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Selectmen Discuss School Appeal at Monday Meeting

Board members cranked through a two-page agenda in one hour and during high school conversation said they were prepared for current appeals.

Wilmington’s Board of Selectmen discussed a variety of issues on Monday night, including the high school appeals on the eve of a .

After discussing the , conversation moved to the current high school appeals.

Board members discussed the progress of the appeals, and spoke about the process in advance of Tuesday morning’s pre-screening conference that kicked off the adjudicatory timeline.

Chairman Mike Newhouse said on Monday that within about one week, the hearing officer will generate a conference report that will sum up what was accomplished during the Tuesday session. That document is a public record and will be made available some time after it is completed.

“With an issue that is garnering so much interest in the general public, I feel compelled to let the public know that the board is unanimous in our position on this project,” said Newhouse. “The appeal is without merit and the town will prevail in these appeals.”

Selectman Michael McCoy added his own thoughts on the issue after Newhouse laid out the appeal timeline, that will likely cap with a tentatively scheduled October 25 hearing that Newhouse admitted is not set in stone.

“It will be a 12 round fight and the Town of Wilmington will win the decision,” said McCoy. “It’ll be more time and money is what it comes down to. It’s become more personal than professional ... It’s sad and pathetic. But in the end we will be like Muhammad Ali. We’ll give a little ‘rope a dope’ but win the decision.”

Mike Champoux also weighed in on the appeals, which could end up costing about a $3 million increase according to previous estimates by town consultants.

Champoux referred to comments that the town may have not been prepared for the appeals when planning for school construction. The selectman said that is not the case.

“We are at the mercy of the process,” said Champoux. “This didn’t take us by surprise per se. We were not in any way ill prepared for what we face today. We hoped we wouldn’t have to face these issues.”

Selectmen also approved a preservation restriction at the meeting for the Woburn Street property known as the Richardson Estate.

In addition, board members passed grants of easement for drainage on Lawrence Street and Lexington Street. Those two items were important according to board members because they will help alleviate storm water flooding issues in town.

Discussion on a request to change the name and owner at Dom's Mobil on Main Street was tabled because Town Manager Michael Caira said there are issues related to taxes that came to his attention before the meeting.

Kevin MacDonald August 15, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Is this an appropriate place to post this link?http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/antitrust.html?ref=antitrust_overture#.UCsSfD2PX0f
Kevin MacDonald August 15, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Do Town Officials care about abutters and their health and safety? How about the wildlife and communities downstream? http://today.uchc.edu/headlines/2007/nov07/toxins.html
Matt Schooley (Editor) August 15, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Kevin, I'll let the link stay here, but please refrain from posting it again in the future. You have now made your point by posting the same link multiple times. Those interested in reading it have had ample opportunity to since it has been previously posted. Matt
Wade Samatis Kennedy August 15, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Kevin, that article is from 2007. It is full of speculation and concern, not hard science. In response to those concerns in the article, 4 state agencies in Connecticut launched a comprehensive two year investigation into the subject. Using science. Please read up on the results, they do not back your claims and invalidate your previous post. http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2690&Q=463624&depNav_GID=1511 Here are some excerpts. And I quote "Results indicate that in spite of worst case assumptions, cancer risks were only slightly above de minimis levels for all scenarios evaluated.   This includes children playing indoors, the scenario with the highest exposure.  These risks are well within typical risk levels in the community from ambient pollution sources and are below target risks associated with many air toxics regulatory programs.  Further, the main cancer risk driver, benzene, was only above background in personal monitoring samples.  Chronic non-cancer risks were not elevated above a Hazard Index of 1.  The Hazard Index for acute risk was also not elevated above 1 but was close to 1 for children playing at the indoor field.  The main contributor to this Hazard Index was benzothiazole, a rubber-related SVOC.  This presents an uncertainty regarding the potential for benzothiazole and other volatile irritants to create a slight irritation response in sensitive individuals playing indoors. " (continued)
Wade Samatis Kennedy August 15, 2012 at 04:14 AM
"Based upon these findings, outdoor and indoor artificial turf fields are not associated with elevated health risks from the inhalation of volatile or particle-bound chemicals.  However, it would be prudent for building operators to provide adequate ventilation to prevent a buildup of rubber-related VOCs and SVOCs at indoor fields.  New indoor fields should consider alternatives to crumb rubber infill as a cushioning agent. " "The CASE review found 1) the cancer risks calculated by DPH may have been overestimates because of the inclusion of benzene detections that are likely not coming from the playing field but from the players themselves; 2) uncertainty with respect to the benzothiazole risk assessment since so little toxicology data are available for benzothiazole; and 3) the potential for allergic reactions to occur due to the presence of latex antigen in natural rubber.  To address these comments, the risk assessment describes the issues and finds that they do not change the overall conclusions and are unlikely to present added risk.  However, we cannot rule out the possibility for certain individuals to be sensitive to allergens present in crumb rubber; if allergic reactions occur, this should be reported to the family physician and the local health department.  The CASE review agreed that zinc concentrations in the stormwater generated from artificial turf fields in the Study posed a potential environmental risk. "
Wade Samatis Kennedy August 15, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Can you provide any science to back your health concern claims?
Wade Samatis Kennedy August 15, 2012 at 04:29 AM
This press release from two years ago puts the findings in laymen's terms. http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=3847&q=463832&depNav_GID=1511
Kevin MacDonald August 15, 2012 at 09:47 AM
Wade, will you be letting your little bundles of joy lick the turf? Do you have a private drinking water well directly abutting this site?(Just to put it in perspective)
Joe m August 15, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Jethro,i guess what matt is teying to say is knock it ofc with the link! Got it?
webmom August 15, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Wilmington is not the first town to attempt using artificial turf. If the State of Mass has approved this type of field, I don't see where the appeal has any merit. The ONLY part of the appeal worth listening to is the abutters concerns. And in my opinion, Mr. Macdonald has no concerns with regard to "abutters and their health and safety" if you looked at his Treasure Hill property...it's a disgrace and a hazard.
Wade Samatis Kennedy August 15, 2012 at 06:16 PM
I sincerely hope that the abutter's concerns about well water are addressed, if a clear and present danger is indeed discovered. Kevin, you post these links here in an effort to educate us and gain support for your cause. I read the link. I refuted the link with updated information from the very same source you posted from that changes their stance on the issue. You don't seem able to defend the very things you are posting here. Instead you seek to insult and demean anyone that dares engage you in conversation. See your response to me above as exhibit A or practically any other response you've posted to someone as exhibit B. Can't we just have a civil conversation? I believe we all share the same goal, a better Wilmington. I believe you could be Wilmington's shining White Knight. I want to believe in you and the causes you are trying to champion...but you've got to give us something to believe in. http://bit.ly/dvy7fI "You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villian" -Harvey Dent
Steve H August 16, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Kevin Still waiting for an answer. Are the highschool building comm. meetings open to the public.
Concerned Resident August 16, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Kevin, I have never heard you say one positive thing about the improvements made to Wilmington in the past and what is planned for the future. When you try to make a valid point you over shadow that with childish antics and bravado. Start acting like an adult and make your case with facts and participate in a civil debate. If you don't like the changes made to the town then do everyone a favor and just move. You made the decision to live in Wilmington and therefore pay Wilmington taxes. The residents of Wilmington vote for a Board of Selectman to spend those tax dollars wisely. Next time you want to raise a concern come to the table with more than empty rhetoric and grandstanding, or do the town a favor and move.
education 1st mom September 30, 2012 at 02:18 PM
As a non resident I would like to say that education is #1. I have been eyeing wilmington for a long time when we make our move. I am very anxious to see this new school get approved. All of the surrounding towns ie, Andover, North Reading, Reading and Middleton all have highly recomended schools. We could choose one of those towns. However, to encourage the process, if you put ed ucation first, and not fight about measly details like turf or no turf, you will find Wilmington moving on the up and up, especially on the school rankings list. This is how most people choose where to live,. If you want to bring a higher per capita income of families to Wilmington and improve the town over all, then you need to start with the school system. Better teachers, brand new school. In the long run, the future of the town will be richer. hence look at your neighboring towns.... it worked for them. Why is a nice town like Wilmington not following suit ? You have the trains, you have the highway access to Boston. You just need the school. Please let the majority win here and let go of mindless turf details.
Kevin MacDonald September 30, 2012 at 11:43 PM
If you think that bringing higher income families to Wilmington will improve the town overall then you probably have not met some of the many lower income, fixed income, or moderate income families that are some of the greatest people this town has. Turf compounds that could cause cancer are not mindless details except for mindless people. Please take your lifted up nose to another town please.

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