HANSON — While a group of Lakeside Road residents attended the Tuesday, Jan. 10 Board of Selectmen’s meeting to hear Conservation Commission concerns about the sale of two parcels on the road at public auction, they learned there were none. The conservation concern was confined to a narrow strip of land on Brook Street, which will not be sold.
Lakeside Road residents, however, voiced their own concerns about how — and to whom — public meeting notification letters on the matter were issued.
Conservation Commission Chairman Phil Clemons said he wanted to clear up any misunderstanding or confusion as his board’s part in the process is completed.
“There were two parcels that we thought would have value from the conservation standpoint,” Clemons said. “Lakeside Road was not one of those.”
Selectmen voted 5-0 to put aside the Brook Street parcel for protection from sale. Town Administrator Michael McCue reminded Selectmen of their vote in the fall against selling the Maquan Street parcel as well as to sell the two parcels on Lakeside Road.
Residents of the Lakeside Road were urged to provide contact information for notification of an auction date – most likely in the spring — for the parcels at 261 and 0 Lakeside Road.
“How many abutters were notified?” asked Lakeside Road resident Gail Joyce. “I’m at the end of Lakeside Road and I don’t know how many abutters are notified, because I didn’t even know about the meeting tonight until I heard it by word-of-mouth.”
“This meeting did not require notification,” McCue said. “The abutters that were notified were done out of courtesy, thinking they might be interested in attending this meeting.”
A man who lives next door to one of the parcels said he had never been notified of any meetings.
“For an auction of this type, they are not required to notify people,” said Selectmen Chairman James McGahan, noting that residents would have to be notified if construction was planned there.
The ConComm advised the town keep a parcel with an address of 0 Brook St., and another with an address of 308 Maquan St. — both small, watershed lands. The entire Maquan parcel is within the kind of buffer zone for which the Watershed Protection Act was intended to safeguard.
“We think the town will be well-served if we kept the shoreline and natural vegetation and restore the natural vegetation and kept it as a natural area to protect the shore of [Maquan] Pond and the water quality,” Clemons said.
The 1.9 acres on Brook Street is narrow with a long boundary on Indian Head Brook where native brook trout have been found, most of which is within the Watershed Protection Act.
School Committee Chairman Bob Hayes, who announced the statement of interest (SOI) to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for a Maquan/Hanson Middle schools project has been turned down for this year, stressed the decision had no connection to the town’s rejection of a new elementary school project a few years ago.
“There were other districts who have greater needs,” Hayes said, suggesting they ought to go for accelerated repair funds toward a long-term goal, such as fixing the heating system for the short term. “There’s more submissions being put in to do those types of repairs or replacements.”
McGahan noted one of those schools had a roof collapse, and was in more dire need. Selectman Bruce Young said the boilers in the building are original to the 1968 school construction.
The School Committee voted Wednesday, Jan. 11 to resubmit an SOI for a Maquan School replacement project. Selectmen are scheduled to vote on the new SOI at the Tuesday, Jan. 24 meeting.
In other business, Selectmen voted to appoint interim Library Director Karen Stolfer as the Library’s Records Officer. Stolfer graduated with her MLS in 2005 from Simmons College and started working at the Hanson Public library in September of 2003.
“Karen was the first person Nancy hired,” the library’s Technical Services/Systems Director Antonia Leverone told McCue. “I remember still being the Acting Director when Nancy and I interviewed Karen. … She was a patron as a school kid before she went to Wheaton. Since she came into the reference position she has been a tremendous asset to the library with her computer and reference skills [as well as her] friendly way with the patrons. The staff all think very highly of her, both professionally and as a colleague.”