Delayed Town projects: Updates on Main Street and Fayville Playground

by beth on May 15, 2018

There are a couple of big Town projects that aren’t keeping to the schedules I previously shared with readers. So, I reached out to Public Works Superintendent Karen Galligan for some updates.

Main Street Reconstruction

You may have thought shovels in the ground along Main Street this spring were related to the big reconstruction project. Not so.

As I previously posted, Eversource Gas began work repairing lines in town earlier this spring. That work has been continuing. Meanwhile, since I last posted about the Main Street Reconstruction project, that timeline has changed.

The project was slated to begin in February, then spring of this year. Now, according to Public Works Superintendent Karen Galligan, it might not be for another year.

The work is overseen by the Mass Department of Transportation. MassDOT waited until this month to “Advertise” the project prior to opening bids. The Town doesn’t know how long the state will take to get to the point of awarding contracts and starting the dig. Based on feedback she received from officials in other Towns, Galligan believes it could be somewhere from mid-fall 2018 to spring 2019.

Fayville Playground

There’s another construction project in Southborough that is under Town control. That’s the Fayville Playground renovation. The recreation space has been closed since mid-summer 2016, when the pavilion in the playground was crushed in a storm. It was due to open last summer, then fall, then this spring. Now, it’s pushed off again until some time this summer.

Galligan explained the latest holdup:

We need to grade and pave the handicap parking area and the paths to the accessible playground. The grading and paving work is in the paving bid. When the paving is complete Recreation can open the park. We are opening paving bids on the 24th, then we have to have the Selectmen award the contract, hopefully at their June 5th meeting, then finalize the contract. Once that is done, they have 30 days to do all the playground work. I won’t know an exact date until the contractor is in place.

Once the work is complete, you can expect to hear from me twice on openings. Expect a “soft opening” once the playground is accessible for use. After that, a formal Grand Opening Celebration will thank sponsors and donors that supported enhancements to the playground.

1 Tom May 15, 2018 at 8:45 AM

Are the lights at Woodwood finally connected?

2 beth May 16, 2018 at 6:51 PM

Sorry for delay in response. I thought they were set, but wanted to be sure. The answer is yes. Softball has actually been playing under them.

3 Rob May 15, 2018 at 9:41 AM

Do paving bids usually take a year for the town to get? I’m not being sarcastic, I honesty don’t know the answer to that. It seems long to me. The main st project was voted on around a year ago, and it was crucial that funding be secured ASAP after that night I believe. I don’t think Karen answered the question before of Why the hold up on these things?

4 beth May 15, 2018 at 11:38 AM

I take it that the first question relates to the playground project. I can’t answer that.

For your second question, that seems to be about Main St. My understanding is the hurry-up-and-wait issue is a result of the way the project is funded. To reduce Town taxpayer’s burden, the Town lobbied to get the project on the MassDOT project list.

To stay on the list and not get replaced by a request from another Town – Southborough needed to show it would be ready to go when the time came. If the Town couldn’t show it had its ducks in a row, the board could have moved another Town’s project ahead of ours on the list, or dropped us from the list all together.

But now that Southborough is ready, we are at the mercy of the state as to when they are ready to go on their end.

5 Al Hamilton May 16, 2018 at 9:01 AM


Each year we raise something on the order of $250 – $300k in local taxes for road maintenance. In addition each year we get some amount of money (6 figures I think) from the state in the form of “Chapter 90” money. We typically pool this money for 2-3 years until we have enough to let an economically viable paving contract.

These monies have also been used for the planning work for paving, in particular the planning and design of the main street project.

I regret that our local officials (in this case the BOS or Advisory) do not see fit to come on to these pages to inform the public about how their government works or how their tax monies are utilized.

6 my town sb southborough May 16, 2018 at 1:04 PM

You bet. And do you know why? Because your voice does not count or matter.

Unless you are a developer or builder, willing to meet out of the public eye — the town administrator’s office perhaps? Allegedly, he has had direct contact with developers — he should explain that to the public in a public meeting — and cease and desist.

7 Al Hamilton May 17, 2018 at 8:34 AM

My Town

There is nothing wrong with the TA meeting with a developer per se. I expect that the TA meets with a wide variety of people with varying interests and to say that he/she cannot meet with a particular class of people is wrong.

I am not taking a position on any specific project, but it should be remembered that there is at least one developer who’s company is one of the largest, if not the largest, taxpayer in town. He or his employees may have many perfectly appropriate, indeed required, reasons to meet meet with town officials in the normal or required course of business.

If you have a beef with the behavior of any specific town employee or believe they have acted inappropriately, then you should take it up with our elected officials who are responsible for their performance or take other actions as appropriate. The buck stops at the BOS/School Committee/Planning Board…. If you are not happy with their response, your recourse is at the ballot box.

The town recently had a choice and they chose the status quo. 11 months from now you will hopefully get more choices.

8 Pat D May 16, 2018 at 9:39 AM

There has been no work on the Burnett house or property for months. I thought it was because of winter but nothing has happened there in the last several months. Does anyone know the status of this project? Right now, it is a huge eyesore.

9 my town sb southborough May 16, 2018 at 1:07 PM

We, the taxpayers, gave $1m to a millionaire. What a great deal for the town! File under “got took.”

When is this project scheduled for completion? Same date as Fayville Playground?

10 Concerned citizen May 20, 2018 at 11:12 AM

The work at the Burnett house stopped because town officials namely the conservation commission and the thier agent Beth Rosenblum want to kill the project and change the deal that the town had agreed upon. Any issues with the project are their fault since they ordered a complete stop work order months ago. The developer had to comply and stop everything though it is apparent after reading the papers at town hall he did nothing wrong .this appears to be another power grab by Beth and company to hurt another project which was going along so nicely .shame on the con com and town officials for letting this group especially Beth for doing this …why is this person still employed by the town ?

11 beth May 21, 2018 at 9:26 AM

I was unaware of the issues between the Burnett House and ConCom. I’m not sure it is fair to characterize this as a power grab by the commission or their agent. But, looking at the minutes, the commission and owner do seem to have been at odds. Because the posted minutes only go up to January, I’ve reached out to Beth Rosenblum for an explanation and updated status. I will share more information when I get it.

In the meantime, interested readers can find some information in the minutes. Here are some of the more significant ones:

October 26 minutes summarize discussion with owner about conflict
December 12 minutes follow up on status and steps
January 18th minutes include Enforcement order, and are most recent posted minutes that reference the project.

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