HUDSON – The Select Board heard several updates at its Jan. 22 meeting for many of the ongoing and future projects for buildings in town, like the Hudson Public Library and the Department of Public Works building.
The Select Board voted to approve a $1,397,000 request for the Department of Public Works’ capital plan. Director of Public Works Eric Ryder gave a brief update on projects that are ongoing for the Public Works Department.
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Ryder touched upon some projects that have been ongoing, like the Phase 2 upgrade to the Wastewater Treatment Facility and the water meter replacement project, as well as ones that are completed like the Main Street culvert repair over the Houghton Brook.
He said that the water meter replacement project is “moving along well.”
The DPW building project design is at 100%, he said, and it was presented Jan. 25 to the building committee. In February, a site plan review would be presented to the Planning Board.
Ryder said, “I’m expecting to go out to bid in the middle to the end of February, so that project is moving right along.”
He thanked the DPW staff for stepping up in supporting the department and “doing a phenomenal job.”
Library Director Aileen Sanchez-Himes spoke about the library’s 2025 fiscal year budget, specifically about the capital plan request of $150,000 that would help fix building issues.
She said they were working on a library construction grant, and they submitted a letter of intent last spring. The library is conducting a conditions assessment, which was the reason they needed the $150,000 request for the planning and design of the project.
The capital request is a requirement of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, she said, and the request is contingent on receiving the grant. If it is not received, “the money is not spent,” she said.
The state would also offer 50% toward the planning and design phase, up to the amount of $100,000, and the deadline for application is May 31, 2024, according to Sanchez-Himes.
She said there will be consultant-aided community forums, which she invited all interested people to join, in the beginning of February. There will be library tours so anyone can come and see what the library would improve about the building.
She said, “Tell us what it is that you want, so that we can make it better for you.”
Matt Tripi of Tripi Engineering Services LLC, which is a local firm, said the firm was contacted in 2017 to investigate floor shifting and wall cracking at the building’s addition, which was done in 1966. The firm believed these were symptoms of settlement and movement.
It has been monitoring the building since 2018, and it has found the soil under the addition was uncontrolled fill, which was the cause of the settlement. There is about a half-year of data the firm has collected, he noted.
“The [additional] building does appear to be moving,” Tripi said. “The original portion of the building is not on the same material. It appears to be shallow ledge.”
There were potential issues, he said, if the original building was not moving or settling, but the building addition was. While the connections were “good at this time,” continued monitoring was important and permanent steps like strengthening the foundation system could be necessary.
Select Board members Scott Duplisea and Vice Chair Michael Burks gave their condolences to Select Board Clerk Judy Congdon, who lost her sister Michelle recently.
He said, “Her sister Michelle MacLaren passed away last week. … I would like to offer our condolences.”
Congdon said, “Michelle was a beautiful soul. She was a very innocent soul. While she had disabilities, we all could have learned something from her.”
She added, “Her kindness, her heart and her selflessness were really something to be admired. … To Michelle, may she rest in peace.”
Burks said, “She was a lovely, lovely lady. She always had a smile. If you knew her, you knew the smile. I’d be doing a detail, and [Judy’s] mother would drive by with her in the car. She had the big smile and the big wave.”
He added that Greg Parker, whose family owned Larkin Lumber, and Marion Shea, who worked as a crossing guard for the Police Department, also died.
“It’s hard when you lose good people,” he said.