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Vanessa has the knowledge and common sense to understand the needs of Reading and the ability to ensure a stable and well running town economically and socially. Vanessa is very well versed on what people of this town are hoping for and addresses people who need questions answered that have been ignored by town government.
My name is Ed Thomas. I reside at 99 Oak Street. I have lived in Reading for 30 years. I have stayed here because of the wonderful town that I feel we live in. My question to the selectman would be as follows………
Our street endured the MWRA project for 2 years. We were led to believe that the project would enhance the infrastructure of our town in the future and understood that there would be disruptions during this project.
We endured heavy construction, long hours of large, noisy machinery, and endless road disruptions. Our houses were being fed water from hot, plastic pipes that laid on the street during one of the hottest summers on record. Our household water supply for months was 80 degrees and non-filtered. The MWRA’s response was “Hey you are getting it for free!”
Through this project I felt a need to have a neighborhood leader to help us all understand the project in its entirety. I had multiple conversations with the MWRA and neighbors and tried as hard as I could to have the town help us as well. Concerns were ignored by the MWRA and the Town of Reading. Questions were not answered! Personally, I incurred thousands of dollars to fix the damage that the MWRA caused to our home and personal property. In the end, the MWRA reimbursed one-quarter of my expenses.
Through this, I continued to focus on the needs of our street and on getting the project to a better place. There was much angst among the neighbors as to things “promised” of how the street would look like at the completion of the project. Some of the neighbors at the Joshua Eaton side of Oak Street engaged a Selectman to help bring the street to a level of what was expected. It was decided that $600,000 of Town money would be spent to help alleviate concerns to those people. The Selectmen and the town put the money forward to fix the concerns of a select group of residents. The town and selectmen did not ask, engage, or care about the rest of the street. Andrew Freidman surveyed and spoke to the MWRA but was unable to get restitution for what was needed.
In the end… some residents got new curbs, new sidewalks and an upgrade to their property. The rest of the street got NOTHING. Free dirt and grass seed. During this process, I also have a new large vent that is permanently on my property forever. It will lower my property value but the town and MWRA don’t care. It “had” to be done.
The Board of Selectmen and the town are well aware of this entire atrocity. In all of my conversations, I have felt that Vanessa listens to concerns of all residents, not just a few. She is committed to make Reading better town for all.
Oak Street Reading