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Board of Selectmen Hears Updates About Town Projects

by Matt Ristaino
July 24, 2018

The Board of Selectmen received updates about various organizations and ongoing projects during their meeting on Monday, including the downtown traffic lights installation, the community farm, and the department of public works.

The traffic lights downtown will be activated this Wednesday morning by 6 a.m., said Bob Smith of McMahon Associates. Selectman Jay Marsden asked for residents’ patience with the new lights as everyone adjusts to the new traffic pattern downtown.

Smith also presented a solution to the issue of the decorative globes over the streetlights not being able to be installed because of the wiring of the traffic lights. This solution would involve aligning the traffic lights with the top of the light poles using brackets, and would allow for the installation of the globes. Marsden said that this option is the closest one available to the original design.

The board expressed their satisfaction with the proposal and approved it. However, Marsden and selectman John Cronin made it clear that the town would not be paying for the changes, which will cost upwards of $10,000, since it was McMahon’s mistake.

The board also heard from Sean Reese, the director of the department of public works, about the department’s ongoing and upcoming projects.

The next big project for the D.P.W. will be to replace the water mains and do some road and sidewalk reconstruction in Mudville. Reese said that this project will need the involvement of the residents, and there will be public hearings about it. The project is set to cost just under $3 million, and the money has already been set aside.

Winter St. has been pre-marked for water mains replacement as well, but Reese said that the funding isn’t there, so the project will likely be pushed back to 2020 at the earliest.

Selectman Mark Ahronian brought up the idea of creating a new department within the D.P.W. that focuses on maintaining municipal buildings and facilities in town. Reese was in favor of the idea, and the rest of the board were open to it.

The first step would be to hire a facilities manager, and then grow the new department from there. The board wanted more clarification on the specific job requirements for the facilities manager position before moving forward, although they set the goal of having a job description ready for approval at Town Meeting in October.

Kris Westland, chair of the community farm committee, gave an update on the community farm to the board as well. She said that the new greenhouse is up and already in use, and that a design for a new septic system for the house on the property has been donated by CIVILized Solutions. The new system would allow the committee to use the house for events and classes.

Westland also talked about the committee’s fundraising efforts and the need for more publicity. The committee’s next fundraising event is the annual farm-to-table dinner at Christ the King Church on August 25th. Marsden also suggested the idea of putting up signs at the entrance of the property and on Route 16 to increase the farm’s visibility.

During the public comment section of the meeting, Tine Hein once again brought up the issue of traffic in Mudville, and talked about two issues that she would like the board to consider: last month’s accident on School St. involving a mother pushing a stroller, and the density of the neighborhood.

Lesley Kennally spoke to the board again about the vacant Andrews School lot, which is becoming overrun with weeds, as well as the idea of implementing rubber speed bumps in Mudville, which she says would be an inexpensive way to get traffic to slow down.

The board opened the meeting by thanking the entire Holliston in Bloom crew, and gave special recognition to Kathy Shore, one of HIB’s co-chairs.

The board also passed the Pinecrest club house committee’s profile and charge, made appointments to the conservation commission, and approved an updated school cafeteria plan.

 

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Comments (3)

"Endure" the speed bumps?? Just how fast to you travel down your narrow little street? I'd give anything to get speed bumps on my street... Adams Street, that is, which is a race track much of the day.

Oh, and in a different post, I suggested trying a plan with mostly one-way streets in Mudville in order to stop non-Hollistonian cut-throughs. But, yes, that would require Mudville residents to go around the block sometimes

- David D. | 7/27/18 4:25 PM

While I appreciate the spirit behind it, as a resident of Mudville I have zero interest in seeing speed bumps installed. No matter what the traffic scenario, the people who would have to endure those speed bumps the most are the residents of Mudville. No speed bumps in Mudville.

- Chris | 7/24/18 5:11 PM

The decision to fix the water mains in Mudville is poorly timed. How are drivers expected to avoid the lights downtown if the roads are ripped up?

- Sean Baker | 7/24/18 6:58 AM

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