Neighbors Speak Out About Proposed Cemetery Garage

Current cemetery garage in Laurel Hill cemetery

Current cemetery garage in Laurel Hill Cemetery

The Board of Selectmen at their August 9th meeting listened to several neighbors from the area around Wood End Cemetery on Franklin Street as they spoke in opposition to a proposed garage on the site. The new garage would replace the century-old structure now being utilized at Laurel Hill Cemetery. Residents were concerned about safety issues because of the increased level of activity that would take place around the garage, the size of the proposed building, and disturbing the serenity of the location. Several wondered why the garage could not be relocated to the DPW facility on New Crossing Road. William Brown, member of the Board of Cemetery Trustees, spoke up stating that the already crowded DPW facility was short on parking and that the addition of a cemetery garage at the site would further burden the situation. Local realtor Bobbie Botticelli noted that property values may be affected in the neighborhood and asked if the properties in question would be reassessed after a garage was constructed. Board of Selectmen Chair John Halsey welcomed the input from the neighbors while reminding the public that the decisions on this matter were in the hands of Town Meeting, not the Board of Selectmen. Halsey encouraged the neighbors to express their concerns to their Town Meeting representatives.

Town manager Robert LeLacheur reminded the public that the Permanent Building Committee was acting upon an instructional motion from Town Meeting to investigate replacement of the current garage and that no decisions had yet been finalized. LeLacheur continued, stating that the committee had three options on the table: the first was a stand alone structure at a cemetery, the second was to combine with the current DPW facility, and the third was a joined facility at a new location. All three options were explored. LeLacheur encouraged the neighbors to attend the next Permanent Building Committee Meeting on August 29th to express their concerns.

The new garage proposed for Wood End Cemetery would be between 2,600 and 4,000 square feet depending upon the configuration of the building and would allow for storage and maintenance of all the equipment and vehicles used by the Cemeteries Division. Space would also be allocated for a lunch room, a locker room and shower space for personnel. The site plan would include seven employee parking spaces.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email