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Next Week at Town Hall


On Tuesday July 23, the Recreation Commission will hold a zoom meeting starting at 7 p.m.  Among other items, they will discuss Flerra and Liberty fields updates, cameras for Liberty Field, and a new recreation services coordinator position.


Click here for a list of all agendas for the upcoming week, including Zoom links.


Visit boxborough-ma.gov for other calendar and agenda items.

This Week's News

(18-JUL-24) Boxborough’s brand new Fire Station Building Committee (FSBC) held its first meeting on Wednesday, July 17, two days after its members were appointed by the Select Board.

  

The newly minted committee members dove right into their first task, which is to select and recommend an Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) to the Select Board. The OPM will help the town navigate the entire fire station building process, from site selection through construction. 

  

The committee discussed the OPM selection criteria, the process for interviews and reference-checking, and contract negotiations, and they formulated a schedule with the goal of getting the OPM in place as quickly as possible...

(18-JUL-24) At its meeting on July 15, the Select Board appointed all seven members of the new Fire Station Building Committee (FSBC). The five at-large members are Joan Blaustein, Mary Brolin, Sara Lavado, Eric Michnovez, and Mac Reid. The Select Board representative will be Priya Sundaram, and the Finance Committee representative will be Maria Neyland. The Board also appointed Fire Chief John Kivlan and Town Administrator Michael Johns as ex officio members.

  

The Board chose the five at-large members from a group of 18 applicants. TA Michael Johns explained that there were originally 24 interested residents, but that six withdrew their names from consideration. The remaining 18 applicants were evaluated using a matrix of six competencies: technical experience, community understanding, proven leadership, communication skills, interpersonal skills, and public engagement skills. Select Board Chair Kristin Hilberg said the Board was “honored” by the number of people who volunteered to be considered for the FSBC...

(18-JUL-24) After two years of construction, Liberty Field at 1100 Liberty Square Road is now complete and open for all to enjoy. 

  

Visitors can now use the paved walking path, a one-third mile distance that surrounds the soccer fields. The soccer fields are also open, but the grass is newly established so organized sports and league play will not be permitted until the fall. A shed has also been built for field equipment, nets, and other recreational storage. 


Other portions of Liberty Field, including the playground, tennis courts, and pickleball courts, opened in Fall 2023... 


(17-JUL-24) At its meeting on July 8, the Planning Board discussed the MBTA Communities zoning requirements and their plan to address compliance. Town Planner Alec Wade presented a background on the MBTA Communities Act and advocated for a “working group” approach to help Boxborough comply with the law.

  

Wade stressed that public engagement is key to the success of the community and proposed the formation of a working group that would include two planning board members, a resident with traffic or engineering experience, and two additional members at large, preferably from different geographic areas of town. The group will gather input through public forums and meetings with other town boards and committees. They will analyze the data and make recommendations to the Planning Board, who will then hold public hearings and bring the proposed zoning district for a vote at a future Town Meeting...

(17-JUL-24) At the July 11 meeting of the Steele Farm Committee, Chair Christopher Hydak reported that the restoration of the exterior of the Steele Farm Ice House has begun. The contractor discovered that some of the underlying sheathing had rotted, and the committee agreed to have the contractor replace the rotted sheathing while keeping as much of the original wood as possible.

  

The committee discussed Phase III of the preservation of the 1784 Levi Wetherbee farmhouse, which includes new windows, new siding, and exterior painting. They reviewed the language in the request for proposals (RFP) for work on the farmhouse and will finalize and issue the RFP in August 2024...

(17-JUL-24) At the Boxborough Community Preservation Committee (CPC) meeting of July 10, Town Planner Alec Wade reported that the semi-final draft of the 2025 Community Preservation Plan would be distributed to the committee members in the near future. The goal is to present a final draft to the committee at its September meeting.

  

Historically, the Boxborough CPC has had no formal award mechanism. At its June meeting, the committee voted to move towards best practices and issue formal award letters to committees/groups who receive CPC funds...

(17-JUL-24) Chair Lee Slade opened the July 10 Personnel Board meeting by discussing the planned “Employer of Choice” presentation to the Select Board. This is now scheduled to take place in August.

  

Assistant Town Administrator Rajon Hudson updated the board on the current status of the townwide training for department heads. Proposals have been received from two consultants and are being reviewed. Hudson also reported that rapid progress is being made on hiring town staff. It is possible that all vacancies could be hired this month...

(17-JUL-24) Newly elected Finance Committee Chair Tony Newton opened the July 9 meeting by welcoming new members Joe Stulpin and John Greven and by introducing newly appointed full-time Finance Director/Town Accountant Honghoa Le.

  

As its first order of business, the Committee unanimously approved a reserve fund transfer to the FY2024 budget line for legal services in the amount of $27,589. This was the only transfer requested by the Select Board.

  

The next item of business was review of FY2024 actual expenses versus budget. As of June 21, there was a significant surplus versus budget in the “town” accounts...

(17-JUL-24) At their hybrid meeting July 11, the Boxborough Sustainability Committee (BSC) discussed when to ask the town to approve the Specialized Building Code. They also discussed Littleton Electric Light Department’s (LELD) energy-saving efforts and preparation for “Trash Talk,” a gathering of residents to engage in activities which heighten awareness about waste management.

  

By September, the BSC expects the state to approve the town’s application to become a Green Community, at which time Boxborough will use an initial state grant of about $130,000 to begin installing LED light bulbs in town buildings...

(17-JUL-24) At its meeting on Tuesday, July 9, the Boxborough Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) conducted a public hearing to consider the application for an appeal of the building commissioner’s enforcement order issued to New England Tree Masters, a business operating at 984 Mass Ave and 38 Sara’s Way. As an abutter to the applicant, ZBA Chair Mark White recused himself, and Clerk Mark Barbadoro was appointed as acting chair for the hearing.

  

On March 25, 2024, New England Tree Masters was issued an enforcement order by Boxborough Building Commissioner Ed Cataldo. The order specified that New England Tree Masters must file a special permit due to the “increased…size of the cleared area, truck traffic,” and the “storage of materials beyond the previous business” at the property. The order also required that the applicant file for a site plan review due to changes made to the topography, parking, traffic flow, and natural features when the property transferred ownership...

Community

Nancy Warren, daughter of Herb Garden designer Shirley Warren

(23-JUL-24) On Sunday, July 14, the Boxborough Garden Club held an Open Garden Day at the Colonial Herb Garden located at the top of Middle Rd. In spite of very hot and sunny weather, there was a good turnout of people from Boxborough and surrounding towns who were interested in seeing the herb garden, which has been maintained by the club since 1976. Visitors included garden club members from Harvard and Littleton. In addition to a tour of the herb garden, visitors were treated to tea and cookies made with herbs. Thanks to the local church, there was a canopy that provided shade and a place to gather to enjoy the refreshments made by garden club members...

(18-JUL-24) FreeBee Market, Boxborough’s volunteer-driven free food network and market, organizes two types of events, “community market” days and “food rescue” days, on Saturdays throughout the summer and fall.

    

“Food rescue” days, held every Saturday, are focused only on sharing extra food collected from local supermarkets and farms. The “community markets” have rescued food plus community booths and kids’ activities...

(18-JUL-24) Yes, I “edit” the garden.

  

All the rain and heat have definitely made my gardens (and weeds) grow with abandon. Plants get overgrown and can look like they are in the wrong place. 

  

If you are interested in making your gardens look better, here are a few easy ways to do it. First, you can add new annuals to fill empty spots – either in the ground or in pots...

(11-JUL-24) In 2022, Sargent Memorial Library created a strategic plan and identified a set of goals for FY23 through FY27. One of the goals is to provide programs that foster human connection and enrich people’s lives. Another is to strengthen community partnerships. 

  

A direct outcome of these goals is the Repair & Renew Workshop, a collaboration between Sargent Memorial Library, Acton Memorial Library, and local seamstress and founder of PatternReview.com, Deepika Prakash...

Outside the Box

Looking for more local news? Curious about issues and events outside of our ten square miles?  Our new “Outside the Box” page points you to community newspapers in surrounding towns:


We look forward to connecting and collaborating more with these publications in the coming year!

Our news is published inside the “Action Unlimited - Boxborough Edition,” a FREE weekly newspaper delivered each Friday to all households in Boxborough.  Click here for the latest edition.  

For the Acton/Maynard edition of Action Unlimited, click here.