By Justin Roshak, Contributing Writer
HUDSON – Town officials are hoping newly installed signs will address what residents have said is an ongoing issue of speeding near Hudson’s Norma Oliver Village senior housing complex.
Just over a month after hearing concerns about speeding at a previous meeting, the Housing Authority Board heard feedback on their response at an Aug. 5 meeting.
“Thank you for the signs,” said resident Lillian MacNeil, though she advised Housing Authority director Jaclyn Beaulieu that, “You really need to talk to your maintenance guys, because they’ve been speeding through here.”
Residents spoke up at a July 8 meeting, telling the Housing Authority Board that they had seen a number of motorists speed through pedestrian crossings in particular in the area.
At the time, town officials told those residents that they would install new signs to encourage drivers to slow down.
“We deal with speeding issues on a routine basis,” Johannes, who also sits on the Internal Traffic Committee, said Aug. 5. “What we find is that some of the people who live in those neighborhoods are some of our worst offenders.”
Johannes observed speed bumps in the area, while effective at calming traffic, had the potential to damage fire trucks if they crossed them at operational speeds.
Outside of speeding issues, officials said on Aug. 5 that the Housing Authority is on track in terms of its projected spending.
“We’re hovering around one hundred percent of where we should be at this point in the year,” Beaulieu said.
The Housing Authority office is now fully open to the public during normal weekday business hours. The regular schedule for inspections and lease renewals has generally resumed as well.
Roof replacements are complete at the public senior housing development at Brigham Circle as the last piece of the project, insulation, was expected to be finished Friday, August 6.
A total of four residence buildings plus the community building were re-roofed after one building had been previously re-roofed.
Window replacements at Washington Street were completed in July and certified earlier this month.
A boiler replacement at 8 Irving St. was completed at no cost to the Housing Authority, thanks to a successful application to the Low-Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN) program. After several months of meetings with no updates, the boiler and water heater was replaced between July 28 and 30.
“It cost the Housing Authority nothing,” Beaulieu said.
A back deck at 8 Irving St., meanwhile, was in “some disrepair” and will soon be fixed. The Housing Authority will purchase the needed supplies to keep the project under $10,000, preventing the need to put the project out to bid, Beaulieu told the board.
The Housing Authority is currently waiting on quotes from known builders.
The tenant grievance policy was also updated, with changes mailed to tenants. Since this counts as a modification to the lease, residents have 30 days to submit comments for discussion at a future board meeting.
New tables and chairs delivered to Norma Oliver Village “look very nice,” reported tenant advocate Mary Lou McKeone.
She praised the Housing Authority for an increase in activity.
“There’s more motion in these last few meetings that can be recognized by the residents than I’ve seen in years,” she said.
Moving forward, officials are further eyeing resident turnover as a potential issue.
“We are in a slew of vacancies in the properties,” Beaulieu told the board.
There were two units empty at the Norma Oliver Village at 4 Glen Rd. out of a total of ninety-two as of Aug. 5. There were four units vacant at Brigham Circle, with either three or four more units expected to be vacant soon, she said.
The board also noted that last year, Massachusetts formally acknowledged the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provisions for state-supported public housing. This brought Massachusetts in line with federal policy and includes a new set of regulations on how to apply the provision to state housing programs. The updated policy is now consistent across the state and federal levels.