WILMINGTON, MA — Town officials are concerned about the impact a proposed 450-unit, over-55 condo development located on Route 62 in North Reading could have on Wilmington.
Wilmington Town Hall recently held a staff meeting about this Martins Landing project and submitted questions and concerns to the Town of North Reading and other relevant agencies.
Town Manager Jeff Hull described many of his concerns at last week’s Wilmington Board of Selectmen Meeting.
“Some of our concerns deal with traffic. We’re specifically concerned about the impact of several of our intersections on Route 62, including at Woburn Street and Andover Street, at High Street and Middlesex Avenue, and at the two intersections at I-93,” explained Hull. “The traffic count they use suggest traffic patterns for a retiree population, but just because you’re over 55 doesn’t mean you’ve retired yet.”
“We also want to make sure our Salem Street well-field, which is 1,000 feet from this development, is appropriately protected,” added Hull.
“There are also concerns as it relates to public safety,” continued Hull. “The expectation is if this project goes forward, through the longstanding practice of mutual aid, there’s going to be an impact on Wilmington Fire and EMS.”
Wilmington, for example, regularly responds to the Edgewood Apartments, located next to where this proposal would be built.
“In North Reading, there’s only one Fire Department… It sounds like we’re going to have to respond to all the calls from this condo development,” questioned Selectman Mike McCoy. “And we’re not getting any tax dollars for it! I’m all for mutual aid, but can we get some monies since we’re providing an important service to North Reading?”
“I hope the Town of Wilmington can receive renumeration for services rendered,” added Selectman Chair Mike Champoux. “This substantial housing project will have an impact on traffic and public safety.”
Champoux and Hull are scheduled to speak with North Reading’s Town Manager and Selectmen Chair.
“We will start the conversation in a pleasant manner with the hope that we can resolve any differences and come to a mutually beneficial resolution,” advised Champoux.
In response to a question from Selectman Kevin Caira about what kind of leverage Wilmington has to protect its interests, Town Manager Jeff Hull noted that the town is making sure that all the permitting agencies are aware of Wilmington’s stake in the project. Mitigation at Wilmington intersections and additional work to limit exposure to one of the town’s drinking water well will be discussed.
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