Open discussion thread: Ask questions, share opinions

by beth on February 2, 2017

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It’s time for another open thread. What’s on your mind this week, Southborough?

For those of you new to the blog, the open discussion thread is your place to ask questions, sound off on town issues, or share information with other readers. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Ask questions about programs in town or the town itself
  • Post a note about things that you’re selling or giving away, or things that you want
  • Share notices about upcoming events (Southborough or otherwise)
  • Register your thoughts on town issues or news stories
  • Point out interesting or helpful resources

You can add comments to the thread throughout the week. Check back often to see new comments. (If you read the blog via email or RSS, you might want to check the site from time to time for new comments.)

To view past open discussion threads, click here.

(photo by Susan Fitzgerald)

1 D. McGee February 2, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Beth…have you heard anything as to when the BOS will issue its decision on the petition to remove Leo Bartolini from the ZBA?


2 beth February 2, 2017 at 3:37 PM

No. But I can tell you that based on the agenda posted yesterday, they still have no plans to make a ruling, or even discuss it, at their next meeting on February 7th.

3 MarthaB February 2, 2017 at 2:35 PM

Does anyone know of a good small business local plumber? We are looking to replace our electric water heater with a tankless on demand model, and need to get at least 2 estimates. Thanks in advance.

4 Mark Fallon February 2, 2017 at 6:05 PM

Chris Lombardo Plumbing has always done great work for us. 508-881-4159

5 MarthaB February 3, 2017 at 4:49 PM

Thanks Mark. Appreciate the information!

6 JulieT February 3, 2017 at 6:09 AM

Belli plumbing out of Marlborough has great service. I have a friend who used them for a tankless system and they were very happy with the work done and the price. I’ve had them out to fix minor problems and they are timely and reasonable in price. Hope that helps! 😊

7 MarthaB February 3, 2017 at 8:30 AM

Thanks Julie T!

8 TinaT February 2, 2017 at 9:33 PM

Why hasn’t anything been done to repair or clean up the park on Central Street? Hasn’t it been over a year? No one has even cleared the debris. Extremely dangerous for a public space.

9 Rkendall February 3, 2017 at 9:52 AM

Very good question. I noticed that and was shocked that nothing has been done to even clean it up. Everything is just sitting there in a mangled pile.

10 CindyR February 3, 2017 at 6:56 AM

I’m on Overloook Drive and the coyotes have been very vocal lately. Keep your small (and even your large) dogs inside at night.

11 TomM February 3, 2017 at 3:11 PM

Saw two the other day around noon in the backyard.

12 louise barron February 3, 2017 at 9:43 AM

Hi Beth Who owns the land at corner of Newton and Main Sts. Wish it could be made into a small park. Blight to say the least. Also, the two Picardi homes on Deerfoot, are used for storage. Any info about why they haven’t been finished and sold. An eyesore for the neighbors, and the town could use the tax money

13 Sboro1992 February 4, 2017 at 5:41 PM

Well, the corner property in the center of town looks a lot better than it did when it had an ugly chain link fence around it.

14 Townie February 6, 2017 at 2:36 PM

An eyesore? I drive by them often. The landscape is very well kept as well as the houses. Its takes an eye for detail, or a nosey neighbor to realize they’re not occupied. As far on what these buildings are being used for? It’s no ones business what they are being used for, only the owners. I’m pretty sure the owner is paying taxes on them too. These are not the only “houses” in town used as storage either. I know of two more, both well kept, both generate tax revenue.

Some real eyesores in town are properties that the town owns. Fayville Hall and the DPW annex just to name a couple. These properties don’t generate a penny of revenue either.

15 Al Hamilton February 7, 2017 at 8:43 AM

Don’t forget the Police Station.

16 M February 5, 2017 at 12:56 PM

Louise, If I remember correctly, the gas station there previously had an underground tank which leaked, thereby causing a toxic waste problem for any future owner. Not sure if it was ever cleaned up. Limited what can be done with the property. Someone correct me or update please if you know more.

17 beth February 5, 2017 at 2:42 PM

That was my recollection – that I had read that in the past. But I was trying to find any stories or documentation related to that. I wasn’t able to find one yet, only reference to the planning board asking the owner to clean up the lot back in 2010.

18 Sboro1992 February 7, 2017 at 10:28 PM

I think the environmental problem was taken care of. I also think the new owners had to take care of some leftover tax issues. As I understand it – the owner can’t build on the property because it’s too small to put in a septic system. So I think the owner is just holding on to it because there is nothing else they can do for the time being. I’m sure there are insurance/liability issues that come into play if they just put a few benches on the property….you know how things are nowadays.

19 louise barron February 5, 2017 at 3:31 PM

Corner of Main and Newton Streets could have a bench, a few trees. Anything but the eyesore it is now. This is outrageous that the powers that be ignore it. It’s plain to see when you drive into downtown. Also the Picardi buildings on Deerfoor. Any info. Thanks Louise

20 beth February 5, 2017 at 8:08 PM

Corner of Newton and Main:
2 East Main Street is owned by Southborough Crossings LLC, managed by Peter Bemis.

As I mentioned before, I had recalled a toxic issue there, but couldn’t find anything to back that up other than a commenter with similar memory. Here’s what I did find:

  • In 2010, the Planning Board asked Bemis to mow the lawn and fix the fence. They didn’t have authority to insist, just ask, and Bemis said he would consider it.
  • In spring 2015, Bemis requested an extension on an already extended “Order of Conditions” from ’05. Minutes state that Bemis “said he fully intends to move forward with his proposal when the economic conditions improve and project financing can be secured.” That permit expires April 12, 2017.
  • In August 2016, EDC addressed (not for the first time) the unwelcome sight downtown. Chair Dave McCay said that he would coordinate with then-member Bill Pezzoni to sit down with Bemis about an idea of a “pocket park” at the site as a temporary solution until land is sold or building built. But no follow up is mentioned in minutes posted for subsequent meetings.

21 louise barron February 5, 2017 at 3:32 PM

Meant to type Picardi buildings on Deerfoot.

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