Good Day Town Reps,I understand there is an upcoming meeting to review the Town Meeting articles with Town Meeting Members. I have written a brief letter below stating my concerns regarding Article Ten. I sincerely hope you take the time to read it and take my comments into consideration prior to casting your vote on this article.
I am concerned with the Billerica Road location for the new fire station for a number of reasons but for the most part, lack of understanding and details on exactly what the implications of the neighborhood will be. Some concerns: signage, lights, road widening, traffic study, fire station lights and sounds, views, property values, etc. This seems to be an extremely fast paced approach to just get the "stamp of approval" without some of these details being worked out and discussed. I understand a fire station is needed, but I do not agree with the approach.
I work full time and spend most of my free time volunteering at school and attending activities with my children so admit that I am not a political person. I had absolutely no idea that a location on Billerica Road was even being discussed until a few weeks before the vote. I also felt the question asked on the ballot was extremely misleading and easy to miss.
I have been very surprised to continually hear why the neighborhood is just speaking up now since it seems like most feel we should have known about this for a very long time and would have received notification from the town as abutters, well in advance, but that was NOT the case. The fact was a handful of us were notified by mail only a few weeks prior to the vote which was our first notification. We were allowed to attend an "unofficial" meeting on March 19th, however, specifics were not shared or known about the neighborhood, at this time. The meeting in April at the Senior Center was during School Vacation week, which made it difficult for a good number of people that had planned vacations.
I have been hearing the Wilson Street location come up over and over again and do feel that this location facing 110 is a much better location than Billerica Road residential area. I am basing this only on what I am reading and being familiar with the location. It would seem to make sense to relook at this location since the last time it went to vote it was more about money than location.
I do not understand why the vote needs to happen so fast without due diligence with the neighborhood study and ensuring this is the right long term location for the Town.
In closing, I would like to see the vote either postponed until specifics pertaining to the neighborhood can be fully vetted or you cast your vote as "no" and continue to look for the ideal location for our fire station.Thank you.
Cathy A. Ross
70 Billerica Road