Published in the July 27, 2016 edition


LYNNFIELD — The Board of Selectmen voted July 18 that a small portion of the Reedy Meadow Golf Course is “surplus property” and can therefore be set aside for the express purpose of building a new library.

The declaration was the first step in a two-step process for the town’s library trustees to move forward with its grant application to the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners to be reimbursed for a portion of the funds needed to build a new library.

The plan calls for 149,146 square feet of land, or just under 3 1/2 acres, to be set aside on the site at 175 Summer St. for a new library. The roughly 89 acres that remains on the site would continue to be used for the golf course, which would remain under the control of the selectmen.

Selectmen Chairman Phil Crawford explained the transferred land would be roughly located where the Danforth house and barn are currently located.

The second step will be to get Town Meeting to agree with this transfer in October, thus enabling the Library Building Committee (LBC) to submit its grant application to the state by January 2017.

“The concept was introduced at the Town Meeting in April that to be able to file the application for building and construction with the state, the library has to demonstrate it has control of the property,” Library Trustee and LBC Chairman Russ Boekenkroeger explained.

Boekenkroeger said the resolution was drafted by Town Counsel Tom Mullen which “provides that framework where we can demonstrate control of the property, nothing more, so that we can submit that as part of the application. That’s the heart of it,” he said.

Rather than place a condition on the transfer of control of this land on whether or not the trustees are successful in being awarded a state grant, Boekenkroeger said Mullen advised them it would be simpler to reverse the process with a series of votes and Town Meeting action returning the parcel back to the control of the selectmen.

Selectmen Chairman Phil Crawford ask Mullen to describe the “legal ramifications” of the action the board was being asked to take.

Mullen said, “This land is held for golf course purposes. If we use a portion of it for a new library the first thing that has to happen is the selectmen have to declare that portion surplus, that is a declaration that you no longer need it for golf course purposes.”

“And Town Meeting, by a two-thirds vote, has to approve the transfer of the care and custody of the land from the Board of Selectmen for golf course purposes to the Library Trustees for library purposes,” Mullen added.

Crawford said that means the binding vote does not come until October.

If Town Meeting agrees to the transfer Boekenkroeger said the LBC must file its application with the state in January of 2017 and the town would be notified in July 2017 if it will be awarded a grant and when funds would be available. Within “six months after we identify if we get money from the grant, the town would have to approve funding its portion of the total project. All of that would be developed as part of the grant process,” he said.

The earliest the town would need to appropriate its share of funds would be October of 2017, but Boekenkroeger said “that would be a miracle.”

Mullen said if the town is not awarded a grant in the next round of funding, the Library Trustees would subsequently declare the land surplus for library purposes to return it back to the custody of the selectmen. “That would require another Town Meeting vote, a two-thirds vote, to transfer it back to the selectmen,” he said.

Selectman Dick Dalton asked Mullen if the selectmen declare it “excess land,” now who would be responsible for its maintenance, insurance and liability.

Mullen said the selectmen “continue to be responsible because Town Meeting has not authorized the transfer. The transfer’s not complete until Town Meeting says it is.”

Boekenkroeger said Dalton raised a great question. “What happens if this is approved at Town Meeting and before the library project would be undertaken? What happens to the area on Reedy Meadow? Does it become the responsibility of the library to maintain the (Danforth) barn and the equipment that’s in there?”

Mullen said if Town Meeting approves the transfer “this 3 1/2 acres is the responsibility of the trustees from the time that the land is transferred.” Boekenkroeger asked if that meant trustees would have to cut the grass and perform other tasks.

Town Administrator Jim Boudreau said that while in theory the Library Trustees would be responsible for the maintenance of this parcel, in practice, the town would work out an agreement between the trustees, the town and the golf enterprise for its maintenance because the land could still be used as it is currently until construction began.

Mullen explained that Town Meeting can also approve funding that would enable the trustees to ensure the land is maintained. Such details could also be worked out with a “Memorandum of Understanding between the golf course, the selectmen and the trustees,” he said.

Bowdoin remembered

The board members also reflected on the legacy of Seavey Bowdoin, who died July 5 at 96 and had served as a Lynnfield Library trustee for 34 years.

Crawford said, “I had met him in Boston as an attorney 35 years ago. He was one of the few attorneys who came in with a bow tie and once in awhile, a top hat. He was certainly a class act and the town is certainly going to miss him.”

Barrett agreed. “We lost a legend in Seavey. He was really, truly dedicated to the town of Lynnfield and to the history of Lynnfield, and his legacy is going to last for many, many years. He truly made Lynnfield Library his life purpose.”

The possibility of a new library on the horizon has much to do Bowdoin’s legacy, Barrett said. “He was dedicated to the great work the Lynnfield Library has done and continues to do. I thank him and thank his family for giving him to Lynnfield for so many years.”

Historical Com. appointment

Roy Sorli was unanimously appointed to fill a vacancy on the Historical Commission. Sorli’s family moved to Main Street in 1952 when he was an infant and he told the board that he has been interested in the town’s history throughout his life. He has been involved with the Historical Society, a social club dedicated to preserving the town’s history, for the past decade and his parents were part of the Society as well.

Barrett asked Sorli if he had any ideas for the Historical Commission.

Sorli said that he has a particular interest in working with the “Superintendent of Schools to see if there is anything we can do to add to the curriculum in terms of Lynnfield’s history.” He noted that the fifth grade curriculum currently includes a visit to the historic cemeteries next to the school prior to Memorial Day. He’d like to expand upon that effort, particularly with the 60th anniversary of the original Summer Street School coming up this year “and especially because the schools themselves are so involved in technology.”

Barrett thought that was a great idea, recalling one of his own teachers in fifth or sixth grade, Mr. Cox, had made Lynnfield’s history “a big part” of part of his curriculum. “It was because of Mr. Cox and that class” that he has an interest in the town’s history today.

Selectman Dick Dalton agreed with the concept and said “the whole idea of getting the word out to our youngsters about the history of this town” was a worthwhile effort. Sorli’s appointment gives the commission its full complement of five voting members.

Legal C’s acoustic music 

The board formally adopted the amendment to the weekday entertainment license requested by the Legal C Bar, 220 Market St., to allow outdoor acoustic music one night per week with not more than three musicians to perform at one time.

The board agreed to the concept on a trial basis at its June 7 meeting to allow for a test run to ensure having live music at this location, which is the closest MarketStreet restaurant to residences on Walnut Street, would not bother those residents. No issues or complaints were reported to the town during the trial run.

GM John Archambault said they will offer live acoustic music on Wednesdays so as not to interfere with the movies and concerts that take place in the square for the entire mall on Tuesdays and Thursdays nights.

Archambault explained they measured the sound to be sure it did not carry beyond their restaurant and patio area. “We didn’t want to rush it and do anything that wasn’t perfect. We want to be courteous to the neighbors and courteous to the community,” he said.

Archambault added their trial run was well received by customers and provided an opportunity for two of their current employees, as well as an employee’s brother to showcase their talents. “They’re musicians; they went to school for it so it gives them a platform as well. They were very excited about it. It’s not necessarily the music they play, so they adapted and it worked out really well,” he said.

Crawford said he attended one of the live sessions. “It was a beautiful night. Your guitarist was singing outside near the fire pit facing your front door. There were 15 people sitting on the benches and it was very nice. You could also hear it on the patio and the outside seating. I thought it was a nice touch and it wasn’t very loud.”

Fat Biscuit

The latest restaurant at MarketStreet was granted three licenses by the board following the required public hearings by the board July 18.

Sugarloaf Concepts, which will introduce the Fat Biscuit to the Massachusetts market featuring Southern style cooking later this year, was granted a beer and wine restaurant license, a common victualler’s license to serve food and a weekday entertainment license for a record player (yes, real vinyl will be spun here).

The Fat Biscuit will locate at 600 Market St. with seating for 111 customers in just under 2,800 square feet in the space. Manager Dale Broach told the board, “the concept is fast casual breakfast and lunch and sit-down dinners. There’s no preservatives in our food; it’s all fresh and natural.” Breakfast will be served all day in addition to the dinner, he said, adding that New England craft beers would be featured.

The first Fat Biscuit restaurant will open in North Conway, N.H. in August, Broach said. They plan to start construction in Lynnfield this September and be open before Thanksgiving.

Stop sign requests

A request for stop signs at both Hart Road and Juniper Road where they intersect with Candlewood Road was requested by Gary Mendese, 15 Candlewood Rd., in order to slow down traffic in the neighborhood. He is concerned about the cut-through traffic attempting to avoid morning traffic jams at the intersection of Chestnut and Main streets.

Mendese was the only person to bring the request forward. The board asked him to return with a petition signed by neighborhood residents to ensure there was significant support for the request before a discussion is held. Mendese was confident that he could return with plenty of support for the request.

Crawford said that he was very familiar with the neighborhood because he and his wife raised four kids on Juniper Road before they moved to their current home. In his opinion, a stop sign at Hart Road could be helpful but he was doubtful that stop sign at Juniper would have any effect on the traffic speeds.

Personnel Bd. resignation

The board accepted the resignation of Denis Ritchie from the Personnel Board. Ritchie recently informed the board that he and his wife have sold their Lynnfield home and have moved from town.

Those interested in serving on the Personnel Board may submit a resume or letter of interest to the Board of Selectmen in care of the Town Administrator’s office at Town Hall, 55 Summer St. Crawford said applicants will be considered for appointment to the board in the next month or two, depending upon the response received.

Use of town facilities

Selectmen approved the use of the library and common for fitness programs on July 22 and July 29. The board approved the use of the South Lynnfield fire station lot for car washes to benefit LHS sports teams. The boys’ ice hockey team will hold its car wash on Sept. 18 while the boys’ soccer team will hold a car wash on Sept. 25 with a rain date of Oct. 2.

Farmers’ market?

A request to hold monthly farmers’ markets on the town common between May and September of 2017 was placed on hold by the board until representatives of “Kitchen and Kraft” can attend a future meeting to explain their concept. The group requested to hold its events on the following Sundays: May 21, June 18, July 23, Aug. 20 and Sept. 17.