By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Northborough – On Nov. 13, Michael Easler and Michael Moonan, from the engineering firm Weston & Sampson, appeared with Scott Charpentier, Department of Public Works director, and Town Planner Kathy Joubert at a public hearing regarding the next phase in the construction of a new Town Common to be built at the Civil War Monument site on West Main Street.
Charpentier said that the purpose of the evening was to discuss materials, finishes, plantings and “the look” of the Town Common, and whether they could afford a pergola.
The next step will be plan refinement based on the comments that Moonan and Easler received at the meeting.
“Last time we presented two options and we had a lot of great input,” Moonan said. “We’ve taken that input, we listened and we’ve also come back and met with the town and other key people … We’ve taken some input by email and phone calls and we’ve incorporated that into what is now what we think is the preferred plan.”
New schematics were available and were explained by Easler, who said that this new design includes seating close to the sidewalk at the entry of the park, arbor vitae to help buffer the side adjacent to the gas station, electrical capability and a potential decorative pergola. The back of the common will be more wooded, saving as many trees as possible.
There were many public comments regarding the west side of the common where the Civil War Memorial sits. Another memorial was added behind the Civil War Monument that will include flags from the five branches of the military and a large American Flag that would be continuously lit along with a POW flag.
Easler said that this space will be a place where residents can gather, sit, contemplate and reflect. It will feature darker granite in contrast to the existing monument and be graded and built a little higher so it can be seen from the street.
Charpentier informed the group that Justin Sousa, Northborough’s veterans’ agent, will be working with Gerard Bourque of the American Legion to come up with the text for the inscriptions for this memorial.
Questions and discussion from the 25 or so attendees included concerns about lighting of the park, electrical outlets and security. Additionally, details such as materials for walkways, fencing, benches and maintenance were also discussed.
“The process going forward from here is we will go before the Board of Selectmen in December, finalize bid documents and specifications in January, bid it out in February and as soon as the snow melts the contractors can get to work,” Charpentier said.