Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

November 29, 2012

Planning for Town Yard, Ballardvale station continue

By Dustin Luca
Staff Writer

---- — Construction crews are busy digging into the Bancroft Elementary School project, but two other large projects facing the town are still in the planning stages.

BALLARDVALE STATION EYES SOUTH MAIN

The committee developing the plan to replace the deteriorating Ballardvale Fire Station is setting its sights elsewhere as the search for a solution continues.

After nearly two years of planning a new fire station near South Elementary School, the committee is putting a fresh set of eyes on its project.

Andover resident Travis Miller, of Criterion Associates, has been reviewing the 2007 Manitou study that informed the subcommittee’s decision to locate the new station near South School.

With newly available data added to the study, a stretch of South Main Street is now being considered for the station, according to subcommittee Chairman Dan Casper.

“We’re putting out a request for proposals this week, and we’re trying to see what land owners or property owners in that vicinity would be interested in making their land available to the town,” Casper said.

While the area doesn’t fall within the subcommittee’s original target radius, Miller said, he “felt it could still provide the basic services that are needed,” Casper said.

If a land owner offers his or her land to the town, “hopefully we can take (the project) to Town Meeting this spring,” Casper said.

MEETINGS CONTINUE FOR TOWN YARD

After voters narrowly rejected an $18.5 million Town Yard plan targeting Campanelli Drive, acting department heads Chris Cronin from the Highway Department and Maria Maggio from Plant and Facilities have been meeting regularly with the Board of Selectmen.

Like the Ballardvale Fire Station project, the Town Yard will also go through a request for proposal process soon, Maggio said.

“The latest with the Town Yard is the selectmen were working with Chris and I all summer up until now, analyzing some private properties and some town-owned properties,” Maggio said. “Right now, we’re going to go out with an RFP like we did before.”

The amount of land the town needs for the project could change as planning continues and the full needs of the Town Yard are realized, according to Maggio.

The Board of Selectmen will meet with the Planning Board and a consultant on Dec. 10. They will review possibilities for the existing Town Yard space, should the facility move off of Lewis Street, according to Board of Selectmen Chairman Paul Salafia.

A public forum is also planned to discuss the project. While that forum hasn’t been scheduled, Salafia said it will take place after the meeting with the Planning Board.

The forum is expected to take place sometime in December or early January, Salafia said.

The timeframe for Town Yard construction isn’t yet known, according to Salafia.