Last week, we discussed the importance of towns moving forward. However, municipal government being what it is, sometimes issues circle back around.
The Town of Abington right now has a few of these recycled issues on its agenda.
For example, the Board of Selectmen at their next meeting will likely discuss the town’s property tax rate and whether it should consider implementing a split rate to ease the burden on residential taxpayers. The recent fire station project vote brought new light to the fact that residential property tax bills have grown 40 percent since 2015, while commercial tax bills have remained largely stagnant. However, there’s so little commercial property in town (about 8% of the town’s tax base) that selectmen would have to crank commercial taxes up significantly before residential homeowners see any noticeable relief.
The planning board next week will continue discussions on an industrial warehouse project proposed off Chestnut Street song the town’s border with Holbrook. The board approved a similar project three years ago, but it was killed by the Zoning Board of Appeals for lack of frontage. The applicant, Feeney Brothers, solved the frontage problem by purchasing the former Lobster Barn property, and are back looking for approval for a smaller development.
And then there’s the tale of 267 North Quincy Street. In the aftermath of a fatal workplace accident on the property back in 2021, the Board of Selectmen launched an investigation that uncovered that the site was home to more than 2 dozen unpermitted businesses, stacks of hazardous materials, and a whole list of other health, public safety, and environmental violations. The problems have since largely been cleaned up. However, the Department of Environmental Protection recently reached out to the Abington Conservation Commission, asking them to investigate the possible destruction of more than an acre of wetlands in the site’s eastern corner.
Conservation Commission Chairman Paul Bunker says the site owner hasn’t been responsive to the board’s requests to tour the site. So now the commission is looking at possibly going back to court and getting a warrant allowing them to go see what’s going on.
A history of the site compiled by Commission member Lynn Mullen shows questions about there have been questions about activities on the site dating back a decade. At one point, Abington Police referred a citizen complaint about crews filing in wetlands on the site, but the then Commission Chairman dismissed it as grouchy neighbors upset about noise coming from the site, according to Commission records.
During the big town investigation in 2021 the then- Conservation Commission said the biggest issues involved parking vehicles near wetlands and ordered them to hire a company to delineate the wetlands on site. That never happened, according to Commission files.
However, this spring, while reviewing a proposed project on an abutting property, DEP officials noticed arial photos showing work taking place in land labeled wetlands and reached out to Abington, Bunker said.
To be continued….
NO SCHOOL WEDNESDAY
Abington Schools will be closed on Wednesday, Nov. 1. It’s not that the schools are celebrating All Saints Day, rather it’s a professional development day for teachers. Schools reopen Thursday and then the Middle School has a half day Friday for parent teacher conferences.
WASHINGTON STREET SIDEWALK WORK CONTINUES
Delays are possible this week for traffic along Washington Street between Central Street and Shaw Avenue as work continues on a sidewalk replacement project. Abington received a $495,000 state grant to replace about 1,800 linear feet of sidewalk and granite curbing from the southern entrance to the Beaver Brook Elementary School up to Lantern Lane. Traffic lanes through the area will be shifted sometimes but lanes will remain open both ways, said Public Works Director John Stone. The project also includes installing a 9,900-linear-foot shared walking/bike lane along Washington Street
HYDRANT FLUSHING CONTINUES ALSO
The Abington/Rockland Joint Water Works is continuing its fall hydrant flushing schedule this week. The department is sending out anticipated locations through town email alerts, and posting updates on the town website. Why do they need to flush out the hydrants and water mains? Here’s some info.
GREEN WAVE ATHLETICS
#2 Abington vs. #15 Stoneham, 7 p.m., Memorial Field (Div. 6 playoffs)
Monday, 5:30 p.m., vs. Bedford (Senior Night)
Playoff schedule released Wednesday
Monday, 3:30 p.m., vs. Whitman-Hanson.
Playoff schedule released Wednesday
Board of Assessors, 11 a.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes the FY24 tax classification recommendation, a vote on the $430,000 overlay, and monthly reports.
Open Space Committee, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall. Agenda includes board reorganization, a discussion about the Open Space & Recreation Plan survey, and town-owned trails