Main Street easements article; Q&A – March 30

Above: Blue dashed lines mark some of the temporary easements proposed in the earlier stage, 25% design (cropped from image posted to DPW website)

The Warrant has been posted for Annual Town Meeting (to open April 11th). And, as promised, I’m trying to keep readers informed about what they’ll be asked to vote on.

One Article is the next step in a project that was once controversial, but now seems widely accepted – the Main Street Redesign project.

The Town is asking for authority to pursue easements required to move forward. The article specifies temporary and permanent easements for 122 parcels.

In an update at a Board of Selectmen meeting this winter, Public Works Superintendent Karen Galligan explained that it’s all about getting the authority to negotiate.

The purpose is summarized on the Town Warrant:

This article allows the Selectmen to accept as gifts, or to negotiate, temporary and permanent easements for use on the Main Street Reconstruction Project. Securing easements will be done in accordance with the MassDOT’s rules. . .

But, the actual article language goes a step further than granting negotiation authority. It includes giving the Town power to “take” easements “by eminent domain”.

In preparation for the vote, the Main Street Design Working Group is hosting a community forum next week. 

On Tuesday, March 30 at 6:30 pm, the Working Group will hold a presentation at the Southborough Library. Members will give an update on the Main Street project, explain the easement process and the related Warrant Article, and answer questions.

Galligan wrote that Main Street property owners are welcome to come meet with members and DPW staff to ask specific questions about their property.

For more details, and the list of parcels, check out pages 32-37 of the Town Warrant, here.

For the most recent “75% plan” submitted to MassDOT, click here.

For other Main Street documents, including a guide for property owners on the land acquisition process, click here.

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