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'Frustration Building' After New School Appeal

Group of 13 residents filed a new appeal of the Conservation Commission's approval of the project, and town officials said construction delays are now a possibility.

A group of 13 residents filed a new appeal against the , and town officials said the possibility of significant construction delays now looms on the horizon.

Chairman Mike Newhouse revealed the appeal at Tuesday's Board of Selectmen meeting. The Department of Environmental Protection has a site visit slated for June 7 on the school property and will offer its decision based on that visit.

“There is frustration building in the community, and certainly among town officials. The town has done everything to resolve some of the concerns that the appellants have had,” said Town Manager Michael Caira. “But they have the right to appeal. Unfortunately, the appeal is going to cost the town substantial dollars and delays, and in the end it’s the students who will ultimately suffer.”

A total of 13 residents signed the appeal. Among them were George Lingenfelter, Ilora Lingenfelter, Gerald O’Reilly, Michael Bodnar, David Romanski, Walter Collings, Dennis Rooney, Timothy Norton, Martha Stevenson, Suzanne Sullivan, Bradley Stevenson, Daniel Baima and Charles Baima.

The appeal is of the , which occurred earlier this month. The approval came after two meetings during which design firms provided offsite mitigation options to make up for the impact on the environment the school will have.

Sandra Brock, the Chief Engineer for Nitsch Engineering, the firm hired by the town for the planning process, the company is confident the DEP will rule in favor of the town.

“The town has consistently responded to the concerns of the Conservation Commission and the community in providing an appropriate design of the nigh high school while protecting and even enhancing the protection of the wetland resource areas on the site,” said letter said. “Nitsch Engineering will continue to work with all stakeholders and the DEP to resolve the appeal as quickly as possible.”

Caira said the town already received bids for the demolition of the gym and the construction of the turf field in Alumni Stadium. Those projects are scheduled to begin this summer.

But if the DEP sides with the residents or if the group takes the appeal beyond the DEP, the Town Manager said those plans may need to be pushed back a year, causing major cost increases and slowing the project down significantly.

“I’m not happy. A lot of individuals in town are not happy,” said Selectman Mike McCoy during Tuesday’s meeting. “This is the first time in a long time we’ve had unanimous support among officials across the board for a capital project. The people of Wilmington voted in support of it. In the end, the big losers are going to be the children of the community.”

Several board members expressed surprise about the appeal, including Judy O’Connell who attended the Conservation Commission meeting when the plans were approved. During that session, O’Connell said several of the appellants lauded the town for working with them to address their environmental concerns.

Mike Champoux also said he was surprised to hear of the appeal, which was filed on Friday.

“I was of the mind that we had rectified the issues that were causing concerns,” said Champoux. “I’m hopeful and anxious that we will bring this to closure sooner rather than later so residents can see that we will deliver on the promise we made to them when they said they wanted this project.”

Caira said if the appeal goes forward, the town will have to make the decision on whether they will have to create a new timeline for the school.

“There is a day (that would be a deadline to begin by without delaying the project), though I’m not sure what that day is yet,” said Caira. “The town and the School Department will have to make a decision that is in the best interest of the students in terms of having the least amount of disruption. We’ve made our cost estimates based on beginning the project this summer, not the beginning the project a year from now or six months from now. If we have to do that, it’s likely the cost will go up.”

One of 1,426 May 31, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Hi Suzy... I keep emailing you at swampy435@verizon.net..it keeps coming back..better have that checked. that was a good line.." Could it delay the process, doubtful. It is true there is another process beyond this one. Let's hope that is a bridge that will not be crossed." it makes it sound like you don't want to delay the new school...another good line is". But beyond this post I will not participate in/on this horrible forum full of cyber bullies and haters." your right...just because they don't agree with Martha and you that makes them bullies,,right boss?? nice job quoting the TM as well, makes it look like we like him, anyway I'll see you tonight at the meeting...me and George are bringing the chicken
One of 1,426 May 31, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Q#1: Yes Q#2:Never Q#3:YesQ#4:50 yrs,ProgressQ#5:YesQ#6:Yes Q#7:Thats just silly..Q#8: Suzanne and Martha....well thats just silly
Daniel May 31, 2012 at 07:48 PM
George Lingenfelter, Ilora Lingenfelter, Gerald O’Reilly, Michael Bodnar, David Romanski, Walter Collings, Dennis Rooney SR, Timothy Norton, Martha Stevenson, Suzanne Sullivan, Bradley Stevenson, Daniel Baima and Charles Baima
Christine May 31, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Exactly Maxine-- where is the meeting tonight One of 1,426?
One of 1,426 May 31, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Is the meeting still at 11:27 at the same spot... You know the one in the space craft out in the wet lands...btw we have to check out the craft...it appears to be leaking something from the back, you know where you and Martha sit, we wouldn't want to contaminate the wet lands now would we. anywho I'll be there on time tell George fresh chickens' are on sale and I picked up some tin foil.. I made new hats for us all. I have to go now...my chinchilla is chasing my hamster into my bird cage... I love the color yellow...don't you? I'll bring the wheedles of my rocking chair as well... never know... zip im up is the guest list still the same? George Lingenfelter, Ilora Lingenfelter, Gerald O’Reilly, Michael Bodnar, David Romanski, Walter Collings, Dennis Rooney SR, Timothy Norton, Martha Stevenson, Suzanne Sullivan, Bradley Stevenson, Daniel Baima and Charles Baima..I'll bring extra paper towels too remember the last time George brang the chicken...ooo what a mess.
Karl Ian Sagal June 02, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Wow, I guess you guys showed Susanne Sullivan that she was wrong about the haters and bullies comment. The responses, including the yelling (Caps lock when posting) really showed your respect for debate, and your aversion to being bullies. As far as Jozkid, your explanation may make sense to you, and with my wife's help, we think we know who you are, but it does not make you less of a coward. Can you not see that if you know who I am, and I say something, and I do not know who you are when you say something, it make us uneven? It is unfair to hide your identity because you do not want to be held accountable to it when seen in public. When you make that unfairness happen, and take advantage of it, you are showing yourself to be choosing to not hold a fair discussion. Now, not having respect for your internet antics does not mean that I hate you, or even dislike you. I can easily like a person, and still not respect everything they do. I have a question that I have asked, and no one has dared to answer. What will this crew say if the DEP finds that there are some problems with the site plans at the new high school? There may be more mitigation needed, or some other change in the plans. If these 10 or 13 people force the town to do it more correctly (by state DEP standards) then it will clearly be a tremendous service to the town. Is anyone posting here willing to say now, in advance of the DEP visit, that they will endorse any findings?
Lennie Malvone June 02, 2012 at 01:19 AM
If the DEP finds there are problems then all of us who are for the school will have to honestly look at the results and if DEP states that the School can not be built or more work has to be done to the site, then we and teh town will have to address that . Im not affraid of DEP findings. My Question and Im not afraid to ask it is if they find the Site OK are the people who oppose it going to let it go and accept the plan. I will after reading the DEP plan will endorse it whatever the findings. and since my name is published I am not hiding.
Karl Ian Sagal June 02, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Lennie, Your response seems very reasonable to me. There are several here who have already predicted what other will do, and what others have as motives, even before the facts are out. They are the ones who have my ire, I like debate. Debate among those who have differing opinions is the liveliest. It is just the hate mongering that I find distasteful. Lets all decide to just get along, until some new facts are entered into the debate, instead of simply calling people names with no reason or evidence. Having said that, I should further clarify some of my statements. I do believe it is possible for an otherwise reasonable person to do a cowardly or lazy thing. Most of us are flawed in more than one way, and we take a short cut, not really intending it to be our defining moment. Making a mistake, or acting poorly out of character is very different than being a dishonest or hateful person. I attempt to not attack people here, or elsewhere. I do make no attempt to not call attention to actions of those people however, and if the actions are bad, poor, or lazy, I am happy to label that actions as such. I do not lie, but that does not mean that I have never stated something that turned out not to be so. It just means that I did not know it to be false when I said it. I extend the same benefit of the doubt to others, unless they tell me otherwise with their responses. So, posters here should realize that I am responding to their posts, not themselves
Josephine MorningStar June 02, 2012 at 04:12 PM
@ Maxine comment on :May 30, 2012 stated in part: quote: it has been pointed out repeatedly that you are wrong about the oil on that site. end quote. My comments: if the oil is not the issue why did the MA-DEP (as noted in their database for NOI /wetlands found at :[http://www.mass.gov/dep/service/compliance/searchde.htm] state the below in their comments???? " ------- quote: MassDEP also would require more information regarding the placement of porous pavement underlain with perferated pipes in the area of contaiminated soil. What is the depth of this contaiminated soil? Is this area proposed to be lined to prevent any interation between infiltrated flow and contaiminated soil? ------- my comments: if of no concern, then why is the MA-DEP even addressing it??? http://public.dep.state.ma.us/wetland/wetland.aspx 344-1233 4/18/2012 MICHAEL CAIRA 159 CHURCH STREET TOWN OF WILMINGTON NE WILMINGTON http://www.mass.gov/dep/service/compliance/searchde.htm bottom of the list NOI for your community. im just curious..
Josephine MorningStar June 02, 2012 at 04:19 PM
[2nd part of quote of Ma-Dep] What is the depth of this contaiminated soil? Is this area proposed to be lined to prevent any interation between infiltrated flow and contaiminated soil? Standard 4: NOI must identify with Water Quality Unit is being proposed for pre-treatement. NOI is claiming an 80% TSS removal rate for this system. Information must be provided to support this TSS removal rate. Infiltration systems may only claim 80% TSS removal rate when combined with pre-treatement. Therefore the NOI cannot claim a separate TSS removal rate for the BMPs proposed to accompany the infiltration systems. Riverfront Area: The NOI has identified several areas for off-site mitigation. Detailed information on these sites must be included in the NOI as they are being approved as part of this Order of Conditions. Commission should ensure that the plans illustrate all wetland resource area delineations, include the proposed planting plans, monitoring schedules, erosion control and construction sequencing. [end quote]
Josephine MorningStar June 02, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Lennie: some areas of concern by the Ma-dep have been posted in the comments section of the NOI for that application; I am cutting and pasting their entire comment here: BUT this site wont allow me to pos the entire comment.. so it will be divided into two parts (GGRRRR) [quote]: Stormwater: Under Standard 2 post peak discharge rates may not exceed pre-development peak discharge rates. There are not exemptions for negligible impacts. Therefore flow into DP4 must be met for the 10 year storm event. As well as for flows entering DP3 for the 2 and 10 year storm events. Under Standard 3: In order to determine soil infiltration rates, one soil boring or one test pit must be dug for every 5,000 feet of basin, with a minimum of three borings for each infiltration basin. The NOI only provides soil borings in the area of the proposed school in order to evaluate subsurface data for the design of the foundation. MassDEP also would require more information regarding the placement of porous pavement underlain with perferated pipes in the area of contaiminated soil. [end first part of quote]
Steve H June 07, 2012 at 10:49 PM
If the DEP finds fault with the town or its proposed plans for a new school. i would have to push for the town to correct the issues at hand. BUT if they find that the appeal has no merit. Will the people that put forth the appeal let it go or will they keep looking for reasons to stall the project. I think we all know the answer to that question, but i would for one of them to actually come out and say it. I applaud Mr Collings for his letter to the town crier this week.
Robert Hayes June 09, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Mr. "One of 1,426" -- What is the "Boom Boom" after Martha Stevenson and Suzanne Sullivan's names supposed to represent? I believe some have taken it as a threat of violence. I'm guessing that wasn't your intention, but can you please tone down the rhetoric? Thanks!
One of 1,426 June 09, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Hi Mr. Hayes I'll tell you what boom boom represents... My freedom of speech. If I want to publicly comment on and incident that happened years ago(public Knowledge) that a resident blew himself up I can, and THEY know it. Why are we the haters and lyers but they can name call us names and say what they want. Isn't it funny that most of the people who use a handle other than their name are on the side of the new school, it is us who get threatened at every turn. They call us cowards, I call us smart. It is their side that has posted addresses of people who they are trying to intimidate, not us. Their side is the ones that have been escorted out of many public meetings not us. Mr. Hayes, don't fall into their trap, there has been no threats made on this sight or any others I can tell of, well except the tar and feather post but I believe even that was tongue in cheek, dont you? Why has one of 10 or 13 publicly said I'm sorry and I'm out in a letter to the editor? Don't fall into their trap Mr. Hayes, It is they that are trying to deflect focus off the real issues with their silly little games. Keep the focus Mr. Hayes.. It is YOUR right. BTH it is my opinion and RIGHT, not rhetoric
Josephine MorningStar June 23, 2012 at 11:32 AM
well said Mr Sagal
Josephine MorningStar June 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM
just one question for Daniel.. have your actually sat down and READ the federal Wetlands ACT??? you might find that the majority of houses/buildings in this town are in violation of that wetlands act when they were built.. while nothing can be done about houses / buildings already built, the damage is done and is repeatedly done every time there is any sizable rainfall, it does seem that those that have concerns over yet MORE contamination being run off into the wetlands. and quite truthfully, i have never understood how replicating in another area on another section of water or wetland, makes up for the damage done in the area of concern. makes more sense to me, that the area of concern, should be modified to do LESS damage then it is doing (as planned) then to 'build up' some other area. Josephine MorningStar.
Josephine MorningStar June 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM
hopefully, with that 'improve quality of life" will come some thought to providing housing for the elderly in the town, as far as i can determine, deming way is the only one that is.. and there are not enough housing in that complex for the elders in this town. the idea of the 'low income' housing that is in town for the elders, seems to far exceed the income of those that are living on the edge of poverty. It just seems disrespectful to me, that the long time residents that helped make Wilmington as great as it is, would be forced to live in another town or community, their only crime is being elderly and low income. Not every elder wishes to go from their home into a nursing home.. they should be afforded the choice to move to a smaller living space, not so small that it becomes a joke, but one that is more easily taken care of by themselves, and yet affords them to live in the town that they were born and raised in .. OR.. that they made the decision to move to because they liked what the town could offer them, and what they could offer the town. !! josephine morningstar
Josephine MorningStar June 23, 2012 at 11:58 AM
maybe drop the lacrosse field or whatever else that has been called,, the disturbance between the two wetlands, then maybe.. not speaking for any one here or there... things may go over easier.. josephine morningstar
Josephine MorningStar June 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM
just checked, the DEP for Ma, has not changed their comments .. you can look it up for yourself at this url http://public.dep.state.ma.us/wetland/wetland.aspx you want to find 344-1233 ... what is interesting is that since the date of filing 4/18/2012 .. the questions have yet to be answered to the DEP.. sure makes me curious as to why ?
Josephine MorningStar June 23, 2012 at 02:02 PM
as one of the Opposed (not apposed) Ive always been for the wetlands!! no matter what the plans are for building near them..If the wetlands are negatively affected.. then i am Opposed!
The unsilent majority June 23, 2012 at 02:08 PM
@josephine morningstar, boring morning? You're really putting the hurt on this month old thread today.
Josephine MorningStar June 23, 2012 at 02:26 PM
@ the unsilent majority.. nope not boring. i was sent a notice by patch that more had been added to this thread, recently, so i read past parts and posted my opinions.. is the TIMING of my posts so out of order? as in point of order? Not bored.. just took the time out of my busy day. to exercise my right to post my opinion. and it is always regarding the protection of the wetlands.!!!
The unsilent majority June 23, 2012 at 02:31 PM
I got like 10 email notifications that you had posted on here this morning. I did not read all of your posts. I hope your wetlands get paved!
jo June 23, 2012 at 09:53 PM
LOL!
Christine June 24, 2012 at 01:11 AM
The DEP like many govt agencies is BROKEN- they are "obligated" to address appeals even if there is a glimmer of possibility that some project will cause harm."They" also know very well that SOME people are abusing this broken agency by filing every possible last minute grievance to serve their own NEEDY, hostile agendas which they clearly feel override the needs of 900 kids and families in our community. We have regulations, we have government oversight and we've had these plans accessible for months. Worst of all, when systems are broken and people are unreasonable, some of us become distrustful of them and that does not create allies in protecting the environment, it creates division in the community. That is what is happening because of this. Just look at GL, perfect example.
Daniel June 24, 2012 at 01:21 AM
I guess now we know why his entire neighborhood has taken such ugly and drastic measures to cordon themselves off from him. Pathetic. They are tring to quarantine a misfit in The Bunker.
Karl Ian Sagal June 25, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Could you explain the GL reference? I am unfamiliar.
Christine June 25, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Karl, just google George Lingenfelter with the word Wilmington and you'll get some history.. He is also the initiator of the new high school appeal. His situation (and his past) are additional examples of a disgruntled townsperson trying to get his voice heard, but who has little support in the community- and bad mouthing others at every turn. I am not being disrespectful, he put himself under public scrutiny by initiating an unnecessary appeal that could cost the town well upwards of 3 million dollars. He has already delayed a better high school experience for my kids, so in essence, we reap what we sow. I appreciated what you said at the appeal meeting,that despite your disagreement you have accepted the town's vote and you're moving on-- I respect that, and by the way, in regard to your comment from long ago--my son hasn't had too many labs at the middle school either--but there's a right way and a wrong way to deal with our issues. We all know a new building will not magically improve education, but it's a great start and I am optimistic. I think we have some very good teachers here in the WPS- plus a new Asst Supt. and a new Special Ed. Director. We should all be working TOGETHER.
Karl Ian Sagal July 04, 2012 at 04:09 AM
I have been away. Does anyone know what the report from the DEP said?
Matt Schooley (Editor) July 04, 2012 at 05:53 AM
As of Tuesday afternoon, there had been no ruling on the DEP from what I understand. Thanks for checking in, Karl!

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