Select Board discusses potential Bruen Road property divestment


Select Board discusses potential Bruen Road property divestment
A look down Bruen Road in Hudson. The Select Board recently discussed the future of a 46-acre parcel on this road. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

HUDSON — Emergency services will continue to be provided to the Bruen Road area. However, the Hudson Select Board considered the future of a 46-acre parcel and how it could be used at their Feb. 27 meeting.

The Select Board authorized the Fire Chief Bryan Johannes to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Defense United States Army Garrison (USAG) for routine 911 services for to the 86-acre USAG Natick Army Family Housing area on Bruen Road.

The prior agreement was between the USAG and former Fire Chief John Blood and signed in 2016.

Since, changes have occurred in the area, including the condition of 14 duplexes. The duplexes were housing for people assigned to do civilian work for the army, but the buildings are no longer used anymore.

Over the course of the last three years of his service, Johannes noted the buildings have been vandalized.

“It kind of has fallen into a state of disrepair,” he said. “So the army is looking to divest 46 acres from that 86-acre parcel, and I became aware of it and thought it was important.”

The military would handle the main investigation, Johannes said, and they have gone to the area to address the vandalism issue as well as to look into repairs and to ensure water is available on site.

The divestment is because, Johannes said, “It’s at a point where it is falling into a state of such disrepair.”

He came to the Select Board with the idea of whether there was any interest in the property.

“So you want to just give it to us?” Select Board Chair Scott Duplisea inquired.

Johannes said he could not speak to that one way or the other, but there was concern about it being uninhabited given the condition of the buildings. He added the department will still respond to the area if called, regardless of a MOU.

He added, “We’ll respond to support the military.”

Select Board member Michael Burks asked what would happen if they did nothing concerning the agreement. Johannes said it has “just been a longstanding practice,” and the response of the department would not change.

There was an inquiry whether the jersey barriers hindered access to the area, and Johannes answered, “I can gain access anywhere.”

Duplisea emphasized the need to know what the plan could be for the acres, including a right of first refusal possibility.

He suggested that Executive Assistant Thomas Gregory could figure out what to do if the town responds to services for the divested acres and the buildings sat unused.

Johannes said there should be a meeting with the involved parties, such as the fire and police departments, to establish what is “the end goal.”

Engineering oversight for Eversource project

The board unanimously approved and authorized a contract with Haley Ward Engineering to provide engineering oversight on Eversource’s planned underground power line running in town for $150,000.

“This $150,000 is completely funded by Eversource,” said Duplisea.

The 150,000-volt underground powerline would run between Hudson Light and Power substation and Eversource substation in Sudbury. It would run within an inactive MBTA railroad corridor for 7.6 miles and pass through Sudbury, Marlborough, Stow and Hudson.


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