Bob Fowler was the only member not present for tonight’s meeting.
1. Chairman Bruck Schick started out by explaining that the East Boston Development Corp. will not be presenting before the committee. Their explanation is that if representatives came in to answer questions, the group would be considered a consultant and then could not bid on any projects at a later date.
2. The bulk of the meeting was a preliminary discussion of results of the survey, which was completed by 887 residents. Based on replies, there is some interest in retail space, but the majority of respondents favor open space on both properties. People also expressed interest in community gardens. The town currently has garden plots on Livingston St., near Strongwater Farm, but committee members were unsure if that space was at capacity.
There was very little interest in housing or mixed-use retail/housing units. And 65% of respondents said the properties should not be sold to the highest bidder but should be retained by the town.
3. When asked about each property specifically, the responses were similar for both sites, with housing being low on the list and interest in a dog park, playground and/or park ranking highest. For the North St. site, there is a desire to keep the current play structures, have an outdoor function space and to build a boardwalk to the Frasca soccer fields.
At the Trahan site there was more interest in renovating the current structure for a community meeting or makers space.
4. The committee will continue to dig into the data to get a full picture of what residents want for the properties. This information-gathering process also includes an informational session that will be held at Tewksbury Memorial High School on Oct. 27 from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. More details will be coming on this event soon.
5. The next meeting is October 20. Superintendent Brenda Regan will attend to address questions the committee has for the school district.