Though news first surfaced on Friday that one appeal of the new Wilmington High School plans would delay construction for a currently undetermined time frame, it was not the only appeal filed before Friday’s deadline.
A second appeal, filed by a group of 10 residents, arrived at Town Hall just under one hour before the deadline to appeal.
Kevin MacDonald, who has vocally opposed the high school project throughout the planning process, is the spokesman for the appeal. MacDonald could not be reached for comment on Friday when contacted by Wilmington Patch.
George Lingenfelter, who was the spokesman for the initial appeal that was ruled upon by the Department of Environmental Protection on July 13, is among the residents who signed on for the latest appeal.
Lingenfelter said the town should have had the opinion of a Licensed Site Professional last summer, but instead an LSP opinion was not submitted until June 29 of this year.
“This is all the fault of Michael Caira and the Board of Selectmen. They are trying to bully their way through the whole thing,” said Lingenfelter. “None of these problems would exist if it were not for the way they approached the project. There would be no appeal if we had had the chance to look at this for a year.”
Gerald O’Reilly, a Wildwood Street resident, is appealing the project as an abutter. He is also on the appeal of the 10 resident group. O’Reilly, whose appeal packet is 82 pages in length, was not immediately available for comment.
Selectman Mike Champoux said he was frustrated by the appeals, but not surprised to hear they were filed.
“I’m disappointed, and dare I say a bit angry about it,” said Champoux. “They are not appealing a Wilmington project anymore, but instead a DEP project. I just don’t understand what the grounds of the appeal could possibly be given the resources, knowledge and expertise that went into the plans. After the DEP’s intense review, they approved the school. What could these appellants find that the DEP did not?”
It is not yet clear how long the adjucatory hearing process will take, and what cost increase could be associated with the latest appeal.
Lingenfelter said the best solution would be to pay to clean up the oil on the grounds rather than capping it with the parking lot as is currently written into the plans.
“It is all on (town officials) and their poorly regulated consultants for their lack of following regulations,” said Lingenfelter. “The town should have coordinated this whole thing up front. The Board of Selectmen and Town Manager are responsible for not working these problems out.”
For more reaction to the latest appeal, check back with Wilmington Patch first thing Monday morning.