Busy week for town boards

Oct 13, 2020 by

Published in the October 13, 2020 edition.

By MARK SARDELLA

WAKEFIELD — It may be a short week from a municipal perspective but it will be a busy one despite the Columbus Day holiday, as most of the town’s major boards and committees will be meeting and a number of significant issues will be addressed.

The Planning Board kicks things off at 7 p.m. tonight. The agenda includes a public hearing on a Zoning Bylaw change requested by The Savings Bank as well as individual petitioners. The change would allow the Zoning Board of Appeals to allow, by special permit, reductions and/or increases in the dimensional requirements for bank buildings in the business district.

The legal notice with the full text of the requested bylaw change is posted on the town’s web site along with the meeting agenda.

Wednesday’s School Committee meeting may include an executive session at 6:30 p.m. before moving into the regular open session at 7:30. The agenda lists a discussion of the scheduled joint meeting on Thursday, Oct. 15 with the Town Council to appoint two new School Committee Members and fill three Human Rights Commission Seats.

The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting of the School Committee also includes a presentation from Catherine Dhingra and Kara Mauro on a planned Fall Parent University session.

An update on the HVAC systems at the various schools will be presented by School Facilities Director Bob Schiaroli and DPW Director Joe Conway.

School Superintendent Doug Lyons, School Business Administrator Christine Bufagna and Schiaroli will provide a budget update for the Wakefield Public Schools.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is also meeting at 7 on Wednesday night. Their agenda includes several continued hearings, including one for a proposed 19-unit, mid-rise apartment building at 581-583 Salem St. The ZBA agenda also includes a hearing on a proposed 30-unit mid-rise apartment building at 610 Salem St.

The Board of Health is also scheduled to meet on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Thursday’s featured event will be the joint meeting between the Town Council and the School Committee to appoint of two School Committee Members and fill three vacant Wakefield Human Rights Commission seats.

The vacant School Committee seats are the result of the resignations of Thomas Flynn and Christopher Callanan.

The three Human Rights Commission vacancies are the result of four resignations last May after an HRC subcommittee meeting where members engaged in a discussion related to a Town Councilor that included comments described by WHRC chair Maria Muti as “hurtful and inappropriate.”

A fourth open WHRC seat is a clergy appointment.

Thursday’s Town Council meeting also includes the annual Tax Classification hearing at 7:10 p.m.

Additional Town Council agenda items include a proposal for a winter farmers market, a request from the Chamber of Commerce to extend the Sidewalk Sale, a motion to refer two citizen petitions for Zoning Bylaw changes to the Planning Board and a motion to approve the Nov. 7 Regular Town Meeting warrant.

Thursday night also features a Permanent Building Committee meeting at 7 p.m. The PBC is expected to discuss and vote on selecting an Owners Project Manager (OPM) for the upcoming $9.6 million expansion and renovation of the police side of the Public Safety Building. The OPM will be the town’s agent and consultant during the planning, design and construction of the Public Safety Building project.

The Permanent Building Committee’s agenda also lists a discussion of a feasibility study for the Public Works Facility on North Avenue.

Consistent with the Governor’s orders suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law and banning gatherings of more than 10 people, all meetings will be conducted by remote participation to the greatest extent possible.

For agendas and instructions for viewing and participation, go to the town’s web site at wakefield.ma.us/.

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