2021 year in review: Hudson

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HUDSON – As 2021 winds down, the Community Advocate is taking a look back at major stories that shaped the past 12 months. 

From COVID-19, to football glory, to town meeting debates, 2021 has been an eventful year in local news. 

Read on for our recap of this year’s top Hudson stories and check back over the coming days for similar recaps of stories from other area communities…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Click each subheadline to see a collection of articles on each of this year’s top stories.

Town completes Centennial Beach project

2021 year in review: Hudson
Photo/Tami White

Hudson wrapped up its major renovation of Centennial Beach this year, capping a $1.75 million project that voters approved back in 2019. 

The work included new landscaping at the public beach in addition to upgrades to the beach’s bathhouse and concession stand. As some lamented the loss of the beach’s signature trees and the shade they provided, Recreation Director Stephen Santos noted these changes were necessary to address erosion issues that had plagued the facility over the years. 

The beach officially reopened in June following the completion of renovation and construction work.

COVID-19 lingers through 2021

2021 year in review: Hudson
Photo/Laura Hayes

COVID-19 continued to shape life in Hudson in 2021, ebbing over the summer before roaring back in force as the year has wound down. 

Local schools have grappled with cases among students and staff just as the Health Department has worked to slow the spread of the virus through the town as a whole. 

Town officials have continually urged community members to get vaccinated, holding clinics for students and members of the general public particularly as more community members have become eligible for the vaccine and its booster doses. 

They continue to share these messages as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread.

Town meeting rejects zoning bylaw overhaul

2021 year in review: Hudson
Photo/Laura Hayes

Voters rejected an attempt to update and recodify Hudson’s zoning bylaws at Town Meeting this fall. 

The proposed changes were wide ranging, though they generally worked to update aspects Hudson’s bylaws that had not been addressed in decades, according to Director of Planning and Community Development Kristina Johnson.

Johnson presented this proposal at Town Meeting, explaining specific aspects of it and responding to concerns from residents. 

Residents ultimately voted against adopting the article, with many citing concerns about its impact on small businesses and personal property rights. 

HHS football rekindles playoff flame

2021 year in review: Hudson
Photo/Dakota Antelman

Hudson High School’s football team delighted fans this fall with a long awaited return to the playoffs. 

The team was explosive in its regular season, rumbling out of the gate with a strong passing game led by quarterback Jake Attaway. 

The Hawks won their way into the playoffs, where they then upset Austin Prep in their first round matchup. 

Though the Hawks closed out their season with a playoff loss to Bishop Fenwick and a Thanksgiving Day loss to Marlborough, the team is looking forward to the future as it looks to build on this year’s success.

Hudson wins national award

2021 year in review: Hudson
Photo/Dakota Antelman

Hudson has capped off 2021 in winning fashion, celebrating a victory in the national America’s Main Streets contest. Operated by the group Independent We Stand, this contest crowned Hudson as the best downtown area out of an initial field of 216 applicants. 

In winning the contest, Hudson gets $25,000 in prize money, $1,000 in equipment from the company STIHL and a number of $500 shopping sprees. 

Hudson Downtown Business Improvement District Administrator Richard Braga Jr. recently spoke with the Community Advocate following this win and said the Business Improvement District plans to invest winnings in efforts to redevelop the old downtown Armory. They also plan to spend some of the money on financial advice and accounting services for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

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