The Board of Selectmen moved their continued work sessions on the Town Yard behind closed doors this week to discuss their site options.
The board is reviewing a total of 28 possible sites that could serve as a future home to Andover’s town maintenance operations. The list includes 11 town- or state-owned sites and 17 privately owned sites, according to acting Department of Public Works Director Chris Cronin.
The board has been reviewing decades of information gathered by previous town-appointed task forces charged with finding a suitable replacement for Andover’s Town Yard on Lewis Street.
“We’re looking at public and private. We went over the prior task force recommendations,” said Cronin. “We weeded a couple out, and we added a couple.”
Among the publicly-owned options currently on the table are 37 acres of land on Woburn Street at the site of South Elementary School, a combined total of 9.2 acres of land at two sites either home to or adjacent to the town’s Water Treatment Plant on Lowell Street and the 3.5 acres of Lewis Street land where the Town Yard is now located. That property is ranked highest on the list of public sites.
After a brief presentation of the public options, the board moved into executive session, clearing the meeting roo
m of residents and media, to discuss the 17 privately owned options the to
wn is considering. The options on that list can’t be made public due because that might jeopardize future negotiations to purchase them, according to Cronin.
Dollar values haven’t been placed on any of the private land options yet because the town hasn’t conducted any site assessments, according to Cronin. But some of the sites are believed to be out of the town’s financial reach.
“There are a couple of sites here that are terrific sites that may be too expensive,” said Cronin.
Other sites on the private site list could complement, expand or enhance public sites, according to Cronin. Overall, the private sites range from 5 to 35 acres.
Among the list of 17 private sites is land located at the end of Campanelli Drive, which was the focus of the previous Town Yard Task Force and the heart of its recommendation that failed to pass Town Meeting
approval in April by 31 votes. That option includes adjacent River Road land, which is not counted among the 17 sites.
Cronin declined to confirm whether a previously-considered 23 acres of land at 146 Dascomb Road is among those on the list of private land options.
Toward the end of the public presentation, the town took comments from Bob McQuade, retired director of Public Works, who shared his thoughts on the best location for the Town Yard. Previously, the board has denied residents the opportunity to comment on the project until after the work session has ended. A future hearing is expected to gather public input on the project once that process ends, according to Board of Selectmen Chairman Paul Salafia.
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Land options The Board of Selectmen is reviewing 28 land options for the Town Yard, including 11 publicly owned pieces of land and 17 privately owned parcels. The private land options are not being made public for now to protect the town's bargaining position. The town- and state-owned options below were graded on a scale of 0 to 50 in a total of five categories, including size, access and impact on wetlands. PROPERTY LOCATION ACRES SCORE 397 Lewis St. (old pump house site) 3.3 27 11 Lewis St. 3.5 to 3.8 39 397 Lewis St. (Water Treatment Plant) 5.9 28 Reichhold property 9 26 14 Prospect Road 9.7 30 268 Andover St. 11.6 22 165-183 Abbot St. 21.9 28 36 Suncrest Road 23.5 27 200 Greenwood Road 30.1 34 100 Lovejoy Road 35.5 33 0 Woburn St. 36.8 33