Select Board roundup: Main Street Corridor Project construction crews to use Marathon Way as staging area

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The Select Board voted unanimously Tuesday to allow Main Street Corridor Project construction crews to use Marathon Way — the short road that runs between the Town Common and the Doughboy statue, connecting Main Street to Ash Street — as a staging area while work is being done downtown.

“It’s intermittently throughout the construction phase of the project, but also knowing full well that come winter there won’t be any construction so it will be available to the public,” town manager Norman Khumalo explained.

Town engineer/facilities director Dave Daltorio said having the staging area so close to the project work could save a half-day of work over the course of a week.

Board member Amy Ritterbusch suggested trying to find an alternate location, such as behind Center School.

“It’s just such a picturesque area,” she said. “I kind of hate to see stuff taking up so much space.”

Daltorio explained that Parks and Recreation runs programs at Center School, including camps throughout the summer, so it was not ideal.

Board member Brian Herr, who has worked in construction for many years, suggested biting the bullet to keep the project moving quickly.

“I think the bottom line is come March 15th or the 20th, whenever it is they’re going to start tearing the place up, it’s not going to be a pretty place to look at for the next year or so,” he said, adding: “There’s going to be some pain in this process; there’s no way to avoid it. If allowing them to stage there increases their productivity and gets this done faster, we’ll get the ugliness gone quicker if we allow them to do this. It’s very common in any construction project across Massachusetts there will be roadway pipe and there will be machinery and other things stored right in the right of way along these sites. So I would encourage us to consider allowing it.”

Board gets more budget updates from department heads

As part of its Fiscal Year 2022 budget discussions, the board heard from department leaders for Information Technology, Engineering/Facilities, Schools, Upper Charles Trail Committee and Trail Coordination and Management Committee.

The board now has heard from all department heads and will take a position on the budget an an upcoming meeting. The town’s all-hands meeting, with all department leaders, is Wednesday night. …

The board approved the appointment of Mohamed Haider to the Capital Improvement Committee (term expiring June 30, 2023) and Sharon O’Reilly to the Woodville Historic District Commission as the Board of Realtors representative (term expiring June 30, 2023).