Lynnfield News

Additional liquor store license denied

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Local Headline News, Lynnfield News, Lynnfield Villager | Comments Off on Additional liquor store license denied

Published in the October 18, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO LYNNFIELD — The number of liquor stores in town will not be expanding after Town Meeting shot down a proposal that would have done just that Monday night. Warrant Article 12 sought to expand the number of liquor licenses for restaurants and liquor stores by petitioning the state Legislature. The  article requested an additional five liquor licenses for restaurants along with one all-alcohol package store license. Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett said the town does not have any all-alcohol package store licenses available and only one restaurant and bar license available because “we are up against the state limit for those type of licenses.” “The town has received interest in the package store license from an existing business that currently holds a beer and wine license,” said Barrett. “The additional restaurant and bar licenses will be available to service potential establishments or to upgrade the current holders of beer and wine licenses to all-alcohol. The Board of Selectmen sees this as an opportunity to continue to grow the town’s meals tax revenues.” Benjamin Weiner, 900 Lynnfield St., made a motion to remove the package store liquor license increase from Article 12. He co-owns liquor stores in the Greater Boston area, and is a former president of the Massachusetts Package Stores Association. He said the town only has three liquor store licenses because of state law, which he said is determined by the town’s population. “The three families who own the three liquor stores in Lynnfield made very sizable payments for their licenses when they purchased them from their previous owners,” said Weiner. “Their investments represent their future and their families’ future. They should not be compromised to allow an existing grocery store add another department.” Weiner said “A major reason why people still come to these small businesses is because they have something that other beer and wine stores do not.” “That is a spirits selection,” Weiner continued. “They work incredibly long hours and do their best to remain viable employers, pay Lynnfield taxes and remain supportive of the local community. America was built on competition, but we should always try to be fair. Lynnfield has enough liquor stores and we should not be in the business of hurting local independent businessmen to increase profits of large national chains. If a prospective buyer would like to buy an all-alcohol license, they should do it the way the three businessmen did it and the way I did it by investing in their future and buying an existing license.” Town Administrator Jim Boudreau said the selectmen brought Article 12 to Town Meeting after a local business requested the all-alcohol license. He said the additional liquor store license “would provide choice and competition for the residents of Lynnfield.” “It’s as simple as that,” said Boudreau. “This would provide an additional establishment for people to get all-alcohol, provide competition and maybe lower prices. It would be convenient for people shopping for alcohol. That was the reason for the board bringing it to Town Meeting. The all-alcohol restaurant licenses is an economic development item. We have seen our local meals tax go from $50,000 to over $600,000 since we added MarketStreet and those restaurants.” A woman in attendance inquired if Donovan’s Liquor license will soon become available...

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Group works to keep students as safe as possible

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Local Headline News, Lynnfield News, Lynnfield Villager | Comments Off on Group works to keep students as safe as possible

Published in the October 18, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO LYNNFIELD — A new school security program will be formally introduced to students later this year, the School Security Task Force told 40 parents during a presentation on Oct. 11. The School and Police departments held the presentation in order to inform parents about security updates that have taken place the past few years. “This is an incredibly important topic for Lynnfield Public Schools and the Lynnfield Police Department,” said Superintendent Jane Tremblay. “My number priority every single day is trying to keep our students and our faculty as safe as possible.” Police Chief David Breen agreed. “I can assure you that no town around us has done more to protect the children and the staff,” said Breen. “What we are doing is very dynamic. When we finish a current project that we are working on, we are not done. Every year, we sit down and look at new technology, new policies, new procedures and new methods of operation in order to make it better. We just can’t stick our heads in the sand.” Tremblay noted the Security Task Force consists of Sergeant Al Scotina, School Resource Officer Patrick Curran and Middle School Principal Stephen Ralston. She said Ralston is a member of STARS (School Threat Assessment and Response System). “It’s a regionalized group of people,” said Tremblay. “(Ralston) gets called if there is an emergency anywhere in the region.” Breen said Scotina is a member of the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC), which is a consortium of police departments in Essex and Middlesex counties. The council is affiliated with STARS. “Whenever I have a question on tactics, I go to Sergeant Scotina,” said Breen. “His knowledge is unbelievable. He was in Watertown after the Boston Marathon bombing. He has done a number of high risk entries as a member of NEMLEC’s S.W.A.T. team.” Security initiatives Curran gave an overview of the different initiatives the Security Task Force has undertaken the past few years. He said surveillance cameras have been upgraded. He also said the town implemented the COPsync911 program in 2015. COPsync911 is a software-based alert notification system that is available on computers and mobile devices. “It’s basically like a panic button,” said Curran. “It’s a rapid real-time notification system for Lynnfield Police and surrounding towns as well. Teachers and staff have been trained how to use it.” Over the summer, Curran said the School Department upgraded each school in order to make the buildings safer. He said the security upgrades are ongoing. “There has been a lot of work done on physical security of the buildings,” said Curran. Curran said the School Department began implementing the ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) program last year. He said teachers and staff have been trained using ALICE both last year and this year, which included “building-specific drills.” “The next step is to roll it out for our kids,” said Curran. “We are going to do a combined drill with staff and students after students are trained.” Curran said former Governor Deval Patrick created a task force in order to evaluate school safety procedures. He said the state’s task force recommended implementing ALICE in schools across the commonwealth. “What we teach in ALICE can be used throughout the...

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Legion moving into old South Library

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Local Headline News, Lynnfield News, Lynnfield Villager | Comments Off on Legion moving into old South Library

Published in the October 18, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO LYNNFIELD — The American Legion will soon have its own space to call home. On Monday, Town Meeting approved Article 13, which authorizes the Board of Selectmen to petition the state Legislature for special legislation so the town can convey the old South Library, 630 Salem St., to the Lynnfield American Legion for $1. Local attorney Jason Kimball, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Iraq War, said the American Legion will be using the building in order to hold its meetings. “The American Legion provides a home for our veterans,” said Kimball. “This building has been vacant for as long as I can remember. When I became the town’s veterans’ services officer, I remember meeting with a couple of American Legionnaires at Town Hall. I realized that if we were going to have a real American Legion that supports our veterans in town, we need to have a spot where we can meet to better serve our veterans in Lynnfield. This building is the perfect fit.” Kimball said the American Legion will not be requesting a liquor license and the building will not be rented out to different organizations. He said the American Legion will be undertaking a fundraising campaign to repair the building. Dick Shafner inquired how the American Legion would pay for the maintenance of the Old South Library building. Kimball said, “We are not seeking any town funds here.” “I am more than confident we will be able to raise funds for materials,” said Kimball. “As far as what the annual costs will be, we will have utilities and insurance assuming we meet the tax-exempt entity. I would say we would be able to raise $3,000 per year, which would help sustain it.” Lynnfield Art Guild President Beth Aaronson, 7 Durham Dr., said she respects the American Legion and local veterans. However, she noted the LAG and other organizations are using the old South Library as a storage facility. “We and other organizations such as Lynnfield Rotary and Lynnfield Rec are storing some of our important equipment in this building,” said Aaronson. “I would like all of the town to know that the town should be interested in supporting these cultural endeavors such as Rotary’s Summer Concerts by providing proper storage for all of us and not just removing this last piece of storage that we have relied on for a half dozen years, which we are grateful for.” Selectman Dick Dalton said local officials have begun discussing the storage issue. “We recognize the issue,” Dalton said. “That will be addressed in the near future.” LAG member Kendall Inglese inquired if the town’s storage issues will be addressed in the revised Master Plan. Master Plan Committee Chairwoman Heather Sievers said storage was not included in the previous Master Plan, but said she will look into the matter as part of the process to update the plan. “It sounds like it’s needed,” said Sievers. Additional articles In addition to Article 13, the following business was acted upon by Town Meeting. Town Meeting was delayed by just over a half hour due to a lack of a quorum. After Town Meeting reached the 175 quorum requirement, Town Moderator Arthur Bourque gave an overview of how electronic voting...

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PHOTO: The art of balance

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Lynnfield News | Comments Off on PHOTO: The art of balance

Published in the October 18, 2017 edition

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LMG hosting Halloween event Oct. 22

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Lynnfield News | Comments Off on LMG hosting Halloween event Oct. 22

Published in the October 18, 2017 edition LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield Moms Group is hosting its first annual Halloween “Trunk” or Treat and Costume Parade on Sunday, Oct. 22 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.  Parents will be able to dress the kids in their costumes and watch their delight as they collect their special treats from our collection of creatively-decorated car trunks. This event is ideal for children ages 1-6. The Lynnfield Moms Group will be skipping the scary and the gory. The kids costume parade begins at 3:30 p.m., when attendees will gather on the Lynnfield Common. The parade will proceed to the Centre Congregational Church parking lot, which will kick off the Trunk or Treating. The event is free, but pre-registration via Eventbrite is required so that the Lynnfield Moms Group has enough treats for everyone. Parents should bring a container for their child to collect treats.  The church parking lot will be reserved for the festivities, so that the group can keep it safe for the kids. Parents should find a legal parking space elsewhere nearby, such as at the Town Hall, behind the convenience store, or on adjacent streets. Dads and other caregivers always welcome too.  The Lynnfield Moms Group extends a special thank you to Centre Congregational Church for welcoming the group to host this event on their property. For questions or if your family, team, group, business or others you know would like the awesome fun of decorating and sponsoring a trunk, please contact LMG Co-Directors of Children’s Events, Andrea Paciello and Jen Daniels, at...

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TM Monday at LMS

Posted by on Oct 12, 2017 in Lynnfield News | Comments Off on TM Monday at LMS

Published in the October 11, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO LYNNFIELD — The fall session of Town Meeting will take place on Monday, Oct. 16, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Lynnfield Middle School auditorium. After a barn burning session of April Town Meeting that lasted just over four-and-a-half hours, October Town Meeting will be a quieter affair with just 14 articles appearing on the warrant. Town Meeting will need a quorum of 175 voters in order to conduct the town’s business. Community Schools will be providing daycare to local families in the LMS auditorium. Article 1 seeks to allocate funds in order to pay unpaid bills from fiscal year 2017. Article 2 seeks to appropriate funds to “supplement certain accounts in the current 2018 fiscal year for various purposes.” During last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Town Administrator Jim Boudreau said the town is still finalizing the numbers for Articles 1 and 2. As a result, the selectmen voted to defer issuing a recommendation on the two articles until the night of Town Meeting. Last week, the selectmen voted unanimously to indefinitely postpone Article 3. The warrant article would have sought to allocate funds in order to construct a clubhouse and equipment storage building at the King Rail Reserve Golf Course. Article 4 seeks to appropriate $25,000 for engineering work related to the Beaver Dam Brook culvert removal project, which was unanimously endorsed by the selectmen. Boudreau said recently the MBTA informed local officials if the town hires an engineer to design the project, the MBTA would remove the culverts in order to alleviate flooding issues in the Perry Avenue area. According to the warrant, Article 5 seeks to allocate $260,000 in order to purchase and equip a new ambulance for the Fire Department. Boudreau said purchasing the ambulance was originally included as part of the town’s FY’18 capital budget, but was put on hold because the town did not have enough retained earnings in order to buy the emergency vehicle. “What Town Accountant Julie McCarthy and I are recommending is that the town leave $50,000 in retained earnings and take the balance from retained earnings and put it towards the ambulance,” said Boudreau. “We would use town funds for the rest and next year once retained the retained earnings are certified, we will pay the town back what we are borrowing.” The selectmen voted unanimously to recommend Article 5. Article 6 will ask Town Meeting to approve revising the town’s Personnel Bylaw, which would revamp an existing policy that was last updated in 2005. Personnel Board member Mike Griffin said recently the bylaw pertains to recruitment, training development, promotions, job classification, compensation plans, performance reviews and employment conditions. Boudreau said Town Counsel Tom Mullen is currently reviewing the Personnel Bylaw article. As a result, the selectmen voted to delay issuing a recommendation on Article 6. The Planning Board submitted Articles 7, 8 and 9. Article 7 will ask voters to approve a recodification of the Zoning Bylaw by deleting sections 1-15 in the existing bylaw, which would be replaced by the recodified bylaw. Additionally, Article 8 asks Town Meeting to “amend the re-codified Zoning Bylaw by amending the section entitled “commence of construction or operation by changing the words six months to 12 months.” Article 9 will...

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Electronic voting, check-in coming to TM

Posted by on Oct 12, 2017 in Lynnfield News | Comments Off on Electronic voting, check-in coming to TM

Published in the October 11, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO LYNNFIELD — A new feature will be coming to Town Meeting on Oct. 16. During last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting, Town Clerk Trudy Reid announced Turning Technologies will be demonstrating electronic voting at Town Meeting. “As voters check in, they will be given a clicker which will allow them to vote electronically on warrant articles,” said Reid. “No name is linked to the device. The device is a single event use clicker keypad designed specifically for a meeting. The device uses reliable radio frequency technology. The vendor will be assisting with the process.” In response to a question from Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett, Reid said residents will be able to see the results of the 14 warrant articles on a screen. She noted Town Moderator Arthur Bourque was not in favor of electronic voting at Town Meeting until observing it at Rockport’s Town Meeting recently. “It does speed it up a little bit,” said Reid. Reid also said there will be an electronic check-in demonstrated by LHS Associates. She noted the company showed the product to town clerks from around the North Shore at an event held in Lynnfield recently. She said North Reading’s October Town Meeting used an electronic check-in process last week. “The product has also been used by many Massachusetts town and city clerks for their spring Town Meeting check-in as well as check-in for early voting last year,” said Reid. “The vendor will use the same voter list provided by the town clerk as would be used if a paper report was used for check-in. The check-in list will be electronic, which will allow the voter to check in at any station, eliminating the need for alphabetical lines.” As part of the check-in process, Reid said, “Each time a resident is checked in, the voter’s list will automatically update on all stations in real time.” Reid said residents will be able to check in using their driver’s license as well. “This is one way to accelerate the check-in process,” said Reid. If people choose to use their driver’s license, Reid said residents should have their license “ready to hold up in front of the poll pad.” Reid also said residents can still check in by stating their name and address. “Either way, checking into Town Meeting will be faster and easier,” said Reid. Reid noted the start time for October Town Meeting is 7 p.m. at Lynnfield Middle School on Monday, Oct. 16. She encouraged residents to arrive between 6-6:45 p.m. in order to ensure Town Meeting will be able to reach the 175 voter quorum. Selectman Phil Crawford expressed his support for the initiative. “The report I got on the electronic voting that was observed is it would have saved us an hour at our last Town Meeting,” said Crawford. “It was a meeting that was certainly longer than normal, but this is something that would certainly be welcome by anyone who goes to Town Meeting. This is probably a good one to try it out because it will probably be a fairly light Town Meeting. I think it is a great idea.” Patrice Lane resident Pat Campbell asked Reid if there is going to be a trial run before townspeople begin voting on the...

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Donovan property sold to Herb Chambers group

Posted by on Oct 12, 2017 in Lynnfield News | Comments Off on Donovan property sold to Herb Chambers group

Published in the October 11, 2017 edition By MARK SARDELLA LYNNFIELD — Big changes are coming to the former Donovan properties at the corner of Salem Street and Broadway (Route 1) in Lynnfield. The prime piece of commercial real estate consists of five parcels that have been purchased by Broadway Lynnfield Properties, LLC, which is controlled by Herb Chambers, one of the largest car dealers in the region, with 55 dealerships in the Boston area. One of those dealerships, Herb Chambers Cadillac on Route 1 North, is right next door to the property in question. The properties involved in the sale include 801 Salem Street ($938,100), 807 Salem Street ($622,800), 421R Broadway ($300,000), 445 Broadway ($975,500) and 449 Broadway ($1.9 million). The Chambers group is playing its cards close to the vest with respect to its future plans for the site. Wakefield attorney Ted Regnante, who represents the LLC, would only say that plans “have not been finalized. We’re working on various scenarios but nothing has been finalized as of yet.” The changes will be felt most immediately by several longtime business tenants on the property. Those include Donovan’s Liquors, Bay State Jewelry Exchange, the Western Barber Shop, Photography by Corinna, a dry cleaner and an e-cigarette store. Ron Cerra’s Lynnfield Meat & Deli moved several months ago and is now doing business on Route 1 in Saugus as Cerra’s Market. Tom Holland of Bay State Jewelry Exchange said he is in the process of trying to find a new location for his business. He is philosophical about the change. “It’s not a big surprise that it’s happened,” he said, noting that it was common knowledge that the property was for sale. He’s been told that he has to be out by Oct. 31. “They’ve been pretty good about communicating with us,” Holland said. “I’m just doing what I need to do to move on with my business as best I can.” Corinna Cole has been a professional photographer for 22 years. Her business, Photography by Corrina, has been a tenant at 451 Broadway for over 10 years. Cole said that she has found a new location for her business on Old Route 1 in Ipswich, but leaving Lynnfield is still bittersweet. “This location has always worked out for everybody,” she said. “I’ve never had any clients complain about the location. I’m just disappointed that I have to move and that it’s happening so quickly.” She said that when she received the initial letter informing her that the property had been sold, she talked to the other business tenants. They believed at the time that they probably would have until at least until the end of this year at their present locations. A short time later, Cole received a second letter saying that she needed to vacate by Oct 31. She said that her busiest time of the year is between now and the holidays. “It’s not a good time at all to move,” she said. The new location in Ipswich looks like a good fit, she admitted, but it’s a lot further away than she would like. Her 15-minute commute to her studio will soon turn into 40 minutes. She’s not sure how it’s going to impact her business come mid to late October, when she has to move. “I...

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Selectmen nix golf clubhouse article

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Lynnfield News | Comments Off on Selectmen nix golf clubhouse article

Published in the October 4, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO LYNNFIELD — The town needs a mulligan. That will be the Board of Selectmen’s message to Town Meeting on Oct. 16, as the selectmen voted unanimously to indefinitely postpone Article 3 on Monday. Article 3 would have sought to allocate funds in order to construct a clubhouse and grounds equipment building at the King Rail Reserve Golf Course. Architect John Savasta of CSS, Architects, Inc. gave a brief presentation on the proposed clubhouse and equipment building. He said the original design involved bringing nine feet of fill to the site in order to construct a two-story clubhouse, which would have had a storage area in the building’s basement. The selectmen determined that project was too costly. In the wake of the selectmen’s decision, Savasta came up with a new design that involves constructing two different buildings in order to reduce the project’s cost. He said the project involves building a pre-fabricated storage building and a separate clubhouse. However, he said the soil at the site is not stable enough to support each building, so Savasta recommended removing the old soil and replacing it with new soil. According to Savasta, the base bid for building the grounds equipment building, parking lot and site work has a cost estimate of $1,915,100. He said the first alternate bid involves building the clubhouse and the associated site work for $1,020,000. The second alternative bid entails constructing an exterior canopy on the clubhouse for $60,000. Savasta said if the town approved the base bid and the two alternatives, the project would cost $2,995,100. He said last year’s estimate was $2,565,000, which is $430,100 less than year’s estimated cost. He attributed the price increase to removing fill from the site as well as constructing the road. “We feel we can make all of this work and have it out to bid in the spring of 2018,” said Savasta. “We feel we have accomplished a beautiful setting for the property. We feel this is a worthwhile investment for the town.” Reaction Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett said “there is a need” for King Rail to have a clubhouse and equipment building, but raised concerns about the project’s cost. He inquired if the town could appeal an order of conditions issued by the Conservation Commission to the state in order to reduce the cost of the road. Town Administrator Jim Boudreau said “if we wanted to appeal the order of conditions to the state we could, but the governor can’t wave a magic wand and waive environmental provisions.” “It’s not allowed,” Boudreau added. “I don’t think there is anything that onerous in the order of conditions that we would want to appeal, it’s just the nature of the site. The Conservation Commission has been very good to us and I don’t think we are going to get any relief from the state.” Selectman Dick Dalton said he was disappointed “the cost estimate went up even further.” “I don’t see myself supporting this at this point,” said Dalton. “I would like to indefinitely postpone this. Speaking for myself, we haven’t had a chance to do our due diligence as a board that is required for a $3 million dollar expenditure to go before Town Meeting. I am not comfortable with...

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Oct. 16 TM warrant has 14 pieces of business

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 in Lynnfield News | Comments Off on Oct. 16 TM warrant has 14 pieces of business

Published in the October 4, 2017 edition By DAN TOMASELLO LYNNFIELD — The Board of Selectmen closed the October 16 Town Meeting warrant last week. There will be 14 articles appearing on the warrant. The selectmen voted unanimously to switch the start time for Town Meeting from 7:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. after receiving a recommendation from Town Moderator Arthur Bourque. Town Meeting will be held at the Lynnfield Middle School auditorium. The selectmen submitted Article 1 for the warrant, which seeks to allocate funds in order to pay unpaid bills from fiscal year 2017. Article 2 will ask townspeople to appropriate funds “to supplement certain accounts in the current 2018 fiscal year for various purposes.” Article 3 requests that funds be allocated for the design, construction, furnishing and equipping of a clubhouse at the King Rail Reserve Golf Course. The funds will also be used for site work. On Monday, the selectmen decided to indefinitely postpone Article 3 (see separate story). According to the warrant, Article 4 seeks to appropriate funds for engineering work related to the Beaver Dam Brook culvert project. Boudreau said local officials have discussed the project with the MBTA, and the warrant article seeks to allocate $25,000 for the project. “The MBTA told us if we design it, they will send someone out to do the work,” said Boudreau. “Removing the culverts will alleviate some of the flooding issues in the Parsons Avenue area.” Article 5 seeks to allocate funds in order to purchase and equip a new ambulance for the Fire Department. Boudreau noted the purchase of an ambulance was originally included as part of the town’s FY’18 capital budget. “However, we had no retained earnings at the time, so we put off buying the ambulance,” said Boudreau. “I am pleased to announce that we have retained earnings from the ambulance (account), which is about $239,000. It’s not quite enough to buy an ambulance. What I have talked to (Town Accountant) Julie McCarthy about and what I will probably recommend is leaving about $50,000 in retained earnings and take the balance from Free Cash. After next year’s retained earnings are certified, we will pay the town back.” Boudreau said Article 6 pertains to revising the town’s Personnel Bylaw, which would revamp an existing personnel policy. Personnel Board member Mike Griffin said recently the bylaw, which was last updated in 2005, pertains to recruitment, training development, promotions, job classification, compensation plans, performance reviews and employment conditions. The Planning Board submitted Articles 7, 8 and 9, all three of which will ask the town to recodify the town’s Zoning Bylaws (see separate story). Town Clerk Trudy Reid submitted Article 10, which will ask townspeople to approve changing the date of the April town election from the second Monday in the month to the second Tuesday. If Town Meeting approves Article 10, the vote would authorize the Board of Selectmen to petition the State Legislature to approve special legislation that would amend the Town Charter in order to hold the annual town election on a Tuesday. Article 11 seeks to authorize the Board of Selectmen to sell town-owned land on Witham Street for $10,700. “There is a small parcel of land that abuts Route 128 that some of the neighbors have asked us to declare surplus and make...

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