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In-Town Report 11-19-08


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In-Town Report 11-19-08

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In-Town Report 11-19-08

  2. 2. Chelmsford and The Economy The Economy was the latest topic on Tom Christiano’s Politically Incorrect The panelists on the current Politically Incorrect Cable TV show are: Paul Cohen - Town Manager Dr. Don Yeoman - School Superintendent Sue Gates - Former Selectman Bill Dalton - Selectman A video link to the entire show is below. The town budget crisis, as discussed by Paul Cohen and Dr. Yeoman, was very interesting. As well as Bill Dalton talking about why he decided not to run for re-election. He also mentioned his votes that he is most proud of and most disappointed with, as a Selectman. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO LINK TO POLITICALLY INCORRECT The panelists for the following P.I. Show, taping on November 25th, are Philip Eliopoulos - Chairman, Board of Selectmen Pam Armstrong - Chairman, Planning Board Charlie Wojtas - Treasurer, Bd, of Library Trustees Billy Martin - Town Meeting Representative This show will air through Sunday, December 7th.This P.I. show will air on Chelmsford's Channel 8, at the following times: Tues & Weds 8:30 PM; Thurs 7:00 AM; Sundays 11:00 AM
  3. 3. Chelmsford And Tax Classification CHELMSFORD INDEPENDENT Tax classification back on board's agenda By David Golann/Correspondent Wed Nov 12, 2008 CHELMSFORD - At Monday night’s Board of Selectmen’s hearing on splitting the tax rate, Selectman Bill Dalton cast the issue as a fundamental argument about democracy. “We don’t want the majority — residents — to take away from the minority — business,” said Dalton. “In a lot of the communities the reason they have classification is because it’s political instead of the selectmen looking at it objectively. That’s what you elect us for.” If instituted, tax classification would allow Chelmsford to tax com- mercial properties at a higher rate than residential ones. For more than 10 years, a contingent of pro-classification residents has asked the Board of Selectmen to implement the change and shift some of the local tax burden toward businesses. New information was injected into the old debate when Chief Assessor Frank Reen presented a study on the valuation of commercial properties in Chelmsford, which seemed to dispute
  4. 4. claims that businesses are under-assessed. “We saw the printout tonight of all of the commercial and industrial properties that sold in 2007,” said Board of Selectmen Chairman Phil Eliopoulos. “All of them have sold within 90 percent and 110 percent of their assessed value.” ***With some of their undervaluation fears put to rest, many citizens expressed anger toward the many Chelmsford busi- nesses that fail to submit documentation for their tax assess- ments. “It’s been a stick in the eye,” said Mary Tiano. “If people sub- mitted there would be less of an undercurrent in town that we are being cheated.” Town Manager Paul Cohen said the town could only levy a $50 fine against these businesses unless they actually fail to pay their taxes. This news aroused indignation and creative ideas from speakers on both sides of the tax classification issue. “As one great American once said, ‘I will publish their names and I will make them famous,’” said classification opponent Glen Thoren, quoting Sen. John McCain’s denunciation of congressional ear- marks. “That lack of compliance doesn’t cut any slack with me.” It was not the first mention of the recent presidential election. When professor and columnist John Edward argued that the na- tional tax burden has been shifting from corporations to individuals for many decades, members of the crowd joked that he was a sup- porter of President-Elect Barack Obama.
  5. 5. In the end, many advocates emerged unsatisfied from a meeting that didn’t seem to go their way. Despite the town’s many investigations of tax classification, Marianne Paresky accused the Board of Selectmen of maintaining silence on the issue. “I see that the selectmen really are oriented towards business,” said Paresky. “I don’t think any of the selectmen really have considered the burden that residents have on their shoulders in these tough times.” ***************************************************************************** *** Chelmsford Noncompliance List for Income & Expense filings Town Manager Paul Cohen has posted the list of noncompliant property owners at the town website. C L I C K H E R E TO S E E T H E L I S T Whats%20New/Income-Expense_FY09_Non-Compliance.pdf ***************************************************************************** LOWELL SUN EDITORIAL Consider classificat ion The Lowell Sun 11/13/2008 If Chelmsford selectmen vote against placing a question for tax classification on the spring election ballot -- which they probably will -- supporters of the measure would be right to gather petition signatures, forcing a vote on the issue. During the past decade, the town has studied, and restudied, whether to imple- ment a split tax rate. But, since 1999, every time the idea has been raised, se- lectmen have voted against splitting the rate. Businesses and homeowners pay the same rate. Chelmsford actually had a split rate from 1987 to 1998, but the Board of Select- men at that time decided to do away with it.
  6. 6. Since then, various groups of residents have been fighting to bring it back, argu- ing that homeowners need the tax break it will give them. Opponents say this is no time to place an additional tax burden on businesses, many of which are al- ready struggling to remain open. Matthew Cilento, the chief architect of a petition that may put the issue on the ballot, understands that splitting the tax rate won't add more money to town cof- fers, but it will put more money back into the pockets of residents. Cilento believes that if larger companies such as Wal-Mart, Hannaford and Kohl's pay more in taxes, it could ease some financial strain on families. The petition seeks to split the tax rate, but provides an exemption for small com- mercial businesses. To qualify for an exemption, a small business must have a value of $1 million or less, and employ fewer than 10 people. What's wrong with that? A committee studying the issue in 2004 recommended implementing a split tax rate, but selectmen did not approve the change. A split tax rate worked just fine in Chelmsford for 11 years. And many area com- munities, such as Burlington, have split tax rates. We don't think Burlington has had much difficulty attracting new business. Additionally, Chelmsford has recently handed out Tax Increment Financing agreements to a number of businesses that moved into town, lowering the amount of taxes they pay. Why give a break to businesses, but not to residents? We urge selectmen to carefully consider a split tax rate, and for citizens to keep fighting for it.
  7. 7. Chelmsford businesses skirt tax reporting law By Rita Savard, 11/18/2008 CHELMSFORD -- Town officials are hoping a little public derision will work where a state law won't. On Friday afternoon, the town posted a list of 355 Chelmsford businesses that failed to submit annual income and expense reports on time. The reports, which ask for infor- mation on rents received, utilities, pay roll, maintenance, security, etc., help town as- sessors to determine rents and set the tax rate. But with so many businesses opting to pay a $50 fine instead of filing their information, town officials are looking at other means of boosting the compliance rate. quot;We hope it will have an impact,quot; said Town Manager Paul Cohen. quot;Besides charging a fine, the best we can do is put it on our Web site.quot; The state Department of Revenue requires that commercial, industrial and other po- tential income-producing properties are valued by using at least two of three standard appraisal approaches. Income and expense reports are one of the most common ways municipalities assess property values, in addition to looking at market publications to see what properties are selling for. Chelmsford assessors tacked on a $50 late fee for delinquency for the first time last year, after receiving a 26 percent return rate on expense reports. Four hundred busi- nesses were fined $50, the maximum under state law. Among the 355 businesses facing fines in Chelmsford, are Burger King, Cumberland Farms, Hong and Kong restaurant, Kazanjian Enterprises Inc., and Lowell General Hospital. But frustrated town officials have said that $50 isn't a big enough penalty to prompt compliance. Chief Assessor Frank Reen said some larger companies might have to pay more than $50 for an accountant or comptroller to fill out the 38-line questionnaire. quot;In that sense, it's actually more cost-effective for some to just pay the fine,quot; Reen said. After assessors mail out the forms, businesses have 60 days to return them. Reen said there are a variety of reasons for delinquency. Some people just get busy and
  8. 8. forget, while others view providing income information to the town as an invasion of privacy. Assessors in other communities report similar return rates. In 2007, Jeanne Kidder, assistant assessor in Tyngsboro, said her office mailed out 150 forms, but only about 50 were returned. quot;It's a very important tool for assessors because we want to arrive at fair and equitable values,quot; Kidder had said. In Lowell last year, assessors received about 29 percent of 2,279 forms back, and Dracut assessors received about 25 to 30 percent of 432 forms. According to the Department of Revenue, the $50 penalty was an amendment to the law passed in 1979. Robert Bliss, a spokesman for DOR, has said he hasn't seen any groundswell to change the law, or increase the penalty. There is no way to skirt the $50 fine though, if a town or city chooses to impose it. quot;The piece that has the most teeth is the loss of the right to appeal,quot; Bliss has said. quot;If a local business says. 'I sent it but it got lost in the mail,' well, that business would be asked to resubmit.quot; Reen said he still has confidence in the values Chelmsford has set for commercial properties, but says a higher return rate in income and expense reports would help make the process more efficient. The state of Connecticut, Reen added, allows municipalities to collect up to 10 percent of a businesses' annual income taxes for delinquent income and expense reports. quot;You can probably suspect they have a much higher return rate there,quot; he said. To view the non-compliance list for real property visit
  9. 9. CHELMSFORD and 40B In October the town requested a one year moratoriumon on 40B developments in Chelmsford from the State, based on current Department of Housing and Community Development regulations in regards to the two projects in town the Princeton at River- meadow(Riverneck Rd.) and the Choice Center (N.Chelmsford). Due to the fact both projects were started prior to the new regulations going into affect (Feb 2008) , the request was denied.
  10. 10. CHELMSFORD INDEPENDENT Slow Growth group questions town's 40B policies By Kevin Zimmerman/Staff Writer Thu Nov 13, 2008 Community Development Director Evan Belansky CHELMSFORD - A letter from the anti-40B group Slow Growth Initiative sent to homes around town paints Chelmsford officials as playing on the side of developers at the expense of residents. The authors point to affordable housing proposals in the works next to Immanuel Church on Boston Road and on land currently occupied by a shopping center on Mill and Boston roads, which, despite repeated requests from residents to scale back the projects, seem to be moving forward. Near the end of the letter, residents are urged to call Town Hall and remind the selectmen that “Chelmsford must not rubber stamp the ludicrous density proposed by” Carlisle Equity Partners LLC for the land abutting the church. Community Development Director Evan Belansky has fielded dozens of those phone calls and understands why residents are angry but is quick to tell callers he believes the letter is less than truthful. “The letter is alarmist, inaccurate and accusatory,” said Belansky. “There appears to be an ex- pressed professional expertise in real estate but it is misleading. It presents data as fact.” Belansky said there are no applications before the Zoning Board of Appeals for either the land next to the church or the shopping center site. And although the letter includes a section about the ongoing six-year dispute over the River- neck Road proposal, it fails to mention the recent approval by the ZBA was the result of a remand by the courts, said Belansky. “The town spent significant resources fighting this,” said Belansky. Another part of the letter explains how under recent changes to 40B, the law that allows de- velopers to circumvent zoning laws in exchange for affordable units in a project, developers would now be allowed to incorporate commercial, institutional and other non-residential com- ponents into a project.
  11. 11. These changes to 40B “leave every neighborhood susceptible to a developer’s inclusion of a Wal-Mart, liquor store or a movie theater within a comprehensive permit project,” Slow Growth Initiative writes. “That is simply not true,” said Belansky. “The new revisions do allow commercial development that is accessory or incidental. A Wal-Mart is not accessory.” Belansky disputes Slow Growth Initiative’s claim that each additional housing unit costs the town between $30,000 and $80,000 more than what it collects in taxes. He said those figures are based on national averages and not specific to Chelmsford. It’s a “one-size-fits-all” argument, said Belansky, and shouldn’t be stated as fact. Belansky also takes exception to the letter’s insinuation that town officials have a pro-devel- opment agenda and pass the costs onto to residents. Despite what the letter claims, the planning officials do not rubberstamp projects, he said. Every project that comes before a town board undergoes a financial review, an environmental review and an engineering review. Both the Chelmsford Housing Authority and town counsel are also involved in any 40B discussions. And everything officials decide is subject to review by MassHousing and the court system, said Belansky. Belansky has been in contact with Slow Growth Initiative’s Fred Marcks via e-mail and hopes to set up a meeting to discuss the letter and the state of 40B in town. Once the two sides sit down, Belansky believes they will have more in common than Slow Growth Initiative thinks. Belansky agrees that the current 40B law is broken. However, he doesn’t think the town should fight every developer from beginning to end spending thou- sands of dollars in the process. “The initial focus should be to review and mitigate a project within the public hearing,” said Belansky. “You want to minimize impact to abutters. You want to add buffers or move build- ings. You want to ensure there is no public safety of environmental concerns. The goal is to manage a project.” Marcks did not return a call to the Independent before deadline. Slow Growth Initiative’s Fred Marcks Kevin Zimmerman can be reached at
  12. 12. “BEHIND THE SCENES” Begin forwarded message: From: quot;Fred Marcksquot; <> Date: November 13, 2008 4:13:53 PM EST Subject: Re: Slow Growth group questions town's 40B policies Hi all, Thanks for posting this Roy. A few things: Kevin left a message for me at 8pm on Tuesday (the day of story deadlines) to get a comment. I called Kevin anyway and told him that I wanted the opportunity to have a follow-up story because he tipped me off that Evan was calling the data inaccurate. Since reading the story, I've asked for a meeting with him tomorrow. The data is not only solid, but conservative. It is also local. One of the re- ports used to formulate the cost per unit included a sample of 17 Massachusetts municipalities, including several in our area with similar demographics. Eric Dahlberg and Clare Jeannotte took the initiative to call me very quickly and we have already met (Tuesday night) to discuss the data, the content of
  13. 13. the letter and what options town officials have to confront these sorts of developments. If anyone would like to see some of the data behind the content, I'm happy to share it as I supervised the research. Otherwise, I trust that we'll all be able to enjoy a follow-up story next Thursday with a more candid conversa- tion about our financial realities and how they are exacerbated by growth. Best, Fred ************************************************************ ************************************************************ Begin forwarded message: From: quot;Fred Marcksquot; <> Date: November 18, 2008 3:31:50 PM EST Subject: Re: Slow Growth group questions town's 40B policies Hot off the presses: Kevin Zimmerman told me an hour ago that he was quot;sorry I got the impression that he'd do a follow-up storyquot; when he told me that he'd quot;be happy to do a follow-up.quot; I was less than pleased. What he ended up giving me was a 700 word Opinion piece. ************************************************************ The following was submitted to the Chelmsford Indepenedent for publication on 11/20/08
  14. 14. I'm a consultant for the Massachusetts Slow Growth Initiative (SGI), of which Chelmsford is a member. The group is a sustainability organization with three goals: implementing a comprehensive sustainable development plan, imple- menting a long-term sustainable energy plan and creating job growth without physical growth. 40B is a policy hurdle that SGI believes harms our environment and economic vitality and they addressed that concern in a recent letter to the community. The letter's contents are alarming and deserve the attention of taxpayers who carry the burden of our current fiscal woes. In response to the letter's criti- cisms, Community Development Director Evan Belanksy said last week: quot;The goal is to manage a project.quot; Having such a goal assumes that growth is in- evitable and fails to assess whether new growth should happen. The letter was accusatory. It said town officials focus on micro-issues like land- scape buffers and moving buildings. It implored them to take the macro ap- proach of determining whether 40B proposals even meet the needs of the community and accused Chelmsford of failing taxpayers by not rectifying the long-term cash flow problems generated by large numbers of 40B projects. Lastly, it suggested that Selectmen have failed by not stating publicly that every town board and department should consider the financial impacts of its deci- sions. I'm confident that the more than 800 members of the Chelmsford SGI appreciate how hard local officials work, but as we enter an era of unprecedented financial uncertainty, we shouldn't shy away from proposing changes just because feel- ings might be hurt. SGI is arguing that instead of Town Hall spending significant resources addressing elements of development projects, it should provide counter-proposals that are created by us, for us. The data in the letter is accurate, timely and conservative. Diverse growth stud- ies conclude that each additional housing unit costs a community like Chelms- ford between $30,000 and $80,000 more than taxes and fees collected over one decade. One study put the local cost per unit at $35,455 or $17,377 per capita in 1998 dollars. Because costs have skyrocketed, it is reasonable to project that the per-unit and per-capita costs are now spectacularly higher. However, the Chelmsford SGI took the conservative approach by estimating $40,000 per housing unit, using a formula that does not consider the additional costs of local government operating budgets or public safety personnel, equip- ment and stations. Doing great justice to educate residents, the letter explained how 2,300 additional new homes will be built in town under 40B mandates,
  15. 15. causing the town to grow 24% larger than its current total size. With the prospect of that unsustainable growth, instead of acting defensive or sophist, town officials should take several corrective actions. I have met with several local officials to discuss the issue and am proposing a ten step plan: 1.Create a 40B advisory board for a pre-application process to determine whether projects are appropriate. 2.Create ZBA regulations that defer 40B negotiations to the 40B advisory board. 3. Empower a joint-planning process by requiring 40B proposals to be made to the Conservation Commission, Planning Board, Selectmen and Zoning Board of Appeals. 4.Establish better project-based collaboration by creating bylaws requiring each of the above boards to provide written commentary on the impacts of 40B proposals. 5.Establish design standards for new projects to include housing type, afford- ability, disability accessibility and benchmarks for community enhancement. 6.Require fiscal impacts statements on any development project with more than five units. 7.Create a zoning bylaw that defines and prioritizes Redevelopment so we can refurbish existing buildings before building new ones. 8.Work with the water districts to create water impact assessments for new development proposals. 9.Change the master plan and zoning bylaws to protect existing residential neighborhoods from new development and shift development to vacant, obsolete or underutilized buildings. 10.Change the ZBA from an appointed board to an elected board. It is time to respect planning. Destabilized town finances hurt both residents and local businesses. The town's initial focus must not be to review and mitigate plans, but to plan itself. After all, it's our tomorrow
  16. 16. VIDEO FLASHBACK : C L I C K H E R E FOR FRED’S APPEARANCE ON POLITICALLY INCORRECT talking 40B - 10/28/08 FRED MARKS on 40B ( Repeal and New Regulations) at the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen meeting November 19, 2007 CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO REPEAL 40B : Fred Marcks talks 40B with Dennis Ready On Chelmsford Cable's TOWN TALK 12-5-07 CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO STATE REP. WILLIAM GREEN ON 40B -11/29/07 at the Chelmsford Forum on Affordable Housing and the 40B law. Bill Green represents Billerica,Ma CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO Q & A with TINA BROOKS of The Department of Housing and Community Development. At the CITIZENS' FORUM - Affordable Housing & Chapter 40B in Massachusetts: Issues and Options, 11/29/07 CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO
  17. 17. Chelmsford and Aggregate Where there’s smoke... When Aggregate withdrew their plans for expansion due to the economic times,the skeptic in me thought it was more likely due to the fact that they were about to get hit with restrictions and conditions on their operations from the Board of Selectmen. Although some were thrilled by the withdrawl it did mean none of the problems that were brought to light were resolved. And Aggregate continues as it has before as evident from these emails from last week... Begin forwarded message: From: Rachel <> Date: November 13, 2008 1:17:19 PM EST To:,,, clare- clare-,,, ericr-- ericr,,,,,,,, philip.eliopoulos@veri- philip.eliopoulos@veri-,,, Subject: Update Reply-To: To all who will listen: Aggregate has increased their production. Over the last two weeks Aggregate has been burning almost 24 hours-7 days a week. CASE feels they increased their production in
  18. 18. order to meet some type of contract that they committed to prematurely. As you all know, Aggregate had planned to have their application approved and to have the construc - tion finished by December. Obviously 1 + 1 = 2. Along with this information I would also like to pass on what I have seen in the last two days. Lastnight around 10:00pm I let my dogs out for their quot;hurry up--it's coldquot; time. As I was standing on my steps I looked up at the sky (as I have always done due to boredom) and noticed a rather massive smoke cloud beyond the trees. Why this con - cerns me is for the FACT that in 8 years time of living in this house I have never been able to see Aggregate's emis - sions from my door step. This worries me so. Along with that, Tuesday morning I took my dogs out around 6:00am for another quot;cold timequot; and as I walked out my kitchen door and into front room/mud room I was dumb- founded by the fact that I could smell Aggregate's emis - sions within this room. Why this concerns me is for the FACT that in 8 years time of living in this house, I have never been able to smell emissions other than from out - side. This was in my home!!!! Two more points: Dropping my oldest son off at Byam this morning was rather interesting. If your not familiar with the drop off proce - dure, allow me to explain. Parents must drive the driveway to the back of the building and then drop off their chil - dren on the other side of the school. The back of Byam overlooks woods and is quite beautiful in the fall; how - ever, this morning as I was entering the back I happened to catch a rather massive smoke cloud rising from above the woods. Why this concerns me is that in the 3-1/2 years that my son has attended Byam, I have never been able to see Aggregate's emissions from that school. Last but not least---as I was returning from Byam I felt compelled to take pictures while driving (I know, not smart). I had my window down and just shot away trying to capture what I could without being precise. As I came to Oak St. I noticed a gentleman in a green reflector vest
  19. 19. with what appeared to be a thick metal pole. This guy looked like he was trying to sweep the road with nothing on the end and I giggled until I heard the sound that was coming from him/pole as I drove by. The sound resembled that of a metal detector. I am far from an expect but what I am gathering from this event is that this man was quot;sweepingquot; the area for traces of something. I have photos of my house incident (even though it is hard to see), Byam, the smoke from different areas (not just in front of the Park), and the curious gentleman with his funny quot;wandquot;. What I would like to see happen is for some - one to put a stop to this madness. We all thought we were safe as long as our windows were closed, but now I am smelling their emissions in my home which means we are NOT safe. This madness needs to come to an end. Town Officials need to step up and get the rest of the tests performed; they need to put a stop to the insane hours that Aggregate is allowed to burn; they need to put a stop to the insan - ity of burning waste oil; and they need to, for once and for all, protect the Residents that make this Town!!!!!!! Rachel Harvey *********************************** Begin forwarded message: From: Date: November 13, 2008 8:21:38 PM EST Subject: Re: Update I noticed yesterday in coming over 495 at Pine HIll Road that the plume looked like the exhaust from a huge power plant. It was enormous!! I also noticed the continued burning all day long and into the night. They were burn - ing at a feverish pace. Normally the plume is noticable, but this time it was rising hundreds of feet into the air. I wish I had my camera!! I plan to document it the next time I see this. Can the town ask for DEP, Board of Health, or EPA to check on this??? Christine Begin forwarded message:
  20. 20. From: Jim Pinder <> Date: November 13, 2008 11:39:59 PM EST Subject: RE: Update I was driving home from work late last night ~8:45PM and I drove by the Aggregate plant and I also couldn't believe my eyes, the plume was huge. But, I also noticed an enor - mous amount of fugitive emissions around the loading dock where they pour the mix into the trucks. It is time for some air quality testing around that plant!!! I think we need to get much more active about addressing the dangers associated with this Aggregate facility. Jim **************** Begin forwarded message: From: Rachel <> Date: November 14, 2008 4:27:30 AM EST Subject: Re: RE: Update Jim-I agree with you! We really should try to get on the DEP again. I heard back from the MDPH/BEH and they con - firmed that they will investigate the cancer statistics; however, we need the DEP to get out for independent air quality testing and a public health assessment. If anyone needs the contact information again please let me know. Rachel
  21. 21. Power Plant Info N Lowell Sun Billerica power plant passes state test By Chris Camire, 11/15/2008 BILLERICA -- The developers of a controversial power plant proposed for North Biller- ica are poised to clear a major hurdle that will bring the project one step closer to being built. On Thursday, the state Energy Facilities Siting Board voted unanimously to draft a tentative decision to approve the Billerica Energy Center on Billerica Avenue near the Tewksbury town line with conditions. The board is expected to reconvene in January to formally vote on whether to approve the decision. But those familiar with the process say it's unlikely that the board will deny a permit. Joe Fitzpatrick, the CEO of DG Clean Power, the company looking to build the power plant, called the vote an important step in moving the project forward. quot;My own view was that this was the major permit for the project,quot; Fitzpatrick said. quot;The reason I view this as the major hearing is that it will trigger actions from the other two state agencies.quot; Once the siting board's permit is granted, the next phase of state and local permitting will begin. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Executive Office of En- vironmental Affairs must also issue permits for the proposed 348-megawatt, gas-fired power plant. On the local level, the plant must go through the Board of Health, Conservation Com- mission and Planning Board.
  22. 22. Since it was first proposed, the power plant has drawn sharp divisions within the community. Billerica Watchers, a citizens activist group formed to prevent the power plant from being built, has argued that it will pose a health risk to the community. Ed Camplese, founder and president of Billerica Watchers, said the group plans to appeal any board's decision that does not adequately address their concerns with the project. quot;There are many things that still have to be determined,quot; said Camplese. quot;We intend to remain vigilant and do our due diligence every step of the way.quot; Billerica Watchers, which was granted legal intervenor status at the state level last year, has the right to appeal the siting board's decision to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, said Tim Shevlin, a spokesman for the state's Department of Telecommunications and Energy. The plant has also faced opposition from state Rep. Bill Greene, a Democrat who represents Billerica in the 22nd Middlesex District. Greene, who maintains that the town cannot provide the 40 million gallons of water from the Concord River each year that the plant requires, called Thursday's vote quot;outrageous.quot; quot;The state and the Obama administration are both pushing for renewable energies, yet they OK a plant that would double the amount of carbon dioxide,quot; he said. quot;It doesn't make any sense.quot; The Energy Facilities Siting Board's final decision will include several conditions to address concerns raised during the public-hearing process. The document will stipulate that DG Clean Power be required to do the following: * Reduce the size of ammonium storage tanks and enclose the building where the tanks are stored. * Mitigate the plant's water use by funding a townwide water-conservation program. * Build a 10-foot sound wall to protect residents from noise pollution. * Commit that no more than 20 trucks carrying water be delivered to the plant per day. The siting board's vote came after 20 months of hearings and thousands of pages of testi- mony, said Fitzpatrick. If approved, the power plant is expected to be in service by June 2011, with construction beginning about a year before that. quot;From my perspective, it's encouraging news,quot; said Fitzpatrick, of the siting board's vote. quot;But it's like anything else -- the final milestone is a written decision.quot; N
  23. 23. News from BILLERICAPOWERPLANT.ORG Please share with your friends, family, and neighbors. 18 November 2008 The Energy Facilities Siting Board issued a tentative decision to site the Billerica power plant. While disappointing, this decision was not unexpected. A final decision from the EFSB must still be rendered. The proposal must still receive permits from several other state agencies, and pass the scrutiny of several Billerica boards. This process is far from over. Stay tuned ... The Environmental Subcommittee of the Lowell City Council will meet on Wednesday, November 19th at 6:00PM to discuss the proposed Billerica power plant and the impacts to Lowell residents. Committee members and residents will ask questions. The developer is expected to attend, in addi- tion to Lowell’s legislative representatives and Lowell City Manager Bernie Lynch. See the Events section below for meeting details. Billerica will hold a special town meeting on December 2nd to vote on the warrant article presented by resident, Jeanne Landers. The warrant estab- lishes seventeen criteria for consideration before a power plant could be permitted in the town. The proponent seeking approval for a 400MW power plant in Westfield of- fered a “gift” to the town in the form of $17,000 to help fund an “indepen- dent review of proposed evaluation formulas being developed for tax purposes on the plant”. Our experience has shown that there can be a conflict of interest between an “independent review” and having that same review financed by the developer. Ian Bowles, the Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Af- fairs (and Chairman of the EFSB) is purportedly on the short list of candi- dates to run the EPA in the Obama administration.
  24. 24. Meetings/Events Wednesday, November 19, 2008 6:00PM Lowell City Council The Environmental Subcommittee will discuss the proposed Billerica power plant and the consequent impacts to Lowell. Subcommittee members and attendees will ask questions. Lowell City Hall, Council Chamber. Tuesday, December 2, 2008 Special Town Meet- ing Billerica will hold a special town meeting to vote on a warrant article that would establish 17 criteria for consideration before a power plant would be permitted. Billerica Town Hall, 365 Boston Road, Billerica, MA. Wednesday, December 10, 2008 7:00PM Billerica Conserva- tion Commission The Billerica Conservation Commission will continue its discussion of the Notice of Intent filed by the developer and the review of the wetlands and stormwater management issues. Billerica Town Hall, 365 Boston Road, Bil- lerica, MA Press Click Here to access recent articles.
  25. 25. Chelmsford and Things to do The Godfather of Chelmsford would like to remind everyone about our 2nd Annual quot;Day before Thanksgiving Walkquot; at Thanksgiving Forest on Wednesday, November 26th, at 2:00 PM at the Janet Road entrance. The fairly flat walk will be about one mile. For those interested in a shorter walk, we'll be meeting at the Gary Road entrance to the Forest at 2:30 PM. Driving directions are posted in this email. Our local historian, Becky Warren, will be speaking again this year, about our Thanksgiving traditions in Chelmsford. Refreshments will be gener - ously provided by Jones Farm. The quot;Godfather of Chelmsfordquot; will be providing the quot;hospitality.quot; 8-) The Chelmsford Stewards will be making the campfire and all the other preparations for this event. We hope to have another huge turnout this year.... it's a great way to kick off your Thanksgiving celebrations.
  26. 26. See you all there! Tom Christiano
  27. 27. The First Annual Amazing Decorated Winter Tree Scavenger Hunt November 26th through December 31st Do you have what it takes to find 10 festive trees in Chelmsford’s open space properties? From November 26th through December 31st individu - als, families or groups are invited to participate in a unique and fun scavenger hunt and vie for the coveted Amazing Decorated Winter Tree Scavenger Hunt Trophy. Here’s how to play: (1) Visit thechelmsfordian for open space locations and scavenger hunt rules. (2) Go to the Lime Quarry, Crooked Spring Reservation, Red Wing Farm, Deep Brook, Thanksgiving Forest, Lewis Farm, Cranberry Bog, Russell Mill, George BB Wright, and Bartlett Park and FIND THE TREES. (3) Take a digital photo of yourself or your group WITH THE TREES. (4) Email individual photos or ALL 10 PHOTOS to phil@thechelmsfor - along with your name/group name and phone number – Must submit all 10 tree photos to be eligible to win the trophy. (5) Wait to find out if you are the big winner. The First Annual Amazing Decorated Winter Tree Scavenger Hunt is de - signed to introduce people to natural (and free) resources in the Town of Chelmsford. The 10 open space properties are great places to walk, jog, bike, fish, canoe, bird watch, geocache, snow shoe and more. This spe - cial event was planned by the Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship. For more information, visit or email No town money was used for this event ************************************************
  28. 28. *********************************************** Remember a Loved One with a Memorial Apple Tree at Red Wing Farm The Chelmsford Open Space Stewardship is offering the opportunity for residents to purchase an apple tree for Red Wing Farm on Maple Road in Chelmsford in memory of loved ones. The Memorial Apple Tree program is arranged through Jones Farm as a way to replenish the apple orchard at this revitalized open space prop - erty. Red Wing Farm is open to the public and available for walks, pic - nics, bird watching and more. There will be direct access to the Farm from the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail when completed. Simply visit Jones Farm (246 Acton Rd, Chelmsford, 978-256-8065), fill out a form, select a tree, and pay $75.00. The fee includes the tree, plant - ing, maintenance and a card acknowledging your gift. Memorial tree re - membrances will be posted on the kiosk at the entrance to Red Wing Farm. Trees will be planted in the spring. For more information, visit , call Phil Stanway at 978-273-1474, or email Note: We make no money on this and no town money will be used in planting and maintaining the trees.
  29. 29. **************************************** H o l i d ay P r e l u d e D own tow n Common & Shops Dec 7 4-6 PM ****************************************
  30. 30. I f yo u h av e f r i e n d s , f a m i ly o r n e i g h b o rs w h o wo u l d l i k e t o b e a dd e d t o th i s u p d a t e l i s t j u s t h av e t h e m d ro p me a line at