Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

August 15, 2013

Where Andover sees trouble, Tewksbury sees opportunity

By Dustin Luca
dluca@andovertownsman.com

---- — Every proposal has two sides. Where Andover residents see a casino creating problems, Tewksbury officials see a proposal that offers solutions.

Like many communities across the state, maybe even the country, finances have been so tight in Tewksbury that progress has slowed.

“We’ve done a good job with tightening our belt and not spending money we don’t have, but that leaves residents not getting the services that equal the high taxes they’re spending,” Tewksbury Selectmen Chairman Scott Wilson said. “They see their taxes going up, and they also see the town infrastructure deteriorating, and they wonder, ‘What’s going on with my money?’”

Through the casino, the town stands to gain around $5 million a year, Wilson said.

“This would be a tremendous, tremendous opportunity for Tewksbury,” he said.

That doesn’t mean everyone is in favor of the proposal.

Wilson said he doesn’t know what will happen when residents vote at Town Meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

The zoning plan requires a two-thirds approval, around 67 percent. Like a presidential election in a battleground state, rezoning the area is left to the undecided voter, Wilson said.

“There’s probably about 50 percent of the town that’s for this, 25 percent that’s dead-set against it and that other 25 percent isn’t decided,” he said. “Town Meeting is one of those events where you just never know who’s going to come out.”

Note to readers: The Aug. 20 Town Meeting vote in Tewksbury will occur after the Andover Townsman’s deadline for next week’s issue.

For breaking news on Tewksbury’s vote, follow the Townsman on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AndoverTownsman, follow @AndoverTownsman on Twitter or read Wednesday’s edition of The Eagle-Tribune. Also check our websites, andovertownsman.com and eagletribune.com, for updates.