Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


August 23, 2012

Selectmen review 28 Town Yard land options

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.

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