Primer on Seven Acres Special Town Meeting August 3

Jul 30, 2020 by

Published July 30, 2020

By MAUREEN DOHERTY

NORTH READING — The Select Board will hold a primer for the public during its next virtual meeting on Monday night at 8 p.m. The topic is the Special Town Meeting being held outdoors on Saturday, August 8 at 9 a.m. at the Arthur J. Kenney Field on the potential purchase of the Seven Acres Poultry Farm.

How to join virtual meeting

Residents can participate in Monday’s Select Board meeting either through Zoom video conferencing or by phone.

To join via internet go to: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88938151460. To use one tap on a mobile phone go to: +19292056099 or +13126266799.

To dial in for an audio-only experience dial: (929) 205-6099 or (312) 626-6799 and enter meeting ID: 889 3815 1460 #, then press # again.

The poultry farm, owned by the Magliozzi family for over 80 years, is up for sale. As a farm with tax protections under Ch. 61A, state law allows the town the right of first refusal when it gets put on the open market and will no longer be used as a farm.

The Magliozzi family has a purchase and sales agreement with local resident Sergio Coviello to purchase the farm at 14 Concord St. for $1.1M. Coviello also has a contingency to purchase both homes, a single family home at 4 Concord St., where the Magliozzi’s live, and a two-family home at 12 Concord St., for $450,000 each.

The farm itself has about 114 feet of frontage on Concord Street between the two-family home and Bobcat of Boston.

At a Select Board meeting held in January, Coviello stated he plans to move his electrical contract business from a nearby location on Concord Street to this site.

At that same meeting, dozens of neighbors and abutters came forward to urge the town to pursue the purchase of this land, which is located near the difficult intersections of Concord Street, Park Street/Park Street West, and Southwick Road. Many would like to see it preserved as it stands as a dividing line between the residential neighborhood and the town’s industrial/office district, which also has many trucking businesses. Others see it as potentially viable for many municipal uses in the future.

All sides will be given an opportunity to present their positions at the Special Town Meeting. The details on a final position for how the town proposes to finance this transaction, as well as a dollar amount voters will be asked to support, will be discussed at Monday’s meeting, according to Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto.

Warrants mailed last week

By now, every resident should have received in the mail the warrant for this Special Town Meeting, for which the quorum has been reduced to 15 voters, rather than 150, as allowed under the emergency provisions provided under state law due to COVID-19.

The main reason the board and Town Moderator sought the maximum reduction to 10% of the original quorum requirement is in case of inclement weather or other extenuating circumstances. When a quorum is required, the minimum must be in attendance even if it is just to call the meeting to order and vote to postpone to a time and date certain. This is not the case for the town’s June and October Town Meetings, which do not require a quorum, therefore only the town moderator, town clerk and a member of the Select Board would need to be present to postpone a meeting or change the venue.

The outdoor venue was approved earlier this month by the Board of Health as it addresses that board’s concerns about the spread of COVID-19 virus when inside enclosed spaces for a prolonged period of time. Under the special state legislation, the town moderator had to consult with both the Board of Health and the Select Board before deciding where the Special Town Meeting would be held.

Those attending the meeting on August 8 should remember to bring their face masks as well as their printed warrants. (A separate section will be available on the field for those who do not or cannot wear a mask.)

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