Hudson DPW facility plans head to Planning Board

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Hudson DPW facility plans head to Planning Board
Site plans for the new Hudson DPW facility recently went before the Planning Board. (File photo by/Dakota Antelman)

HUDSON — The Planning Board met on Feb. 20 to review the site plan for the new Department of Public Works (DPW) facility.

The meeting included a detailed discussion about the site’s fueling station location and the current bus storage situation.

According to DPW Director Eric Ryder, there is a Building Committee for the project as well as consultants such as SMMA and Helene Karl Architects.

“There are no program changes at the DPW,” said Ryder. “Similar services will continue to be provided out of this one consolidated building. Once this building is completed, we will demolish the existing fleet garage as well as the remaining portion of the maintenance garage.”

Civil Engineer Peter Glick of SMMA, a Cambridge-based engineering firm, presented the site plan for the new 35,000-square-foot facility. The plan went before the Conservation Commission previously and received a negative determination, meaning that the Wetlands Protection Act does not apply to the project, and it is clear to proceed.

The current building stands on 72.4 acres that also includes the wastewater treatment plant and the police station. SMMA will be working on 5.9 acres of that land, which includes the Assabet Valley River to its north.

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There will be 90 spaces for vehicles for visitors and staff, and a fueling station in the northwest corner of the acreage, said Glick.

“We tried to add a lot of green space around the building,” he said.

In addition, there is a clear route for coming in and out of the site, and the idea is to maintain a one-way traffic flow for trucks as they come in on the west entrance and go out the east side of the site.

Glick said there will be new water and sewer sources to the property that will connect to the facility. There are three new hydrants proposed for the site and a separate fire protection line off of the main line.

As for stormwater preparations, they have implemented state-of-the-art, low-impact test pits to recharge the groundwater. He explained there is a subsurface recharge system east of the facility under the parking area.

Bus storage

Planning Board member David Daigneault asked for clarification about whether the Hudson Public School buses have been parked at the DPW site and if they will be in the future.

Ryder said that prior to being parked at the DPW lot, they were stored at Hudson High School, and they “will no longer be able to park at the DPW site.”

“We’ve had multiple conversations with the school department on this dating back just about a year now,” said Ryder.

Daigneault inquired if a cost-effective solution has been found, and Ryder said he is “really not involved in that.”

He added, “I know the school department has been handling that. I’ve worked with them a little bit on that, and the last I heard, they had some leads on a few locations.”

He said any further questions about potential costs for storage should be directed to the school department as “after this project, we will no longer have the capacity to store the buses on site.”

Fire suppression

Former Planning Board member Andrew Massa asked if the site would have a fire suppression system, which Ryder confirmed.

Massa noted that the fueling station is on the part of the site closest to the Assabet River and flood zones and asked about the reason for the location. Glick said it is located over a hundred feet away from the riverfront area or any water resources.

Gregg Yanchenko of Helene Karl Architects said the fuel tanks are “heavily regulated.” The ones in the site plan are double-walled, and prior to any incident there should be detection due to the regulations.

“So we are confident with the current tanks that they have with the double walls there should be no potential for a spill,” said Yanchenko.

Ryder said the new station will be above ground.

The Planning Board voted unanimously to have a third-party peer review of the stormwater aspect of the site plan and to close the hearing.

Director of Planning and Community Development Kristina Johnson said that every department, such as the Hudson Fire Department, Conservation Commission and Building Department, that completed the site plan review “are satisfied” with it.

Ryder did believe the stormwater systems review was under the purview of the DPW, and a third-party review was not needed. However, he said he would reach out to a consultant and have the plans back for the Planning Board in two weeks.

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