It’s a busy week of meetings in Town Hall as 2021 quickly comes to a close and planning for 2022 heats up. Believe it or not, the Annual Town Meeting warrant (which will supposedly be held in April this year) could be opened within a matter of days, and a pair of town panels will be discussing possible articles.
ZONING CHANGE FOR BATTERY STORAGE UNITS?
The planning and zoning boards will both discuss during their meetings how the town should handle standalone battery energy storage units. There is growing interest in the energy industry about the units, which could store energy created during off-peak hours until it is needed, helping improve the efficiency of the regional power grid. But as of now there isn’t a uniform set of zoning guidelines dictating how and where this emerging technology can be located. Abington, like many communities, already has zoning bylaws around cell towers and solar energy farms, but those rules wouldn’t cover battery storage energy units.
ZONING CHANGE FOR ADDITIONAL CANNABIS GROW OPERATION?
The cannabis industry continues to knock on Abington’s increasingly green door. Abington News has learned that at least one enterprise is eyeing the new industrial park off Chestnut Street as the potential location for a large-scale growing operation. The business would focus exclusively on manufacturing and cultivation, and would not include a retail component. Currently, these types of operations are allowed only in the town’s marijuana overlay district, which is located on the northern end of town along Route 18 and 58. The Planning Board Monday night will discuss the possibility of expanding the overlay district to include Chestnut Street, a significant portion of which is already zoned for large scale commercial developments. The discussion is just preliminary; nothing has been officially proposed.
PUBLIC INFO MEETING THURSDAY FOR CANNABIS DELIVERY SERVICE
The team behind a proposed cannabis delivery service out of the South Shore Terminal complex is hosting a public information meeting this Thursday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the trucking facility, which is located at 1431 Bedford Street. Donald Rodriguez, the company’s CEO, said he wants to operate a web-based delivery service for cannabis customers located within an hour’s drive of Abington. The business would not include a physical retail shop. The Town of Abington would still collect a 3 percent local sales tax on all deliveries, including those made to other communities.
HEALTH BOARD TALKING PFAS IN WATER
The Board of Health is hosting Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works Superintendent Joe LaPointe this evening to discuss steps the department is taking to lower PFAS levels in the drinking water supply. The water works last month sent out another round of notices to customers explaining that testing had detected a higher than permissible level of PFAS, known as forever chemicals because they don’t break down in the environment. The town has three water sources: Little Sandy Pond in Pembroke, the Myers Avenue well field in Abington, and the Hingham Street reservoir in Rockland. There’s no PFAS issue at Little Sandy Pond. The Myers Ave treatment plant has been outfitted with a special filter that is reducing PFAS levels to acceptable levels from that water source. It’s the Rockland plant that’s still struggling to lower numbers. The federal standard is 70 nanograms per liter. The state last year lowered its threshold to 20 nanograms per liter. The water system exceeded the limit in the first quarter of 2021, met the standard in the second quarter, and exceeded it again in the third quarter. The average amount of PFAS detected in Q3 was 24 nanograms per liter. The Board of Health does not have any direct oversight of the water system. Chairman Aaron Christian said tonight’s conversation was just informational. Many non-MWRA municipal water supplies in Eastern Massachusetts, including Hanover and Braintree, are wrestling with this same issue. LaPointe has previously told Abington News the department is applying for grants to help offset the cost of fully upgrading the system, which could cost more than $20 million.
AHS PERFORMANCE OF ELF: THE MUSICAL IS THIS WEEKEND
Tickets for Elf: The Musical, the latest AHS Drama Club production, are now on sale. Show times are Thursday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 11, at both 2 p.m., and 7 p.m. Advance tickets can be purchased at showtix4u.com
Planning Board, 6 p.m., Town Hall. The agenda includes public hearings on 380 Brockton Avenue, 714 Bedford Street, and Roslyn Street, as well as public discussions about 0 Summer Street, and possible TOwn Meeting zoning articles including those regarding energy storage units and expanding the marijuana overlay district
Board of Health, 6 p.m., Town Hall. The agenda includes a discussion with Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works Superintendent Joe LaPointe about PFAS levels in the water supply.
Community Preservation Committee, 7 p.m., Town Hall. The agenda includes a review of proposed projects for FY ‘23 funding.
School Committee, 7 p.m., Town Hall. The agenda includes reports from the directors of curriculum and student services, as well as the superintendent and assistant superintendent.
Conservation Commission, 7 p.m., via Zoom. The meeting is a training session led by Andrew Poyant of the Mass DEP.
Zoning Board of Appeals, 7 p.m., Town Hall. The agenda includes requests for 380 Brockton Avenue, 216 Peregrine Road, 75 Niles Street, Dorsey Street, 267 North Quincy Street, 75 Dale Street, 12 Forsyth Drive, 46 Daniel Drive, 209 Orchard Lane
Beaver Brook Playground Committee, 7 p.m., DPW headquarters.