NUTTALL GIVES UPDATE ON BROCKTON HOSPITAL FIRE
Fire Chief John Nuttall said Brockton Hospital will remain fully closed for the near future. Abington firefighters were among the local units called to the Hospital during the 10-alarm fire last week. The fire started in the generator room and caused enough damage that the entire 180- bed facility was closed.
“There’s no ETA when the hospital will open, ” he said, characterizing the damage as “substantial.”
Abington paramedics typically transport patients to Brockton Hospital or South Shore Hospital depending on the situation. For now, patients will be brought mostly to South Shore, with some cases carried into Boston. Nuttall said both South Shore and Good Samaritan Hospital, which is located on the city’s west side, have been slammed while picking up the overflow.
DEL PAPA: FOUR NEW COPS NOW ON PATROL
Abington police officers Robert Gervasi, Ryan Francis, Sean Flannery, and Andrew Rezendes have completed their field training and are now patrolling the town solo, Police Chief David Del Papa told selectmen. The four officers graduated from the police academy in October and were partnered with veteran Abington cops through January. Del Papa said three more officers are currently in the police academy, will graduate this spring, start field training, and start patrolling in August. He also formally introduced new Deputy Chief Kevin Sullivan, who was promoted from lieutenant, and new Sgt. Christopher Sanderson.
SELECTMEN OPT TO SAVE GLINIEWICZ WAY LAND FOR RECREATION
Selectmen decided that they will hold 1.5 acres of land off Gliniewicz Way for future recreational uses instead of as a site for affordable housing.
The Affordable Housing Trust Fund Committee told the board that South Shore Habitat for Humanity was interested in the land.
“While the Trust feels there may be other parts of town better suited for affordable housing, there aren’t many parcels of town-owned land available,” Trust Chairman Ken Coyle said.
The town purchased the land in 2016 for $575,000 while the new Middle/ High School was being built. One idea was that the land could be used for overflow parking.
However, a number of speakers Monday night said there are recreational needs the land could be used for. Bryan Woodford, the high school boys hockey coach, pointed out that the town has never set aside an area for youth hockey players despite the popularity of the sport.
Woodford started a youth street hockey league in 2021 that has proven popular. However the league uses the two fenced-in basketball courts by the police station. Those courts may be razed to make way for a new fire station, leaving the street hockey program homeless.
Selectmen Chairman Alex Bezanson said the Boston Bruins Foundation has pledged $50,000 to help build a youth hockey space in town.
Rachel Collins, the chairwoman of the Parks & Recreation Committee, endorsed the idea of creating multi-purpose courts that could be used for pickleball, basketball, street hockey, or volleyball.
“If we can find a way for a multi-sport option, I think it would be a great use of the space,” she said, adding the newly widened sidewalks would provide an additional buffer between roadway traffic and participants. She did question whether the land would also be able to hold additional parking spaces.
Ann Reilly said the board didn’t need to have a formal proposal in hand, and could instead reserve it for a future project.
“I think that area should be left for recreation, even if we don’t build on it now, save it for when we do have the money to build for recreation,” she said.
The board asked Town Manager Scott Lambiase to hire a consultant to see what the space could fit in terms of courts, rinks and parking.
NEW MEMBER OF HISTORICAL COMMISSION
Selectmen appointed Joseph Shea to an open seat on the Historical Commission. Shea is a lifelong Abington resident and former selectman. He joins Denis Bergin, Ken Coyle, Aaron Christian, and Joseph Phan on the board.
TRAIN SAFETY CONSULTANT PRESENTS FINDINGS
A consultancy hired by the town to look at its commuter rail grade crossings presented its final report. Abington News will have a more in-depth article shortly. But a quick summary is that the consultants found the grade crossing infrastructure mostly met minimum safety standards. However, they confirmed that Abington has experienced a stunningly disproportionate number of accidents over the past 25 years compared to other Old Colony towns. More to come.