10 Things That Happened At Last Night’s Selectmen Meeting: Eaton Elected Chair, Olin Decision Coming Soon

WILMINGTON, MA — Below are TEN things that happened at the Wilmington Board of Selectmen’s Meeting on Monday, July 13, 2020. Please note this is NOT an exhaustive list and any agenda items not covered below are likely getting their own standalone article.

#1) EATON ELECTED CHAIR: On a motion made by outgoing Selectmen Chair Greg Bendel and seconded by Selectman Kevin Caira, Selectman Jonathan Eaton was unanimously elected Chair of the Wilmington Board of Selectmen during the board’s annual reorganization.  This will be Eaton’s first term as Chair as he begins his third year on the Board.

Selectmen thanked Bendel for his Chairmanship over the past 14 months.

“You’ve been a wonderful chair,” said Selectwoman Jomarie O’Mahony. “I don’t think anyone could have anticipated the amount of work being Chair would have required since March dealing with the pandemic. This is a volunteer job. You’ve sacrificed so much of your time while having to work remotely and with your family being home. I really appreciate the work you’ve put in, especially over the last few months. And I really appreciate all you’ve done to make my first year on the board the year that it was.”

“I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through since March,” agreed Selectman Kevin Caira. “Residents should be proud of what you’ve done for them…. You’ve handled [the COVID-19 crisis] with professionalism and class.”

“You’ve given me a crash course and helped me through my first meeting,” said recently elected Selectman Gary DePalma. “I appreciate everything you did for me and I’ll always be in your debt.”

Former Selectmen Lou Cimaglia and Mike Champoux also relayed their appreciation to Bendel.

“I’ve been very privileged to be your chair,” said Selectman Greg Bendel. “It’s been a team effort… I had a lot to learn when I became chair. I really appreciate everyone assisting me over the past 14 months.”

Bendel also thanked his wife Andrea.

#2) OLIN DECISION COMING SOON, VIRTUAL MEETINGS SCHEDULED: Town Manager Jeff Hull announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be making their long-awatited decision relative to a portion of the Olin Superfund site on August 10, 2020. This “Record of Decision” will describe the approach the EPA believes that Olin and two other responsible parties will be required to take to remediate the contamination on the site and in certain “off property” locations.

Lynne Jennings, Section Chief with the EPA, will be holding an informal virtual information meeting on August 25, 2020 at 7pm to provide an overview of their decision and answer questions. A thirty day written comment period would take place from August 26, 2020 to September 26, 2020. A second virtual meeting will take place on September 22, 2020 at 7pm for the EPA to record any verbal comments.

After the comment period is closed, the EPA will finalize its decision after taking into consideration the comments it has received. This process is expected to take 3-6 months, but could take longer.

Selectmen will discuss the matter in Executive Session at their next meeting on August 17, 2020.

#3) VERIZON CABLE BILLS GOING UP: Town Manager Jeff Hull shared an announcement from Verizon that many of the town’s subscribers can expect an increase in their cable bill. The base rate for certain Fios TV plans included in bundled packages will rise by $3 to $9 per month beginning October 1, 2020. Subscribers will be notified of this upcoming increase on or around August 1, 2020.

#4) COCA COLA CLOSING FACILITY IN TOWN: Town Manager Jeff Hull shared an announcement from Coca Cola that it is closing its facility at 10 Jewel Drive on August 31, 2020. 23 employees are being laid off. The facility produced Odwalla Smoothies, Juices and Protein Shakes. Coca Cola is discontinuing the products due to “lackluster sales, changing customer preferences, and external realities.”

#5) NEW FIRE ENGINE ALMOST READY: Wilmington Fire Chief Bill Cavanaugh told Selectmen that his department’s new fire engine is being inspected tomorrow. It will soon be shipped from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts and arrive in state on Friday or Monday. It will go to Hopkinton for some finishing touches. Cavanaugh expects the engine to arrive in Wilmington by the end of July.

#6) WILMINGTON TO RECOGNIZE INDIA’S INDEPENDENCE: Selectmen approved the request of the India Association of Greater Boston to hold a Flag Raising Ceremony to commemorate India’s Independence Day on Friday, August 14, 2020.  The Indian flag will be raised at Town Hall during a brief 30-minute ceremony. Organizers originally requested to use the flag pole on the Town Common, but Veterans Services Director Lou Cimaglia asked that no flag — other than the American Flag, POW Flag, and Purple Heart Flag, fly above the war memorial on the Common.

#7) GAMESTOP LICENSE APPROVED: Selectmen approved the renewal of the secondhand dealer license for GameStop. This annual renewal allows the store to continue to sell used video games.

#8) NEW ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEMBER: Selectmen appointed Paul Tivnan to the Wilmington Economic Development Committee. Tinvan is replacing Daniel Gibbons, who recently stepped down from the Committee. Tivnan’s name was brought forth by Selectman Kevin Caira. Selectmen thanked Gibbons for his service and Tivnan for his willingness to serve. The Economic Development Committee meets tonight — Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 6pm — via Zoom. The Committee will discuss how the town can be helping businesses as they reopen and operate during Phases 3 and 4 of the Governor’s Reopening Plan.

#9) NO CHANGES MADE TO FINANCE COMMITTEE: Town Manager Jeff Hull announced that Wilmington Finance Committee members John Doherty, Theresa Manganelli, and Jonathan Dugas have each been reappointed to 3-year terms. Per the town bylaws, these appointments were made collectively by the Town Moderator, Selectmen Chair, and Finance Committee Chair.

#10) WILMINGTON SONS OF ITALY THANKED FOR DONATED MEALS: Town Manager Jeff Hull shared a letter he recently sent to the Wilmington Sons of Italy for providing free meals to municipal employees across many town departments. The letter reads, in part: “We have all been doing our best to work through the challenges of COVID-19 and Town employees have been making great efforts to continue providing the services that residents expect and depend on. It is always nice to be appreciated and the Sons of Italy’s efforts made our day.” Learn more about the Sons of Italy’s efforts to feed Wilmington town workers HERE.

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