Post image for Update on Main Street Historic District project

Left: Preservation Planners Katheryn Grover and Neil Larson are beginning their work for the Town to help designate an area around Main Street as a Historic District (photo by Rebecca Deans Row)

The Historical Commission has asked me to share an update. The main gist is that there has been movement on pursuing the Main Street Historic District.

Last spring, Town Meeting voters approved hiring of preservation planners to write up the official paperwork request. Last month, the commission selected and hired them:

The Preservation Planners hired to write the National Register Nomination for the proposed Main Street Historic District visit Southborough

On November 15, 2017, preservationists Neil Larson and Kathryn Grover paid their initial visit to Southborough to scout around the proposed historic district. Historical Commission members, Kate Matison and Rebecca Deans Rowe were on hand to greet them and answer questions. Later they met with Michael Weishan at the Historical Museum, and he showed them the maps and photos in the historical collection.

Larson and Grover will write the National Register Nomination on behalf to the Southborough Historical Commission, and submit it to Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC), as one of the final steps needed to complete documentation for the district. Don’t hold your breath, this will be a lengthy process by the time we get the go ahead from MHC.

Why List in the National Register?

Listing in the National Register recognizes Main Street’s importance to the history of the Southborough community. The National Register of Historic Places is the list of individual building, sites, structures, objects and districts deemed important in American history, culture, architecture. It’s a federal designation administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

Visit Neil Larson’s website: http://www.larsonfisher.com/

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Obituary: Paul J. McCarthy, 86

by beth on December 12, 2017

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Paul J. McCarthy, 86, of Marlborough and formerly a long time resident of Southborough, died on Thursday, December 7, 2017 at Metro West Medical Center in Framingham. He was the beloved husband of Jean (O’Connell) McCarthy for the past 66 years.

Born in Southborough, he was the son of the late Michael and Angelina (Dufault) McCarthy.

Paul was a 1948 graduate of the former Peter’s High School in Southborough and earned an associate degree from Worcester Jr. College. He worked as a carpenter with his dad, building homes and additions in Southborough before he founded and operated McCarthy Swimming Pools. His pools were well known for their excellent quality throughout Worcester and Middlesex County.

Paul was a hands on dad, whether it was taking his children on many memorable vacations to Florida, New Hampshire and Maine, teaching them his professional skills or helping them repair each home as each child bought them. Paul’s greatest joy was spending time with his family.  [click to keep reading…]

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Post image for EDC roundtable findings: Possibility of “investing” in downtown lot; investigating re-zoning and treatment plant options (Updated)

Above: The Economic Development Committee raised possibilities for investing in packaging the corner of Main Street and Newton to be attractive to developers and businesses (image from Google Maps)

On November 30th, the Economic Development Committee held a workshop inviting residents to join roundtable discussions on issues around revitalizing downtown. It wasn’t a large showing that night, but there was a good turnout of members from other Town committees and boards.

The EDC is now sharing some of their takeaways from the meeting. One that may garner the most attention is the possibility of the Town investing in a land purchase.

That doesn’t mean that other discussion points aren’t worth looking at. Ideas floated that evening include:

  • Potential rezoning of some property in the area
  • Working with a nearby, privately owned treatment plant to help septic issues in the area
  • Looking at the Town’s “stump dump” for potential nearby parking

For those ideas and more, take a look at the EDC’s published notes from the workshop, here.

But, I’m guessing the idea of the Town purchasing more land with the purpose of developing it will be of the most interest. So, that’s were I’m focusing. . .

At the point where drivers westbound on route 30 turn onto Southborough’s Main Street, there is a lot that has lain vacant for years. It’s has frequently been lamented as an eyesore by blog commenters when stories come up about improving Main Street or the Downtown Business Village.

The vacant lot was a focus of the EDC’s roundtable on “potential investments”. Participants included committee member Julie Connelly and the Zoning Board of Approval’s Craig Nicholson. In a follow up to the room at large, they summarized the investment idea.

GIS map of properties referred to in the discussion

(click to enlarge)

Connelly said the EDC has long identified the Newton and Main St corner as the only “blank slate” for a new business to go downtown. She pointed to three other properties behind it as possibly open to selling. And she touted the available foot traffic for the area from St. Mark’s School and employees at Southborough Medical Group.

But she and Nicholson explained that there are currently too many obstacles for a business to pursue the location on its own. In addition to purchasing the land, they would need a developer, and they would need Town Meeting voters to approve a use for the land.

According to Connelly, the table discussed the possibility of pursuing the Town entering a purchase contract with properties in that area contingent upon a vote:

which would allow for all the other things that we need in place, like the rezoning and development of that area.

Nicholson confirmed that was the crux of their talk. He softened that it may not require the Town actually buying the property. But he said that in order to push developing that land, the Town was going to have to take a role, big or small.  [click to keep reading…]

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This week in sports

by beth on December 11, 2017

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Above: Gonk Wrestling is entering the season strong. They dominated an exhibition vs Quabbin over the weekend, 66-18. (photos tweeted by @ARHSW)

Here are the ARHS varsity games on tap for this week.

(To find a complete schedule of Algonquin sports, including JV, freshmen, and unified match ups, click here. Follow these links for the Assabet sports schedule and the St. Mark’s sports schedule.)

Monday, December 11, 2017

  • 4:00 pm – ARHS Girls Swimming/Diving vs. Gardner High School @ Clark University
  • 4:00 pm – ARHS Boys Swimming/Diving vs. Gardner High School @ Clark University

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

  • 6:30 pm – ARHS Girls Basketball vs. Holy Name Central Catholic @ Holy Name Central Catholic
  • 6:30 pm – ARHS Boys Basketball vs. Doherty Memorial @ Doherty Memorial High School

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

  • 4:00 pm – ARHS Girls Ice Hockey vs. Oakmont Regional @ New England Sports Center
  • 4:00 pm – ARHS Girls Swimming/Diving vs. Nashoba Regional High School @ Clark University
  • 4:00 pm – ARHS Boys Swimming/Diving vs. Nashoba Regional High School @ Clark University
  • 6:30 pm – ARHS Wrestling vs. Leominster @ Algonquin
  • 8:00 pm – ARHS Boys Ice Hockey vs. Westborough High School @ North Star Ice Sports, Westborough(Borough`s Cup)

[click to keep reading…]

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Post image for The week in government: Historical hearing on a demolition, Golf Course CR open forum, Planning on Safety Building, and School Committee on MCAS

Here is a selection of the committee and board meetings for the week along with my selected highlights from the agendas. All these meetings are open to the public, so you’re welcome to stop on by.

Be aware that changes to the meeting schedule are known to happen throughout the week. For an updated list of meetings, visit the town website.

Monday, December 11, 2017

  • Public Safety Building Committee, 6:00 pm @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Review & possible vote on Value Engineering proposals and cost estimates; Joint Meeting with Planning Board for public hearing on site plan
  • Golf Course Conservation Restriction Committee, 7:00 pm @ Cordaville Hall, Rooms A and B , 9 Cordaville Rd (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Public forum for explanations to public, and questions, and recommendations from public
  • Historical Commission, 7:00 pm @ Historical Society Museum, 25 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Public hearing on demolition permit for home and garage at 33 East Main St. Under the Demolition Delay bylaw for historic properties, this hearing is to decide if the home and/or garage should be preferentially preserved. (Here is the link to the assessor’s Property Card)
  • Golf Course Committee, 7:00 pm @ DPW Conference Room, 147 Cordaville Rd (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Recommendations to BOS for RFP on management contract; discuss short and long range planning; current funding position
  • Planning Board, 7:30 pm @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Public hearings on public safety complex site plan, 28 Boston Rd development; discuss ANR at 50 Oak Hill Road; discuss 55+ bylaw – Broadcast live and replayed by SAM*
  • Historical Commission, 7:30 pm @ Historical Society Museum, 25 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: 33 East Main St potential vote on whether buildings should be preferrentially preserved; 260 Boston Road Oren Nichols house, St. Mark’s Church report on Bell Tower; election of officers

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

  • Conservation Commission, 6:00 pm @ Hearing Room, Town House, 17 Common St (agenda) Agenda Highlights: Discussion on holding Golf Course Conservation Restriction; Approval of Chapter 61 process; public hearings on 17 Oregon Rd, 8-10 Leeds Way, and 28 Boston Rd

[click to keep reading…]

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Post image for Events this week: Holiday sing-a-long, band concerts, and holiday bingo

Above: Southborough seniors, fifth graders, and members of the Interboro Community Band will all hold annual holiday/winter performances this week. (photo top from Facebook, middle by Joao Melo, bottom contributed)

Here are highlights of what’s happening around town this week.

[Note: The highlights don’t include ongoing weekly programs. For those listings and more, check the Event Calendar.]

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

  • Culinary Demos for Seniors: The Dude Cooks (12:30 – 1:30 pm) @ The Southborough Senior Center: This session, learn five recipes every guy should know how to cook: Mind-Bending Guacamole, Weeknight Pizza, Seared Steak with Bourbon Butter, Pasta with Fast Marinara, and Kitchen Sink Chili. (Registration is limited, so it may be full. To sign up, call 508-229-4453.)
  • Adult Coloring (1:00 – 2:00 pm) @ The Southborough Senior Center, 9 Cordaville Rd: Come enjoy a stress free activity that relaxes the brain and allows your mind to get the rest it needs. Adult Coloring Books will make your life a whole lot brighter. All supplies will be supplied by the senior center.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

  • Corridor Nine Workshop (8:00 am – 10:30 am) @ Clark University Southborough, 333 Turnpike Road: The Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce will host the Success Express Workshop Series: How to Succeed with Intergenerational Communication. The cost is free for members, $55 for nonmembers (must prepay). For more information, go to www.corridornine.org
  • Holiday Sing-a-long (12:30 – 1:30 pm) @ Come join us for a very special entertaining event here at the Senior Center. We are excited to bring you a Holiday Sing-a-Long featuring once again our own Southborough Songsters with an enjoyable show headlining many Holiday songs. Registration required and space is limited. For details, see dedicated post.

[click to keep reading…]

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Police doing Alcohol Compliance Checks; Where can you get alcohol in town?

December 11, 2017 09:06:26 AM
Thumbnail image for Police doing Alcohol Compliance Checks; Where can you get alcohol in town?

Businesses selling alcohol should be aware that the SPD will be checking up on them. Meanwhile, other readers may be interested in the list of where they can buy a bottle of wine, or enjoy a cocktail.

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Obituary: Jean Davis Bigelow, 92

December 11, 2017 07:47:35 AM
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Jean Davis Bigelow of Woods Hole, MA died at age 92 on Monday, November 27, 2017 following a brief illness.

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Learn about the Golf Course Conservation Restriction & weigh in – Monday night

December 8, 2017 04:00:00 PM
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The committee charged with helping to protect the land at St. Mark’s Golf Course is holding an open forum on Monday night.

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Town issued response to claim of OML violation

December 8, 2017 02:00:00 PM

The Town issued and shared its official response to David Parry’s complaint of an Open Meeting Law violation.

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Obituary: Bernard M. Campbell, Jr. 85

December 8, 2017 12:19:02 PM

Bernard M. Campbell, Jr. 85, of Southborough, died on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, surrounded by his family.

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Officials debate whether Golf Course clubhouse costs can/should be covered by Public Safety Building budget

December 8, 2017 10:59:15 AM
Thumbnail image for Officials debate whether Golf Course clubhouse costs can/should be covered by Public Safety Building budget

This week, the Public Safety Building Committee presented updated project costs to the Board of Selectmen. The Chair made clear that while there are cost overages “on paper” members are still striving to stay within their original budget presented to voters. He clarified that figure is $2 million below the “contingency” they included in the voter approved budget allowance.

During the discussion that followed, it became clear that some members disagreed with a decision not to include costs for a related project in their budget. At issue is relocation of the clubhouse for the adjacent St. Mark’s Golf Course.

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Thanks to Santa Day sponsors and Kindergroup

December 8, 2017 07:30:00 AM
Thumbnail image for Thanks to Santa Day sponsors and Kindergroup

The members of Southborough Kindergroup are no doubt on Santa’s nice list again this year after putting together another magical Santa Day last weekend.

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On the market this week in Southborough (Updated)

December 7, 2017 02:12:29 PM
Thumbnail image for On the market this week in Southborough (Updated)

What went on and off the market this week.

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