Around the Town: Ashland News
Jul 31, 2020 03:50PM
By Cynthia Whitty
Ashland Awarded FEMA Grant for COVID-19 PPE
The Ashland Fire Department has been awarded federal fundingthrough the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The funds will be used to buy personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies needed to assist the department in preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This equipment includes N95 masks, isolation gowns, and medical gloves. Ashland was awarded $11,893.00 and is among 20 departments in Massachusetts to have received this grant.
Pond Street (Rt. 126) Revitalization Begins
Anticipated to have regional impact, the Pond Street (Rt. 126) Revitalization Project, over two decades in the making, is beginning this summer. In early July Eversource Gas started the preliminary work to replace the existing gas line on Pond Street.
For the first time since its construction, Pond Street will have sidewalks and bicycle lanes for pedestrian, bicyclist and motor vehicular safety. The $17+ million-dollar construction costs are funded by the Massachusetts Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The revitalization of Pond Street is designed to have positive economic, developmental and regional impact.
“The design is complete and MassDOT advertised the project on June 27, which means MassDOT is accepting bids from contractors. Typical to any infrastructure project, there’ll be a proposal review process, then MassDOT will award the project contract,” Paula Parker, Pond Street working group member, said, “The ground breaking is estimated for late Q4 of 2020 or Q1 of 2021.”
For more information, visit www.ashlandmass.com/523/Rehabilitation-of-Pond-St.
Town Elections Results
Steve Mitchell won the only contested seat in June 24 town elections. Mitchell beat Preston Crow for a three-year seat on the Select Board.
Candidates running for uncontested seats were David Rosenblum for Board of Assessors; Laurie Tosti for School Committee; Carolyn Bell and Kab Rabinowitz for Library Trustee; Ron Etskovitz and Judi Teller for Board of Health; and Lakshmi Krishnan for Planning Board. For complete election results, visit www.ashlandmass.com/DocumentCenter/Index/74.
Town Meeting Recap
Ashland hosted its annual town meeting on Tuesday, July 30, in the Ashland High School gymnasium. Town facilities team changed the venue from the auditorium for the safety of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting layout was designed to ensure everyone’s safety. Facilities department arranged 180 chairs in singles and pairs, placed hand sanitizing stations around the lobby for individuals to clean their hands before entering, and required masks/ facial coverings at all times. The cafeteria also broadcasted the meeting live for any resident who did not want to attend in person.
The warrant articles were limited in number to focus on the budget for the town’s operation. The following articles were passed unanimously by the 41 persons attending: Transfer from stabilization fund- Approved; Fiscal Year Budget 2021 – Approved; Transfer to OPEB Trust- Approved; Annual Consent – General- Approved; and Annual Consent- CPC- Approved. For a copy of the town meeting warrant, visit www.ashlandmass.com/449/Town-Meeting.
Ashland/Hopkinton State Park Beach Status
For information on the status of the Ashland/Hopkinton State Park beaches, call the beach water hotline, 617-626-4972, or visit www.mass.gov/info-details/find-a-park.
Save the Date: Town-wide Cleanup, Weekend of Oct. 3
Ashland’s annual town-wide cleanup event that usually takes place on the first Saturday of May has been changed this year to the weekend of Oct. 3. For the safely of the participants and volunteers, registration will be made available via online or email and bag distribution will be done through scheduled delivery or pickups. Look for signup and details on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GreenUpAshland, and on the website, www.greenupashland.org.