woburn Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously to appeal the adverse decision against the City of Woburn to Superior Court.
At the May 21st Budget Hearing, I requested the Planning Board Director to review our affordable housing inventory. Right now Woburn is listed at 7.1% The State requirement is 10%. Hopefully this review will bring us closer to the State requirement.
1071 Main Street
After over 30 years of resident complaints and signature petitions, the site at 1071 Main Street in North Woburn, known as the worst looking property on Main Street from the Winchester to the Wilmington line, is finally in the process of being demolished. Condo units are being proposed for this site.
New Boston Street Bridge ~ MPO Meeting
Project Progress Report
On March 5, 2015 a public meeting of the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) was held. Comments were heard on the New Boston Street Bridge Reconstruction Project. I participated in speaking on the importance of moving this project forward along with Senator Ken Donnelly, State Representatives: Jim Dwyer and Jay Kaufman, Mayor Galvin and City Engineer Jay Corey.
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 MasssDOT for review. The project is anticipated to be complete for the 2018 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).
The NSB was closed in 1978 due to its poor condition. This closure eliminated a key and vital connection for regional and local traffic. The replacement of the NBSB has local and regional traffic benefits including future commercial and economic growth. This is also important to the transportation link being reconnected. It would also provide an alternative for motorists using such heavily congested roadways as Route 28 and Route 38. The project also provides a new, secondary access/egress connection to the Anderson Transportation Center. I have been working with State and City officials on this project since I became Alderman of Ward 6 in 2007. Special thanks to Senator Donnelly and State Representatives Dwyer and Kaufman for their continued support of this important project.
For more information regarding the NBSB scroll down.
North Woburn Square
I would like to extend my thanks to Sgt. Ray Mooney, Traffic Bureau Commander for his involvement in North Woburn Square traffic enforcement. For a three day period, Sgt. Mooney observed and discovered that the Day Care is the primary cause of the traffic issue in NWS. The Day Care is now on notice and they have agreed to modify their system of drop off and pick up procedure of students to alleviate this problem.
New Boston Street
Due to resident and business owner complaints, I recently addressed the Traffic Commission regarding the installation of No Parking Signs on New Boston Street. In researching, it was discovered that in 1972 the State approved an order for these signs to be placed on both sides of New Boston Street. And in 1989, the Woburn Redevelopment Authority recommended that these signs were to be posted. DPW Superintendent Duran stated that he would like to see the area before installing these signs. This will alleviate car carriers and tractor trailers from parking over night on NBS, and will give residents relief from truck traffic noise on Merrimac Street at all hours of the night.
Landscape Express/Kaknes Site
Landscape Express is a landscape supply yard dealing with recycling and mulch production located on New Boston Street. I have been working with Board of Health Agent Jack Fralick regarding the many complaints I have received from residents and businesses regarding odors and the extreme height of piles of compost. The owner as well as the Fire Department and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have been contacted. We are working towards a resolution.
North Woburn Streets
This past winter was the worst we have had in years and has contributed to the decay of many streets in our City. I have brought this to the attention of the DPW Superintendent and Mayor on several occasions. It is up to the Mayor to assign Chapter 90 funds. I urge residents who reside on these streets to contact the Mayor's office at 781-897-5901 to request paving.
Ledges 40B Proposed 162 Apartment Project at 1042 Main Street in North Woburn
Blasting and removal of over 418,000 Cubic Yards with 120 Truck Trips per Day.
Attorney Dan Hill (back left) Chairman Lohe Housing Appeals Committee (back right) Ledges Site Visit 11-5-14
40B Ledges Site ~ Update January 21, 2015
The Housing Appeals Committee has denied all of the developer's pre-trial motions which resulted in Hearings.
Comments from Lawyers regarding the Hearings held in November are due January 29, 2015. We are hoping for a decision within the next few months. As more information becomes available I will post on this site.
The Hearing of the Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) in regards to the 40B appeal filed by Woburn 38 Development was held at Woburn City Hall in Council Chambers on November 5, 2014. The first day of testimony lasted from 10 am to 3 pm with a site visit conducted by Chairman Lohe (HAC). The Hearing continued to Thursday, November 6 in Boston and is now ended. Attorney Dan Hill hired by the City of Woburn was outstanding in his cross examination of witnesses. We continue to move forward and I will continue to keep residents updated as to the next step in this process.
For more information on the 40B Ledges site see below and above sites.
NELCO Site (off Dartmouth St.)
Public hearing - City Council meeting request to continue to June 2 at 7:00 p.m. The continuance was requested by Attorney Tarby who is representing Scott Seaver. This will allow him to work with City Engineer Jay Corey on access from Baldwin Avenue to an acceptable street in that area. The active site work under the oversight of DEP is now completed. A final report is now in the process of being filed with MassDEP. I have requested a copy of the final report.
Proposed 41 Town Houses 2 1/2 stories high. If you would like to be placed on my email listing for frequent updates contact me at email@example.com.
Neighborhood Meeting 9/18 Thompson Library
Public Hearing 12/16 Woburn Planning Board Zoning Change R-2/OP to R-3
Public Hearing 1/6 City Council Meeting Zoning Change R-2/OP to R-3
Woburn Planning Board Site Visit - 1/10
Woburn Planning Board- 1/13 - voted 7-0 favorable recommendation to City Council on Zoning Change
City Council Ordinance Committee Meeting - 1/26 - Committee voted to continue.
City Council Public Hearings 2/3 continued 3/3, 4/7 to 4/21 to 6/2
Thank you to those who were able to attend the Neighborhood Meeting held on September 18 at the Thompson Library 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 proposed developer, Scott Seaver was present to answer questions and concerns from residents.
Solar Energy ~ Woburn Landfill and Kennedy and Joyce Middle Schools
Plans will be announced soon.
A Request for Qualification (RFQ) was advertised by the City with the Department of Environmental Resources (DOER) for the solar energy generation. The RFQ includes the Woburn Landfill and Kennedy and Joyce Middle Schools. The proposals will be due in December. The Woburn Landfill is a 39.5 acre site which includes an adjoining 6 acre parcel. For more information scroll down below.
Grand Re-Opening Mr. Charlies in North Woburn
A good reason to stay in North Woburn for lunch and more. Now serving lunch and take-out along with Richardson's ice cream.
Roadway Paving Petition
On September 18th, residents in the Dartmouth Street neighborhood signed a petition requesting the paving of streets in that area. On February 25, 2010 a serious gas leak took place an forced the evacuation of residents in that neighborhood. This caused the Gas Company to install approximately 3000 feet of new gas lines on adjoining streets. Since that time several streets in that neighborhood have deteriorated. I submitted this petition to the Mayor. The Mayor has not responded to the request of those residents.
Traffic Commission Meeting
The Commission voted on Sept. 20, 2014 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.
Count Rumford House 1714 ~2014
On August 17th, I was honored to take part in the Tercentennial (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.
Traffic Pattern Changes to Mishawum Road
A new traffic pattern was implemented on Mishawum Road 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 was 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 scheduled opening of May 26, 2015.
Mishawum (Dave & Busters) & Old Mishawum Road ~ Opening May 26
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 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 was removed. New "Do Not Block Driveway" signs will be installed at the entrance to the Mawn Bank and entrance to Dave and Busters.
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.
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.
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.
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
Attorney Dan Hill 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 2014 with a ruling possibly by the end of August at the earliest.
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.
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 offering to fund 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"
Eminent Domain Ledges Property
February 5, 2013 City Council meeting, I have sponsored a resolution along with Aldermen Ditucci, Haggerty, and Gately for City Solicitor Ellen Doucette to prepare a memo for taking the Ledges site by eminent domain. The Council voted unanimously. The resolve cites Article 97 "The people shall have the right to clean air and water, freedom from excessive and unnecessary noise, and the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic qualities of their environment; and the protection of the people in their right to the conservation, development and utilization of the agricultural, mineral, forest, water, air and other natural resources is hereby declared to be a public purpose"
Both MEPA and the MA Department of Transportation has issued a response in regards to the Environmental Notification Form (ENF) for the Ledges Project.A MEPA report is required for the Ledges Project. On Monday morning, December 10, 2012 a representative from MEPA held a meeting in the Council Committee Room at City Hall. A site visit was held after the meeting. Although all City Officials were notified, Alderman Gately and I were the only City Officials present. After the meeting and site visit I forwarded a copy of the Board of Appeals Decision (that clearly states our concerns) to the MEPA representative so he can review prior to completing his report.
The Petitioner filled an appeal with MA Housing Appeals. MA Housing Appeals has 60 days to comment back to the Board of Appeals.
Site Visit September 11, 2012 - Ledges 40B Project - 1042 Main Street
We were able to convince the Board of Appeals to conduct a site visit to see first hand what this projects is really all about the health, safety and welfare of Residents. All documents pertaining to this project can be seen on Board of Appeals website. When you get into the site look to the left (40B Project) click on and you can see/print documents.
For more information regarding the Ledges Project see the Ledges 40B Page above
Alzheimer's Residence ~ 857 Main Street ~ North Woburn
On January 30, 2013, I attended an open house tour of Monarch Homes along with City Council President Denaro, and Aldermen Haggerty, Anderson and Gaffney. Monarch Homes is a state of the art assisted living community offering residents with memory loss a supportive environment with three levels of programs designed to cater to the individual needs of the resident. I would like to thank Monarch Homes for coming to Woburn. A new jewel to our City of Woburn and I am glad that I was able to be a part of making this a reality.
Intersection of Alfred/Elm/Main Street
I recently went before the Traffic Commission for a solution to improve this intersection. The Woburn Traffic Commission has been reviewing improvements at this intersection. On January 17, 2013 meeting the Traffic Commission decision voted to instruct the DPW to add hash marks to the roadway at the intersection in accordance with a plan prepared by the City Engineer.
Solar Power Initiative for the City of Woburn
In March 2013 Solar for the Woburn Landfill will be placed for bid. The savings from the proposed solar panels is estimated to save the City of Woburn $200,000 a year.
As Alderman of Ward 6 sponsoring the Woburn Landfill Solar Project, on January 31, 2012 I joined State Legislators in announcing a PowerOptions Program. Celebrating the unrolling are, left to right, Joe McCarthy from Congressman Ed Markey’s office, State. Rep. Jay Kaufman, Massachusetts Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia, SunEdison Vice President Jaime Smith, PowerOptions CEO Cynthia Arcate, Ward 6 Alderman Michael Raymond, Mayor Scott Galvin, State Rep. James Dwyer and Woburn Purchasing Agent Sarah Stanton.
PowerOptions, the state's leading energy-buying consortium, chose to partner with SunEdison. This program will bring the benefits of cleaner, cost-effective and sustainable solar installations to the state's nonprofit institutions, cities and towns. This is the first of it's kind program which will provide smart and affordable energy solutions. SunEdison will help schools and government entities realize the benefits of solar energy with best-in-class pricing and long-term cost savings.
Lord Terrace - One-Way
Lord Terrace has been approved by both the Traffic Commission as well as the City Council on December 4, 2012 to be changed to a one-way. There is no entrance to Lord Terrace from School Street.
Traffic Control Sign
On November 15, 2012, I went before the Traffic Commission to request a solution regarding the traffic control signal just after Applebee's Restaurant when traveling from Sylvan Road to Main Street. The Commission voted to request to the Police Department asking to install a new temporary flashing messaging sign designed for speed control which indicates a stop ahead. Enforcement efforts at the intersection was also assigned by Sgt. Tenney.
Minimum Maintenance Standards -Historical Resources
I have sponsored a new ordinance to preserve and protect Historical Homes. The Historical Commission's first Historical Home to preserve and protect under this new Ordinance is 31 Elm Street. All abutters including the owner are notified of all meetings by the Commission. Article VII - Purpose of this Section is intended to preserve and protect significant buildings in the City of Woburn in conjunction with the Demolition Delay Ordinance and the Historic District Commission Ordinance. The Council adopted a new ordinance to mandate the owners of historical properties to repair such structures that are strictly aesthetical in nature.
New Article V111 - Nuisance Control
Aldermen Mike Raymond - Ward 6, Mike Anderson - Ward 4 and Ray Drapeau - Ward 7 have joined together to introduce a new Ordinance on November 20, 2012 for approval of the City Council. Purpose of this Ordinance: Inadequately maintained residential or commercial/business buildings are at an increased risk for fire, unlawful entry, or other public health and safety hazards. This Ordinance is adopted to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Woburn by preventing blight, protecting property values and neighborhood integrity, avoiding the creation and maintenance of nuisances and ensuring the safety and sanitary maintenance of all buildings and structure by requiring all property owners, including lenders, trustees and service companies and the like, to properly maintain their respective properties in good repair and in a safe and sanitary condition, and to impose penalties on and collect from property owners and other responsible persons for the nuisances and harm caused by conduct that rises to the level of nuisance activity as provided herein. Nothing shall prevent the City from using the authority and procedures in any other provision of the charter, City Ordinance or Massachusetts General Laws.
Robinlea Circle Nuisance
I have worked with neighbors and city departments regarding a nuisance of property located at 6-8 Robinlea Circle. On October 2, 2012 public hearing residents were able to comment and voice their concerns. The owner and caretaker of the property was not in attendance. I ordered with approval from members of the Council that the owner/caretaker to clean up this site.On December 18 City Council Meeting the Nuisance Order was withdrawn without prejudice. The owner has corrected problems including, clean-up of yard and removal of debris, cars and trailer removed, stairs repaired, and home painted.
Revolutionary War Patriots Recognized
I proposed a resolve for the forgotten 18 men from Woburn who fought in the Revolutionary War. The passage of bill S. 883, the National Liberty Memorial Act, to authorize the construction of a citizen-funded National Liberty Memorial. The Resolve was passed 9 - 0. These names are now etched on our new War Memorial Monument in Woburn Center.
Stretch Energy Code
Alderman Haggerty and I sponsored to adopt Woburn Municipal Code, Title 15, Article VII entitled "Stretch Energy Code" which is a series of regulations designed to make city buildings more energy efficient. This Article was passed by the City Council.
I have joined with my fellow Aldermen in a city-wide effort to force these property owners to clean up their property. With the help and guidance of the Building Department and the Board of Health, I will continue to get these properties cleaned up. I would like to express my thanks to the Building Department and Board of Health for their cooperation in helping to move this project forward.
Neighborhood Meetings ~ Thompson Library
Please join me in my Neighborhood Meetings to share ideas, express concerns and to discuss upcoming and ongoing projects. Neighborhood Meetings are held at the Thompson Library at 33 Elm Street in North Woburn.
Energy Efficiency LED Lights
$530,000 project grant, some of our main City streets will have replacement LED Street Lights this year including Main Street, School Street and Merrimac Street.
Brooks & Stream Cleaning
The DPW has announced a list of stream maintenance work with minor trimming of trees and brush along stream embankments. Removal of debris (leaves, yard waste, etc.) This project will take about 3 years to complete. The following N. Woburn streams are scheduled: Stream from Fletcher to Alfred Street and Willow Brook extending from Rear Pearl Street to Pearl Street.
Truck Traffic Route
Due to my request of the Traffic Commission on a full study to establish a Truck Route for the City, the Traffic Commission requested to the City Council at their meeting of November 15, 2011 that a Truck Traffic Route study be conducted. The matter was sent to the Committee on finance. The Mayor did not sign the Resolve for funding for this study.
CVS Project - Ward 4 - Alderman Anderson
A Neighborhood Meeting of all direct abutters was held on August 2, 2012 at the Thompson Library. The petitioner introduced the preliminary plans to those present and resident concerns and questions were addressed. The CVS project site is zoned Business Highway. The Historic Commission inspected all homes and buildings involved on this site. The Commission has determined that these properties have no historic value and are proposed to be demolished.
On September 4, 2012 a petition was filed with the City Council for a special permit of the Woburn Zoning Ordinances to allow for a retail establishment at 1, 3, 5, 7 and 13 School Street, 891,893 and 895 Main Street. A public hearing of the City Council was held on October 16, and December 4. On December 18, 2012 the City Council voted 8 - (1 absent) to approve the CVS project at the corner of Main/School St. ( Ward 4 ) with conditions.
Solar Energy Project ~ Woburn Landfill Renewable Energy for the City of Woburn
On September 6, 2011 the City Council unanimously approved the Zoning Overlay District as well as the Overlay Map. 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 acceptable to my constituents I have sponsored the proposal for the Solar Overlay District Zoning Ordinance. On July 19, 2011, I made a presentation to the City Council. On August 2, 2011, Alderman Gately and I gave a Solar presentation to the Planning Board for their review. The Planning Board unanimously voted to approve the Solar Overlay District Zoning Ordinance and Overlay Map on September 6, 2011
Generating solar and wind power on former municipal landfills makes both environmental and economic sense. It will provide clean renewable energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and will create new revenue streams for the taxpayers of Woburn. This will enable me, as Alderman of Ward 6 to assist the City of Woburn with the tools to assess the redevelopment potential of the Woburn Landfill, and to harness state renewable energy incentives. On January 19, 2010 I attended a workshop at Holyoke Community College to assist the City of Woburn in renewable energy. I am excited to report that I am more convinced now than ever that our closed landfill can be used as a renewable energy source with little or no cost to the City of Woburn.
Visit this website for information regarding the above http://www.mass.gov/dep/energy/lfwkshop2.htm
Solar Energy Request for Information
A Request for Information (RFI) was advertised by the City for informal proposals for the future use of the unlined Woburn Landfill. The landfill is a 39.5 acre site which includes an adjoining 6 acre parcel. I am going to review the proposals along with the Mayor and Board of Health Director. So far there have been 6 proposals; 4 of the proposals called for placing solar panels on both sites, 1 proposal for a recycling facility, 1 proposal for a renewable energy facility focusing on capturing methane gas.
Commerce Way Corridor Overlay District Committee
The following Planning Board Members Robert Doherty, Mike Ventresca and City Council Members Chairman Alderman Mike Raymond, Alderman-at-large Richard Haggerty and Alderman Darlene Buren have been assigned to the new Concept Plan Review Committee for the Commerce Way Corridor Overlay District. The overlay district shall permit mixed use development including high end office, retail, and multi-family residential development with open space and accessory services related to each use. The current land uses allowed in the underlying I-P Zoning District, IP-2 Zoning District and B-1 Zoning District, shall not be allowed in the new Zoning district unless so stated. On September 8th, 2009 City Council Meeting, the Commerce Way Corridor Overlay District was passed 8- 1. Former City Council President Charles Doherty, Ward 6 Alderman Mike Raymond and Ward 5 Alderman Darlene Mercer-Bruen are sponsors of the Commerce Way Corridor Overlay District.
Purpose of District
1) To promote the health, safety and general welfare of the community by encouraging the redevelopment of underutilized and/or obsolete commercial and industrial sites to allow for mixed use developments which may include high end office, commercial, retail and multi-family residential uses along the Commerce Way Corridor/I-93.
2) To encourage mixed residential, retail and office uses in order to increase opportunities for development in transit served areas of the community.
3) To encourage the development of comprehensive projects of appropriate scale in an area that provides proximate access to major highways and public transportation.
4) To provide a desirable mix of land uses, including both residential and non-residential development that will serve the community and regional interest in housing, employment, and net positive tax revenue.
5) To promote create, efficient and appropriate solutions to the development of complex and/or environmentally challenged sites.
City of Woburn Policy for City Vehicle Use
City vehicles are not personal vehicles and are not for personal use. City vehicles should be viewed as belonging to the citizens of Woburn and are assigned for commuting only for purposes consistent to providing services to our residents.
I have received a number of calls regarding use of city vehicles. Former City Council President Doherty and I started working on a policy and because of more pressing issues this issue took a back seat. I met with Mayor Galvin on March 12th, 2010 and presented to him a draft that I have been working on for his consideration. I also met with Mayor Galvin on June 18, 2010 and at that time the Mayor stated that he will review the Policy with his staff. There has been no action taken by Mayor Galvin that I am aware of.
City of Woburn's Web Site
http://www.ci.woburn.ma.us/ The City of Woburn's web site has been updated with a Video Tour Book (short clips) of Woburn. Click on the above site and scroll down and to the right you will be able to view all of these clips.
North Woburn Fire Station
One of the many positive outcomes that I have spearheaded is the beginning of the consolidation of buildings and grounds into the DPW. As of July 1, 2009 the DPW has taken over the maintenance of Fire and Police buildings in our City. The North Woburn Fire Station seen above has been revitalized under the direction of former DPW Superintendent, Vinny Ferlisi. This building has been painted both inside and out . The grounds have been cleared and flowers have been planted, and a portion of a sidewalk on Main Street has been replaced.
Taking Pride in North Woburn
I would like to express my thanks to former DPW Superintendent, Vinny Ferlisi and Assistant Superintendent Tucker Quinn and their crew for the recent revitalization of the North Woburn Fire Station as part of the Consolidation of our Fire Department’s Building Maintenance into the Department of Public Works.
Many have doubted that the Consolidation would work, but as you view the Woburn Police Station and some of the other Fire Stations in our City that have been revitalized you can appreciate as I do the importance of the plan. As Alderman of Ward 6 I am taking great strides to improve the quality of life issues for our community.
From the conception of the Consolidation idea, I have conducted monthly progress meetings with the former DPW Superintendent. At the August 21, 2009 meeting I was given an overview of the updated work order system that is an integral part of not only the operation of the DPW but the Consolidation of the entire City of Woburn’s building and grounds maintenance into the Department of Public Works. The work order system that was developed under the direction of former DPW Superintendent Mr. Ferlisi consists of a database that contains a record of every work order sorted by category. This system can easily handle all building and grounds maintenance activity for the City of Woburn. In early September I plan to attend a conference chaired by Lieutenant Governor Murray at Holy Cross College in Worcester. The subject is “A practical Guide to Sharing Municipal Services”. The lessons learned from this conference will be invaluable as we forge ahead.
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