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Community Asked to Weigh in on Yentile Development

The town has released a survey asking what residents believe is the best use of the Cross Street land.

Town officials have said all along that they would seek resident input during the process of developing the Yentile Farm land. With a new community survey currently available online, there’s no better time than now to weigh in.

The eight question survey asks about desired activities, concerns and other input that will help inform the Yentile Farm Development Committee of the residents’ wishes.

Judy O’Connell, a Wilmington selectman and the head of the committee, said the town is also reaching out to every group that could take advantage of the property. That includes the high school athletics department, local youth sports groups, Recreation Commission, elderly services and more.

“Everyone is really looking forward to something being developed at that site,” said O’Connell of the roughly 20 acres of Cross Street land. “We want it to be a recreational site for all ages, so we want to be practical as to what makes the most sense. We want to know the wish list of the community. It’s a site that can only be developed so much, so we won’t be able to put anything and everything we want. But we want to pick a high priority list and try to work with that to utilize the property so it’s something the town can be proud of.”

O’Connell said it’s too early to know an exact timeline for the project and what it may cost. But the committee is working on finding alternative methods of planning and funding.

That includes reaching out to local architectural colleges to see if any would be interested in having its students take on design efforts. It’s likely that colleges would likely do so at no cost, though some ask for a donation in exchange.

Development Committee members are also going to be looking at other communities who have already been through a similar process to develop a list of best practices.

To complete the survey, residents can log onto this website or visit Town Hall. The survey can also be completed from the Wilmington Public Schools, Wilmington Memorial Library and Town of Wilmington websites. For questions about the committee and its efforts, contact the Town Manager’s Office at 978-658-3311 or via email at kamaral@town.wilmington.ma.us.

In February the Board of Selectmen will be updated on the progress being made in the planning. O’Connell said it’s likely that an update of some kind will come before resident’s at Town Meeting, though it’s unclear exactly what that update will consist of.

“There is a lot that goes into this to make sure that every aspect has been fully and thoroughly explored,” said O’Connell. “We have to make sure we’re going about this the right way. We don’t want to expedite it too quickly. We want to do our due diligence. We want to be expeditious, but also practical and prudent. It’s a fine line between rushing or taking a step back and making sure the end result meets our goals and objectives.”

Mary Giroux December 10, 2012 at 01:33 PM
The online survey does not work correctly.
Kevin MacDonald December 10, 2012 at 02:14 PM
I don't think Town Officials would want a survey to work correctly Mary, Wouldn't this contradict their nature? Wouldn't a genuine process take control out of their hands? Some consideration should be given to keep it as a farm. The foundation may be able to be used for a building use(s) related to farming. If there was a devastating natural disaster in our country's heartland it would be nice to have prepared ourselves to have some capability of producing our own food.
Tom December 10, 2012 at 02:16 PM
The survey works just fine.
Judy O'Connell December 10, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Mary - I was able to get the link to work ok. Here is another link for you to try - http://www.town.wilmington.ma.us/Pages/Yentile%20Farm%20Survey. Also, please note it is on the main Town of Wilmington, the Wilmington Public Schools website, the Wilmington Library website and hardcopies are available throughout Town Hall. If these links don't work for you, please let me know and I would be happy to deliver a hard copy to you.
Brian December 10, 2012 at 02:20 PM
"Kevin MacDonald wants a farm, E-I-E-I-O!!!"
Stacie December 10, 2012 at 02:20 PM
The survey worked great, I can't wait for more information.
Matt Schooley (Editor) December 10, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Thanks for catching those Judy. I made those adjustments and appreciate the heads up!
Kevin MacDonald December 10, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Sing it out louder Brian!!! I want the Town to call it the E-I-E-I-O Farm!!!!! The veggies would taste better, kids would eat their spinach, and the World would want to buy all their vegatables from this famously named farm thus solving the town's budget needs. The elimination of real estate taxes through massive financial surpluses from the E-I-E-I-O Farm; Who wouldn't love that?
Matt Schooley (Editor) December 10, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Mary, When I tested the survey there were no issues with it, so it may work if you give it another try. Matt
Kristin Quinn December 10, 2012 at 03:05 PM
The negativity is getting old real fast! Why live in a town when you do not support anything they do? There are many families who would love to call Wilmington home! Enough already!
Joe DuCharme December 10, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Kevin, How about another pig farm, like the one at the other end of town!! Man what are you thinking!!! I guess you don't go to many youth sporting events in this town. And I am sure you don't follow our Wilmington kids to the surrounding towns that we play against in many different outdoor sports. Our town does the very best it can, with the fields we have, but we are so far behind almost every town in our area. You may think you are the future of this town, but you are the past. If our town boards wanted to put a farm there, you would find oil in ground, just so you could be on the other side of the issue. For once do the right thing and support the kids of our town by letting the committee do there due diligence before you decide what is best for everybody. Joe
Kevin MacDonald December 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM
I am not interested in a pig farm there Joe. That would be pork barrel spending. My guess is that Local Officials and you would get up and say that financing it would be only the equivalent of a cup of coffee per day. Do you still think with the two subsequent tax raises after the debt exclusion for the high school that it's still equal to a cup of coffee per day?
Steve H December 10, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Well said Joe
Gary Grinnell December 10, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Bravo Kristen! Gary Grinnell

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