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Selectmen OK Liquor License Transfer, Make Multiple Committee Appointments

The Tewksbury Board of Selectmen had a productive meeting on Tuesday. 

The owners of the Shell station at 365 Main St. applied to transfer the liquor license held by Crystal General Store, at 1120 Main St., so that the Shell can sell wine, beer and malt liquors. Selectman Todd Johnson quizzed the applicants on how they will limit sales to minors and their strategy to find employees. The board approved the transfer unanimously.

The board also moved in unison on accepting a transfer of a sewer agreement for the Residence at Joan’s Farm, an apartment complex at 100 Donny Martel Way being sold by Arnie Martell to a real estate investment firm, and advancing the acceptance of Robbie Terrace Way to Town Meeting, given signoff by the town engineer on behalf of the DPW. 

For the former item, town manager Richard Montuori informed the board that the Joan’s Farm application seemed to be in order. Residents interested in that proposed Robbie Terrace public roadway will find a map on file at the town clerk’s office seven days prior to Special Town Meeting, which is Oct. 5. 

Acceptance of public roads is not a gimme: As BoS chair Jay Kelly pointed out, at a previous town meeting, an abutter successfully asked fellow residents to block acceptance, citing flooding.

The board then moved on to filling a number of open seats on committees with citizen volunteers. All votes were unanimous.

Some notable appointments: 

> The town’s new building commissioner, Mark Bertonassi, was appointed to the open seat on the Zoning Bylaw Committee, which faces a challenging schedule to bring a revised proposal to Town Meeting in May 2022. The building commission has historically been represented on the ZBC. 

> Selectman Jayne Wellman nominated Timothy Swett to Seat 8 on the Economic Development Committee. That left two associate member slots. Selectman James Mackey, who is the board’s representative to that committee, nominated Danielle Corsino. One associate opening remains. These appointments expire June 2022. 

> Selectman Ann Marie Stronach put forward Jacob Brothers for the open full seat on the Local Housing Partnership.

> The single seat on the Open Space and Recreation Committee went to John Buckley based on a nomination by Johnson.

> One open resident-at-large seat on the North St. and Trahan Reuse Committee went to Kayla Biagioni-Smith based on Wellman’s nomination.

> Joseph Cary was named to the Zoning Board of Appeals, also based on Wellman’s nomination.

The committee also filled with a slate seven of nine open seats on the Tewksbury Cultural Council, which will soon award some $15,000 in grants, and placed residents on several other committees.

Kelly thanked all the residents who applied.

“It’s pretty remarkable that we have so many applicants to roll up their sleeves and work for the community and give it their all,” he said, encouraging anyone not appointed — and all residents — to attend board and committee meetings, which are open to all. 

At the meeting, town manager Richard Montuori advised the board that Houston-based Hanover Co. submitted its proposal for a 300-unit 40B rental housing development at Ames Pond to MassHousing. Learn More.

Additional Items in the Town Manager’s Report

> Population growth: Census data is out showing that Tewksbury’s population grew by 8.2% between 2010 and 2020, from 28,961 to 31,342. As for housing stock, there was an increase of 1,291 units in town, from 10,848 in 2010 to 12,139 in 2020. That’s a 6.8% increase, showing that housing unit development is not keeping pace with population growth.

> New voting precinct: Based on that population growth, the town will add an additional precinct, moving from eight to nine, and renumber all precincts consecutively. Because there may not be more than 4,000 residents in a precinct, the town clerk will work with the secretary of state’s office to properly and equally proportion the districts and will bring a plan to the board, likely in Q4. 

Montuori said census data will be posted on the website as appropriate.

> Hydrant flushing: Over the next eight to 10 weeks, the town will do its annual flushing of hydrants throughout various parts of town. Weather permitting, that process should wrap up sometime mid to late November. There is no set sequencing or schedule. Residents may notice variable pressure or discoloration from the sediment that is disturbed. Montuori says that residents who have issues with discolored water staining clothing may contact the DPW for an additive that will resolve the problem.

Wellman closed the meeting by recognizing the recent 9/11 memorial event.

“I wanted to take a moment to thank the 9/11 committee, our residents, our firefighters and our police department,” she said. “It was a tremendous turnout on Saturday.”

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