Officials Preparing for Construction, Awaiting Further Appeals

Following the DEP's ruling earlier this week, high school construction can begin if no appeal is filed by Friday, July 27.

Town officials are preparing to begin construction on the new high school as early as the end of the month while reaction continues to pour in following the that was announced early this week.

A July 27 deadline looms as another appeal is possible, but in the meantime officials are ready to move forward with the installation of and the demolition of the gymnasium as soon as possible.

“I’m just hopeful we can put all of these issues behind us and go forward with building a quality project for the students,” said Town Manager Michael Caira. “To me, it’s inevitable that there is going to be a high school project at this site. Any further delay is not going to stop the project, it’s just going to hurt the project.”

The 10-day filing period closes at the end of the business day next Friday, but Caira said it’s possible a potential appeal would not be received by the following Monday if it were sent that day. So by July 30, the Town Manager expects to know what the construction timeline will look like.

Suzanne Sullivan was one of the members listed in the previous 10-resident appeal. As a member of the Headwaters Streamteam, she was concerned with some of the wording in the plans approved by the Conservation Commission.

But Sullivan said the Superseding Order of Conditions that was issued by DEP addresses all of the group’s concerns. As a result, she said she does not plan on appealing the project this time around.

“We believe the project now finally is meeting the regulations and promoting the interests of the Wetlands Protection Act,” said Sullivan. “We accomplished exactly what we set out to do, which is to protect the wetland and waterways resources … In the end, as far as the wetland resources go, it is a better project than it was originally filed.”

George Lingenfelter was the spokesman for the 10-resident appeal. He said he believes there were positives that came out of the DEP ruling. In particular, Lingenfelter said it was positive to see changes around the Activities and Use Limitations (AUL) where oil is located in the ground.

Ligenfelter said the input of a Licensed Site Professional (LSP) was a step in the right direction, though he didn’t agree with the LSP’s assessment of the property.

Despite the positives, Lingenfelter said he has not yet decided whether he will pursue another appeal.

“I can’t answer that yet, because it’s a very complicated project and it’s not something you can decide overnight,” said Lingenfelter, who said he believes he discovered an unidentified well in the southern portion of the AUL area that the town identified as an irrigation system. “There are still many outstanding issues with the AUL.”

Superintendent of Schools Joanne Benton said the DEP’s decision validated the work of the Conservation Commision and a long list of civil engineers and wetlands consultants.

Benton added that she is hopeful the appeals process is behind the town.

“We continue to respect the rights and resolve of people who may want to further appeal the project,” said Benton. “We also find it very worrying at this stage given the collective voice of the Town of Wilmington in overwhelmingly approving this project, along with the clear validation by MassDEP, that any further appeals are certain to result in significant cost and schedule impacts to the project.”

If the 10-day filing period closes with no further appeals, the first step is to begin mobilizing construction crews for site work that is necessary to install the field turf at Alumni Stadium. There would also be work to lay out construction site work and security around the demolition site at the gymnasium.

Caira said that process could begin immediately once the project is officially moving forward as approved.

Board of Selectmen chairman Michael Newhouse said the DEP ruling was as expected. He added that while it was a positive step forward, he is focused on the bigger picture.

“I don’t get too excited each step of the way. I will be very excited when the school is finished,” said Newhouse. “To me, the goal is to deliver the finished product to the residents, particularly to the kids, and to do that in a responsible and efficient way. It’s a long process, and I am just focused on the end game, which is to finish the project on time and on budget to the extent that is within our control.”

Kevin MacDonald July 19, 2012 at 11:33 AM
There is a High School Building Committee meeting tonight at 6:30p.m. If Town officials wanted to do things in a responsible and efficient manner then they would have WCTV at all the meetings. Don't hold your breath Wilmington they might not want you to know what's really going on. Just keep paying that PEG fee on your cable bill every month for the local government access channel. It appears that our Town Officials don't seem to understand that a tremendous oil spill in the ground that they do not plan on cleaning up is a problem for some people. This is hurting the project because people are trying to protect the environment and the townspeople from what is perceived as reckless development design. When water is dumped into an area where there is an oil spill which is in close proximity to waterways this is a PROBLEM. Removing floors and asphalt and foundations that are are containing and capping oil with no intention of cleaning up the oil is a disaster waiting to happen. I believe the community owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. Lingenfelter for trying to protect the environment and for all the time he has put in to do this. Thank you for finding the wells in the area Mr. Lingenfelter for we know that they could be conduits for contamination to enter our aquifer. I do not believe an efficient manner is entering into contracts that have not gone out for competitive bid on the Central Register.
Kevin Mac July 19, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Kevin Mac July 19, 2012 at 11:57 AM
3 questions. Does Kevin MacDonald have a paying job? Does Mike Caira have a restraining order against him? If it is so bad in Wilmington why does Kevin still live there?
Jed Clampett July 19, 2012 at 12:40 PM
oil that is, black gold....texas tea !
Amanda July 19, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Kevin, why are you so concerned about having WCTV at the town meeting? WCTV relies on VOLUNTEERS to tape events such as town meetings. Are you a volunteer at WCTV? I don't ever remember seeing you there. I We all know that you won't be missing the meeting so it's really of no concern to you. AND, since you will be there, why don't you take a ride down to WCTV, pay for a membership and volunteer yourself to tape the meeting (that you'll already be disrupting) so that you can guarantee it gets aired on WCTV? Or maybe you call up WHDH or FOX and ask them to broadcast it or interview you since you're such a high profile WIlmington towns person.
Kevin MacDonald July 19, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Amanda, the people in Wilmington deserve to know what is going on. They deserve to know the specifics, the details such as oil that can move into wetlands and effect their personal finances as a result of a disastrous consequence that could of been avoided. They deserve to know that instead of a real stone facade that the architect is proposing simulated stone. They deserve to know information about financing the debt such as why is the interest on some bonds 5%. The people of Wilmington pay money for WCTV which is not owned by the Town of Wilmington. I think it's fair to say that not all WCTV employees are volunteers. You should get your facts straight.
Amanda July 19, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Kevin, I'm not disagreeing in the fact that the town of Wilmington has a right to view the town meeting. The people who tape the meetings, only 1 of them is an employee and that is because they don't have enough volunteers, so maybe you should get your facts straight! So maybe you should volunteer if your so concerned!
Wayne Sullivan July 19, 2012 at 02:07 PM
With a headline like this "Officials Preparing for Construction, Awaiting Further Appeals" with the wording "Awaiting Further Appeals", why don't you just send them an invitation!
Kevin Mac July 19, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Volunteer Kev. What else do you have to do?
Kevin Mac July 19, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Over/ under on the meeting tonight is 9:15. Come on Kevin do your thing. I have over.
Steve H July 19, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Kevin you talk about wanting the people to have all the facts, and you say that by wctv not being at the meeting that the people of wilmington are not getting all the facts. I attended one of the previous meetings. The patch was there, someone from the town crier was there and actually anyone in town could go. So are you saying just because the meeting was not aired on tv, that the people of wilmington are not being told the truth, are you trying to say that if the tv station was there, that they would have told me something different than what they told me that night, and kevin before your paranoia kicks in again, yes my name really i steve, last name begins with an H, and since you like research so much, i graduated in 1986, so go research.
Kevin MacDonald July 19, 2012 at 10:12 PM
The High School Building Committee will meet at the Town Hall at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday July 19, 2012). Come and watch the disaster in person!
Steve H July 20, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Kevin finally said something i agree with, yes go watch kevin person.
Kevin MacDonald July 20, 2012 at 01:16 AM
You just did!


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