By MAUREEN DOHERTY
LYNNFIELD — With the Dec. 8 deadline fast approaching for the removal of five defunct underground oil tanks from the Perley Burrill property on Salem Street, Town Administrator Bill Gustus informed the selectmen Nov. 17 that “we have seen no activity on the site to date.”
Remediation of the site is also required to be completed by that date per the court order, he said.
“At the last hearing the owner was found in contempt for failing to pull the permits,” Gustus said, referring to the action taken in Essex Superior Court by the town against Joseph Pedoto, trustee of Little Joe Realty Trust. However, Gustus said the judge “did not issue any penalty and chose to wait and see” how Pedoto would respond with the additional time granted to comply with the town’s request to have the tanks removed.
Gustus added if nothing has transpired by Dec. 8 Town Counsel Thomas Mullen will “return to court on another contempt complaint.” The original contempt finding was issued Aug. 14.
“Is that penalty possibly a warrant for his arrest?” Selectman Phil Crawford asked.
Gustus said, “It’s possible. If he does not show up for the court hearing, it could be.”
Selectmen Chairman Dave Nelson said they would discuss the situation again at their Dec. 1 meeting “and let it go to the next stage” based on any available updated information.
Selectman Tom Terranova recused himself from the discussion due to a prior business relationship he had with Pedoto.
In addition to the requirement to remove these five tanks at his expense, as of Oct. 1, 2014, Pedoto owed the town more than $162,512 in back taxes for his property at 906-914 Salem St. The last tax payment made to the town by Pedoto was in 2007.
Menorah on common
Chabad of the North Shore has received the unanimous approval of the selectmen to erect a menorah on the town common to display throughout Hanukkah. Chabad also requested access to an electrical outlet on the common to light the bulbs on the menorah.
This year, the eight-day Jewish celebration runs from sundown on Tuesday, Dec. 16 through sundown on Wednesday, Dec. 24. Last year was the first time the town had a display for the Jewish holiday on the common.
Nelson said, “We had done this last year and it worked out very well.”
Terranova agreed, stating that quite a few people attended the menorah lighting ceremony and celebration last year “and everybody was very happy with it.”
Request for use of Centre Farm deferred
A joint request by the Lynnfield Historical Commission and the Lynnfield Historical Society to use Centre Farm for a Festival of Trees event to coincide with the town’s holiday tree lighting festival on Saturday, Dec. 6 was deferred by the selectmen.
After conferring with both the building inspector and DPW director, Town Administrator Bill Gustus suggested that Centre Farm would not be an appropriate location for the event at this time.
Gustus explained that even though Centre Farm is now owned by the town, “it is essentially a single family home and it does not meet ADA requirements for handicap access and it has no exit signs for public spaces. It is really not suitable for a public event.”
Gustus also wanted to have extra time to discuss the application with the Fire Department and to speak to those planning the event with the hope of “coming to an agreement on an alternate location” to make all parties happy without “turning it down.”
Temazcal Tequila Cantina
The Temazcal Tequila Cantina at MarketStreet received approval for a change of manager from the selectmen.
Attorney Jeremiah Sullivan, representing Rebel Restaurants, told the board that current general manager Russell Davis has been promoted within the corporation and will be opening the new Tony C’s in Burlington.
The new general manager will be Joe Geloso, who was trained at Temazcal’s Boston waterfront location and has been working at the Lynnfield location since it opened earlier this fall. Geloso said he has an extensive history in the restaurant business as both a classically trained chef and as a manager. At one time he managed 36 restaurants at Disney World. He has also managed restaurants in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and the Back Bay.
The Fat Cactus on Rte. 1 received approval from the board to alter only the interior of the establishment and change the name of the restaurant to Johnny Goodbones, subject to the applicant submitting updated financial and lease information to the town as requested by Town Administrator Bill Gustus.
The selectmen oversee such changes because the board is the permit-granting authority for any establishment with an all-alcohol license. The permit includes an overall reduction in seating by four. Seating in the bar area will increase from 40 to 50; a function room bar will seat 15 and patio seating, with access to a service bar, remains unchanged at 30.