Abington Fire Chief Jack Glynn has held the big seat for almost two months now, but it will become extra official Monday night during a public badge pinning ceremony. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Senior Center, and the public is invited. Glynn served as Deputy Chief under John Nuttall for three years, and was one of two candidates for the chief’s job. The other person was Jarrod Discoll, who will receive his deputy chief’s badge during the ceremony. In addition, Matthew Croall will receive his captain’s badge. Glynn joined the Abington Fire Department in 1996 when he moved north from Florida. He was the department’s first paramedic.
HYDRANT FLUSHING MONDAY TO ADDRESS BROWN WATER
Several days of discolored water in the western edge of town resulted in “unscheduled” hydrant flushing in the area of Ashland Street and High Street. The Myers Avenue treatment plant was recently offline for eight days due to scheduled maintenance, according to Abington/Rockland Water Works Superintendent Kristel Cameron. Typically when a plant is turned back on, some water lines can experience discoloration as the shift in water flow stirs up sediment that had settled in the bottom of pipes. This time, the discoloration did not go away.
Ashland Street resident Patricia Beaulieu brought a bag of ruined clothes and towels, as well as a sample of the brown water to Abington Town Hall Monday in protest.
Beaulieu said the water in her home turned dark brown last Wednesday and she called the water department to see what was up. After not hearing back, and not seeing anything on the town website, she said she called police department to see if they knew what was happening. Beaulieu finally got in touch with someone at the water department Monday morning.
“[The water department] said the water was safe to drink. I’m not drinking that,” she said of the brown water. “That’s not safe.”
Cameron said water department employees came in Monday morning to a number of voice mail complaints left by residents over the weekend particularly from the Ashland Street and High Street area, which is located at the end of the town’s water system. The decision was then made to flush out the hydrants along Ashland to clear up the water.
BRIDGE WORK RESUMING AFTER ASBESTOS FOUND IN VERIZON LINE
Residents have noticed that not much work has taken place on the Central Street bridge the past couple weeks. Town Manager Scott Lambiase said the recent holdup was due to a minor asbestos issue uncovered during the project. During a recent inspection, Conservation Commission member Tim Warner noticed that an old Verizon line that ran under the bridge had been cut and may contain asbestos cement. Although the state Department of Environmental Protection didn’t officially issue a stop work order, work did pause at the state’s request until a consultant was able to come out and confirm that, yes, the line contained asbestos and some had fallen into the stream underneath. The water area around the work site had protective buoys to prevent contamination during the project, and no asbestos flowed into Island Grove pond, Lambiase said. The town is currently working with the state on an abatement plan. Conservation Commission Chairman Paul Bunker said cleanup would probably take just a couple hours as wet asbestos is “a lot less harmful than dry” asbestos and “easier to handle, too.”
Meanwhile, work has resumed on the $890,000 bridge project, which some local social media analysts have called Abington’s “Big Dig” in reference to the Central Artery project in Boston that replaced more than 2 miles of highway, ran years behind schedule, and more than doubled in cost. Lambiase said the bridge replacement project, which involves replacing a 24-foot bridge over 19 weeks, remains on budget and on schedule.
HEALTH BOARD TO DISCUSS NIP BAN MONDAY
The Abington Board of Health Monday night is going to kick the tires on a possible ban on the sale of nips in town. One problem with nips is that some consumers down them while walking or driving away from the liquor store, leaving a trail of empty bottles on nearby roads, sidewalks, and front lawns. A ban in Abington on the sale of liquor in bottles less than 100 milliliters was suggested by a member of the public at a recent Board of Health meeting according to Health Agent Chris Schultz. He said Monday’s discussion would be a followup to that request, and involve looking at how a ban would work, how it would be enforced, and the impact its had in other communities. Five Massachusetts communities so far have banned the sale of nips: Chelsea, Falmouth, Mashpee, Newton, and Wareham. The City of Boston is also reportedly interested. In Chelsea, police reported a marked drop in public drunkeness and littering following that city’s ban.
Planning Board, 5 p.m., Town Hall. Sole agenda item is a continued public hearing on a retail cannabis shop proposed for 1423 Bedford Street
Board of Selectmen, 5:30 p.m., Senior Center. Sole agenda item is a continued public hearing on a request for a one-day outdoor liquor license at Lynch’s Tavern for Sept. 17.
Board of Health, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes a report from the Health Department, a review of regulations impacting private wells, and a discussion on the possible ban of nip sales.
Board of Library Trustees, 7 p.m., Library. Agenda includes a report from the library director, an update on building issues, and discussion about library programming.
VSO Advisory Council, 6 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes a discussion and description of veterans projects.