Published October 2, 2019


LYNNFIELD — Construction of the new septic system for the Meeting House and Lynnfield Public Library is now underway, but the proposed Town Common gazebo has been delayed.

In an interview with the Villager, Town Engineer Charlie Richter said construction of the new septic system for the Meeting House and the Lynnfield Public Library began this week. The 2018 October Town Meeting approved the septic system project.

“Manter Co. Inc. from Danvers submitted the low bid for $289,200,” said Richter. “The contractor is expected to start the week of Sept. 29 and has until Nov. 7 to complete the work.”

Richter said local officials “will try to minimize the amount of disruption to everyone” while construction is taking place.

“Access to the Common will be limited though access to the Meeting House will still be provided off of Main and Summer streets,” said Richter. “Traffic will be affected during construction, especially when the crossing is made on Summer Street for the connection to the library. We will try to avoid disrupting traffic during the rush hour.  Also, the library and Centre Congregational Church parking lot will be closed for several days when the contractor is making the final connection to the library. Parking on Summer Street will also be affected during portions of construction, but we will try to minimize it to the shortest period of time possible.”

Richter said, “The town is excited to finally start this important project.”

“It has taken us several months to get to this point and find the right time to proceed without conflicting events on the Common,” said Richter. “We’d like to thank the Centre Congregational Church, the library and Historical Commission in advance for their cooperation with this project.”

Gazebo delayed

While construction of the new septic system is underway, the proposed Town Common gazebo will not be finished this fall.

Newly appointed Historical Commission Chairman Kirk Mansfield said in an interview with the Villager the commission has been working with architect Matt Cummings from Cummings Architects on the gazebo’s design. Cummings previously worked on Centre Farm.

“We are going to be putting a design together and we are going to have an open house so we can get feedback from people because it’s an historical common,” said Mansfield. “The drawings for the gazebo still need to be developed.”

After the drawings are developed, Historical Society President Linda Gillon said the gazebo will be discussed during an open house in mid-February.

“The public will be able to view plans for the gazebo’s design and will be able to comment on them,” said Gillon.

Town Administrator Rob Dolan, who met with the Historical Commission and Historical Society’s board recently, said the gazebo’s “final design will be sent to the Board of Selectmen for approval.”

While former Historical Commission Chairman Steve Todisco had hoped the gazebo would be finished this fall, Mansfield said the goal is to have the project completed in the spring.

“We are aiming for the spring so we can have it ready for Memorial Day and the Summer Concerts,” said Mansfield.

Dolan agreed.

“The gazebo is going to be a very nice addition to the Town Common once it’s done,” said Dolan.

The Historical Commission began laying the groundwork for the gazebo project in August 2017. The Board of Selectmen signed off on the proposal in March 2018. The Historical Society will be paying for the new gazebo.

In addition to the gazebo and septic system projects, Richter said local officials “are exploring opportunities to enhance the Common.”

“We are trying to determine what other improvements can be made while the Common is disturbed,” said Richter.  “No definitive plans have been determined yet, but we are looking at walkway and curbing enhancements that would make the Common more inviting for pedestrians.  The Common is a great asset for the town and we’d like to draw more people to it to enjoy it.  Sometime this fall or winter, I’d expect there to be more discussions on this.”