WEEK AHEAD: Oct. vote eyed on $58.3M fire/DPW project; new pot shop hearing Monday; Peaceful Meadows auction in August; meeting schedule

Abington News is back after an extended sabbatical, and there’s A LOT of news we’ve been ignoring.


Selectmen Monday night are expected to call a Special Town Meeting for Oct. 14 so residents can debate whether to spend $58.3 million on a joint central fire station and DPW facility. The Fire Station/DPW Building Committee is expected to soon finalize their plan, which would consolidate the town’s two fire stations into one central station located adjacent to the police station on Central Street. As part of the project, the town’s DPW’s offices and storage sheds would be rebuilt in the rear of the lot.

The two current fire stations are both more than 45 years old and in dire need of major overhauls. Firefighters put together a series of videos a couple years ago showing off the stations’ deficiencies. The DPW’s existing structures – minus a relatively new repair garage – on Central Street are even older and may be in worse condition.

“The projects absolutely need to get done,” said Town Manager Scott Lambiase. “Both facilities are in very, very bad condition.”

However, the $58.3 million price tag is a serious chunk of change. The project would cost more than the town’s share of the new middle/high school complex (the state picked up 59 percent of that project’s $98 million pricetag.)

Selectman Kevin Donovan, a member of the building committee, said approving the project would increase the tax rate by $1.16 per/$1,000 of valuation. The average home in Abington is valued at about $500,000 meaning that project would increase that property’s tax bill by $580 annually. The committee will be posting a website soon where residents can check the financial impact of a yes vote.

If Town Meeting approves the project on Oct. 14, a Special Town Election would be held on Oct. 21 to approve the tax hike needed to pay for it. (It’s called a debt exclusion override under Proposition 2 1/2, the state law that limits municipal tax hikes) Town voters approved a tax hike to pay for the school project in 2014 by a vote of 83% to 17%.


The town’s cannabis industry has struggled to get off the ground, but that hasn’t stopped investors from trying. Elevated Roots, a South Shore-based based group, wants to open a retail cannabis shop at 1432 Bedford Street. The Planning Board will consider the proposal Monday night. Elevated Roots, which has stores in Kingston and Halifax, is the fifth company to secure a Host Community Agreement to open a cannabis related business. However only one is currently open. Bud’s Goods and Provisions just marked its second year of operation and this year has generated about $300,000 in local sales tax revenue, according to Town Manager Scott Lambiase.

[DISCLOSURE: The author of this article is a member of the Abington Planning Board]


Speaking of the town’s cannabis industry, CannaBarn finally has its provisional license and is eyeing a fall opening. NashMac LLC largely completed a thorough overhaul and renovation of its 678 Adams Street property earlier this year, but had to wait a few months for the state Cannabis Control Commission to sign off on its permit. General Manager Greg MacDonald said the business will hold a job fair for interested candidates on Aug. 5th and 6th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Adams Street property. The store is hiring for all levels of positions, both part-time and full-time. Previous industry experience is appreciated but not required. MacDonald said interested candidates can also email him a resume at greg@nashmac.com or through DM on the shop’s Instagram page.

It might be a race between CannaBarn and Natural Agricultural Products to be the town’s second retail cannabis shop. Lambiase said he toured the Natural Agricultural facility recently and they also have their provisional license. Green Harbor Dispensary, has yet to break ground on its new building, after having to raze the entire pre-existing structure this spring. Doorzips, which was going to be a delivery service based out of the South Shore Terminal facility, is still looking for a new base of operations.


Sign-ups are underway for Greenwave Sandlot Baseball. The free program, organized by Chris Coyle, consists of weekly pickup baseball games on the Tom Graham Diamond behind the Frolio Middle School. The program is open for players between the ages of 9 and 14. Games are coach-pitch to make them move along faster and keep competition levels equal. First game is this Tuesday. Players should bring a glove, bat, ball, and water.


In case you missed it, here’s our preview of the 19th Abington Summer Concert Series. According to organizers, more than 1,100 people attended Sunday’s show, the biggest crowd ever for an opening show. Next up: the Abington Community Band featuring the Island Grove Chorus.


(Editor’s Note: At Abington News, we stubbornly stick to writing about Abington residents and businesses only. There’s been only a handful of exceptions over the past three years and this topic is one of those exceptions, based on the fact it has been a popular destination for Abington residents for decades, and it’s located in what was once South Abington.)

The family that owns Peaceful Meadows shocked the region Friday when it announced the venerable ice cream stand and surrounding properties would be auctioned off in August. The auction, scheduled for Aug. 29, will consist of four separate lots: the ice cream stand, cow barn, and store is one lot. The other lots, located on the other side of Route 18, consist of a one-family house, a two- family house, and 55 acres of agricultural land. It’s not immediately clear the status of the former grazing fields behind the ice cream stand.

Clarification: the ice cream stand and store remain open and continue to make products.

The family that owns Peaceful Meadows couldn’t be reached immediately for comment. But the genesis appears to be the family’s desire to retire from the business, according to sources. Whitman officials said they were caught off guard by the auction announcement.

“Obviously [it’s] devastating to lose a staple of the community,” Selectman Justin Evans told Abington News in an email Friday. “I’m learning about it tonight, so my initial reaction is just hoping that someone wants to keep it running, and we can just let the family retire.”

Peaceful Meadows, which opened in 1961, is one of the only stands in the area that still makes its own ice cream. (It uses milk from a herd located in Western Mass.) It’s also one of the only stands that remains open year-round, allowing customers to pick up tasty treats even on cold nights in January. At least, so we’re told.


Abington Police are requesting a hearing with a clerk magistrate on possible assault & battery charges for a teenager following a recent confrontation at Island Grove Park.

“My understanding is that one adult and a couple of juveniles had an exchange of words over trash,” Police Chief David Del Papa said. “At some point during that exchange, it is alleged that one of the juveniles pushed the adult.”

The name of the juvenile, who is not from Abington, according to Del Papa, is not being released because of their age. The incident happened after the Island Grove Pool had closed for the day.

The incident does highlight the continued challenges town officials face with groups using the pool after-hours as well as teens acting inappropriately during the day.

The pool is open and staffed with town lifeguards daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Swimming is not allowed when lifeguards are not present. However, that has not stopped groups from gathering on the waterfront after hours, especially on warm evenings, and swimming. On one recent night there were more than a dozen people swimming nearly an hour after lifeguards had departed and even after Abington Police stopped by the area.

However, some of the issues start during posted swimming hours with groups of younger teens (yes, from Abington) flocking to the grove acting poorly, swearing loudly in front of kids, and leaving trash behind.

Last year, selectmen voted to close the town parks, including Island Grove, at dusk, partly in response to reports of loud, rowdy nighttime gatherings at the Grove. Youths under 14 should also be accompanied by an adult or guardian during swimming hours.



Opioid Settlement Fund Committee, 3 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes the grant application process and needs of town departments.

Griffin’s Dairy Farm Committee, 5 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes a report from the project manager and community garden manager, as well as a discussion about the community yard sale and story walk.

Planning Board, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes site plan review of a proposed cannabis shop at 1423 Bedford Street, and discussion about new zoning changes at Union Point and for the MBTA multifamily zoning district.

Affordable Housing Trust Fund, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes meeting the new BOard of Selectmen representative, and discussions about seeking historical status for the Center and North Schools, and town-owned land that could be used by South Shore Habitat for Humanity.

Board of Selectmen, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes calling a Special Town Meeting and Town Election to consider a new fire station and DPW facility; review end of year budgetary transfers and fiscal policies; vote on a one-day outdoor liquor license for an event at Lynch’s Tavern.


Fire Station/DPW Building Committee, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes a review of the project site, design and budget.


Board of Assessors, 9 a.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes month end reports and a discussion about 1238 Bedford Street.


Conservation Commission, 6:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes discussions about the Central Street Bridge, 161 North Quincy Street, 0 Summer Street, 95 NIles Street, and another project on Centre Avenue.

Zoning Board of Appeals, 7 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes projects at 34 Linda Street and 657 Bedford Street.

%d bloggers like this: