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Select Board roundup: PFAS back over state limit; Alltown Fresh grand opening Aug. 18

by | Aug 2, 2022 | Featured: News, News

As the town continues to take steps toward both mitigating the PFAS in its water and making a connection to the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority water supply, the latest PFAS test results showed Hopkinton’s water again is over the state’s acceptable limit.

The previous result had come in just below 20 parts per trillion, the number at which the state requires a plan to remedy the situation.

‘We were celebrating our rating that was below the 20 parts per trillion very briefly,” Town Manager Norman Khumalo announced at Tuesday night’s Select Board meeting. “We’re back to over the 20 parts per trillion. The last test done July 6th put us at 22.3 parts per trillion.”

Khumalo said the town has identified the contractor who will provide the filtration for the well water, with a goal of May 2023 to have the process completed.

Meanwhile, Khumalo and other town officials recently met with representatives from Southborough to discuss Hopkinton connecting to the MWRA through Southborough’s system.

“We had a great meeting with the Southborough Department of Public Works and the Planning Board as well as the Capital Planning Committee,” Khumalo shared. “The main interest was how the Hopkinton project fits into Southborough’s capital plan for their water infrastructure, the impact on the neighborhood, and obviously the question that you’ll get in any community — namely, how well are we going to repair the roads after the project is done. So, it’s a good start to a long discussion.”

Khumalo said he would continue to keep the board informed.

Alltown Fresh gets liquor license approval

Representatives from Global Montello Group appeared before the board to request — and receive — an updated liquor license for Alltown Fresh at 92 West Main Street. The gas station and market — previously known as Mobil Mart — was rebuilt and expanded after the owners acquired some adjoining land.

A grand opening is scheduled for Aug. 18, and attorney Jon Aieta heralded the new market concept.

“Alltown Fresh, it’s a newer concept, it’s not really a convenience store anymore, it’s really a fresh, open-air market,” he said. “There’s certainly traditional convenience store items, but they want to promote and push that it’s locally sourced food, and you can get meals ready to order and pre-prepared in addition to the regular traditional store items.”

Tabbatha Lisaite, the store’s new manager, noted that the market is taking great care to provide high-quality meals and “not sacrifice healthy eating for convenience.”

Regarding alcohol sales, Aieta said the company prides itself on its stellar record in the state, noting there have been no violations of selling to minors at its handful of locations. He said when any alcohol items are rung up, the system prompts the clerk to check identification, input the date of birth and compare the information to the purchaser.

“They try to take out any error that may happen,” he said. “And any hours of operation that’s not permissible, meaning after 11 p.m. or before 8 a.m., the system will actually lock that up so the POS [point of sale] system cannot process that sale of beer or wine.”

The facility will include a patio with 24 seats. Alcohol consumption is not permitted on the premises.

Khumalo asked the Global Montello representatives for their cooperation regarding potential future discussions about traffic management, as the town has seen numerous accidents in that area — primarily with drivers exiting the Cumberland Farms across the street and making a left turn.

Appearing later in the meeting, Police Chief Joseph Bennett said there have been 116 accidents since 2018 in that section of roadway, including three recent ones.

“That area in general, even beyond those two stores, is a high-volume area,” Bennett said. “We transport [to the hospital] about 7 percent of the people that get hit, because they are side impact, which is the least favorable type of crash you can have.”

Special Town Meeting warrant signed

The board voted to sign the warrant for the Aug. 18 Special Town Meeting. The only article is the schools’ request to cover the additional funding for the Marathon School addition.

After getting input from Town Moderator Ellen Rutter and Town Clerk Connor Degan, the board agreed to keep the quorum requirement at 1 percent of registered voters, which is 128 residents.

“This is a really important and exciting project that we need people to participate in and we’re looking forward to a robust discussion,” Rutter said.

Degan said individuals can register to vote up until 10 days before the meeting (Aug. 8) and still participate. …

The board also voted to sign the warrant for the Sept. 6 state primary election. Early in-person voting begins Aug. 27, and mail-in ballots will go out “very shortly,” Degan said.

Misc.: Main Street work focused on intersection

Khumalo offered a very brief update on the Main Street Corridor Project, indicating that “the bulk of the work in the coming days and coming weeks will be at the main intersection” at Route 135 and Route 85. …

The board approved a request from the Friends of Hopkinton to erect a banner over Main Street from Sept. 4-17 in advance of Family Day on Sept. 17. …

In a joint meeting between the Select Board and the Housing Authority, Lucia Lopez was voted to fill the open position on the Housing Authority. …

Ruth Knowles was reappointed as Hopkinton’s representative on the Keefe Tech School Committee to a term expiring June 30, 2025. …

The board accepted the resignation of Garry Russell from the Personnel Committee.

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