The Board of Selectmen met last evening and there are these updates to report.

1. Town Manager John Mangiaratti reported there are currently 60 Acton residents in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19. Acton has had a total of 389 positive Covid cases since March. John urged that anyone who tests positive to immediately notify the Acton Health Department . A letter will be going out shortly to all residents providing a better baseline of Covid information. For daily Covid updates, please go to the Homepage on the Town's Website and click on "COVID-19" in the upper left-hand corner and the daily data dashboard will appear.

2. John Mangiaratti announced Acton received a $2.75M grant under the state's MassWorks program to support building projects, road repairs and other community initiatives. Acton was one of the 35 cities and towns in the Commonwealth to receive grant money from this year's pool of $68M. Our grant will be used for complete streets infrastructure in support of the Apartments at Powder Mill affordable housing development and upgrades, long term capital needs and infrastructure connections to the adjoining Adam's Street waste water treatment facility.

3. The Board held a public hearing on the application of Old Mill Development Trust for a Site Plan Special Permit at 67 Powder Mill Road. The applicant is proposing a 6,059 square foot mixed use building to accommodate four dwelling units and one office space with a 9-space parking lot. The proposed project abuts the Acton Human Services and Senior Center at 30 Sudbury Road. Wetlands prevents vehicle access from the property's legal address at 67 Powder Mill Road next door to the old Mascarriello Equipment Company. Under the applicant's plan vehicle access would be through the parking lot at 30 Sudbury Road under a Right-of-Way easement granted prior to the Town's renting the facility for the Senior Center and Human Services Department. Powerful and thoughtful presentations were made by representatives of Acton's Council on Aging Board and the Commission on Disabilities underscoring the critical safety concerns of the parking lot being used as the sole access/entry road to the proposed development. The Board continued the hearing to Monday, February 22 at 7:10 PM to allow for the applicant and the Town's planning staff to address the numerous issues and concerns raised.

4. The Board held a second public hearing last evening requesting the removal of a public shade tree at 5 Pearl Street. The root system of the 22" in diameter sugar maple tree was severely damaged by the developer of the two-unit townhouse complex at 5 Pearl Street when installing a sidewalk as required by the Board of Appeals. After hearing from Town Tree Warden Ryan Hunt and Selectman Dean Charter, a former Town Tree Warden, and reading the report of an independent arborist, the Board regrettably concluded the maple tree was severely damaged and needed to be removed. The developer will be ordered to remove the tree in its entirety, including the stump, to repair the sidewalk, to pay the Town $3,139 as the value of the tree, to pay the maximum fine of $500 to the Town under state law and for the developer and the Town to use the $3,639 for tree replacement at 5 Pearl Street and in and around West Acton.

The Board has much business to attend to and will be meeting on Mondays December 14 and 21 at 7PM.

Best of the Season. Stay safe and well.

Jon Benson

A message from the Town of Acton, Massachusetts.
472 Main Street | Acton, MA | 01720