Shrewsbury selectmen hear latest on CenTech Park project

By Joan Goodchild

 Community Reporter 

Shrewsbury – Fortune Boulevard, the new industrial subdivision off of CenTech Boulevard, is now nearly complete, Shrewsbury Assistant Town Manager Michael Hale told the Board of Selectmen at its Dec. 27 meeting.

Hale told the board the contractor in charge of the project has shut down operations for the winter, but 90 to 95 percent of the work is complete.  The project is on time and on budget, he said. However, he added there was an issue with the quality of the final coat of pavement on the road.

"The town has told the contractor they would not accept it. He is in agreement and is going back to the subcontractor," Hale said.  "We expect he will get that resolved in the spring." 

The purpose of Hale's appearance was to ask the board to accept an easement or deed for the laying out of the street itself, he said. 

"The [Worcester Business Development Corporation] would like to do this now because they have a potential buyer and would like to clear this up before May," Hale said.

Once the road is completed and approved by the Engineering Department and the town Planning Board, it will be taken to Town Meeting in May 2011, for public vote and, if approved, will become a public street. 

Board of Selectmen Chair Moira Miller noted the project had gone well and had progressed very quickly. 

"It seems like just yesterday we were doing the shoveling," Miller said.  

The project was funded with a Public Works Economic Development grant for $1 million, as well as a $2 million grant received previously by the town from the Economic Development Administration. It is intended to create frontage and allow access to about 83 acres of land, which will be used for a four-lot industrial subdivision. The development of this land is a collaboration between the Worcester Business Development Corporation and the town of Shrewsbury. 

In other business, the board also approved a 12-article warrant in preparation for a Special Town Meeting to be held Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. The warrant includes an article to approve the town's purchase of land currently owned by Shrewsbury Federal Credit Union that would then allow the Shrewsbury Public Library to expand onto that land as well as add parking.

Other articles on the warrant include a license agreement between the town and a contractor for the construction of a planned World War I Memorial on Maple Avenue. Two articles address a series of requested repairs at the Spring Street School that will be administered through a state program. 

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) approved the Spring Street School’s participation in the Green Repair Program, after receiving a statement of interest from the Shrewsbury School Committee.  The program allows schools funding for certain repairs to their roofs, windows and boilers. Shrewsbury intends to use the funds to replace the school’s roof, as well as its window curtains, which date back to the 1960s and are original to the building. The approximate cost of the repairs is estimated at $1 million, 50 percent of which would be covered by the MSBA program. 

The two articles pertaining to the school at the Special Town Meeting will create a school building committee, a requirement of the MSBA to be part of the program, as well as a transfer of $50,000 from free cash to cover a feasibility study for the project. 



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