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Water Safety Reminders

According to the American Red Cross, 10 people die each day from unintentional drowning, and on average two of those deaths are children under age 14. Additionally, drowning is the leading cause of death for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder. To ensure everyone’s safety in the water this summer, the Hudson Fire Department would like to remind residents of the following safety tips for kayakers, paddlers and recreational boaters courtesy of the American Canoe Association:
  • Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when boating or fishing, even if you don’t intend to enter the water.
  • Children under the age of 12 must always wear a life jacket in a public body of water.
  • Be a competent swimmer with the ability to handle oneself underwater, moving water, surf or current. Keep the craft under control. Do not enter a rapid unless you are reasonably sure you can navigate it or swim the entire rapid in case you capsize.
  • Keep a lookout for hazards and avoid them. Watch for fog, especially on coastal waters.
  • Know your physical limitations.
  • Group members need to constantly assess the behavior of others in their group.

For those swimming in the ocean, lakes, ponds or pools, the Hudson Fire Department also provides the following safety tips from the American Red Cross:
  • Never leave children unattended while they are near or in a body of water, and make sure they have an adult to accompany them into the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floats.
  • Never swim alone; swim with lifeguards and/or water watchers present. Even if lifeguards are present, you (or another responsible adult) should stay with your children.
  • If a child is missing, always check the body of water that they were near or swimming in first.
  • Understand and adjust for the unique risks of the water environment you are in, such as river currents, ocean rip current, underwater hazards including vegetation and animals, and more.
  • Don’t use alcohol or drugs (including certain prescription medications) before or during swimming or diving, or while supervising swimmers.
  • Recognize the signs of someone in trouble and shout for help. A swimmer needs immediate help if they:
    • Are not making forward progress in the water.
    • Are vertical in the water but unable to move or tread water.
    • Are motionless and face down in the water.
  • If someone is drowning or experiencing an emergency in the water:
    • Rescue and remove the person from the water (without putting yourself in danger).
    • Ask someone to call emergency medical services (EMS). If alone, give 2 minutes of care, then call EMS.
    • Begin CPR.
    • Use an AED if available and transfer care to advanced life support.
  • Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency occurs. Update skills regularly.
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ADA “Tour De Cure” Cyclists To Ride Through Boxborough on August 20

BOXBOROUGH: On August 20, the American Diabetes Association 2023 “Tour De Cure” New England cycling event will pass through Boxborough. No roads will be closed, but the public is advised that cyclists will enter Boxborough from Acton at Summer Street and will ride on Flagg Hill Road, Richardson Road, Stow Road, Chester Road, Burroughs Road, Old Harvard Road, and Eldridge Road before continuing on through Harvard. In total, the route travels through roughly four miles of Boxborough roads. The riders are expected to begin entering Boxborough around 9am. 

The event, which the ADA describes as “a premier cycling experience and the only cycling event supporting all people living with diabetes,” takes place all over the country. The Tour De Cure New England has 15-, 30-, 62-, and 100-mile route options that all begin and end in Lexington, Massachusetts. The 62- and 100-mile routes will pass through Boxborough. 
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Carbon Reduction Course Helps Residents Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

BOXBOROUGH: How many hours could you leave an LED light bulb switched on to produce the same greenhouse gas of a single load in a clothes dryer? According to The New York Times: 300 hours, or 13 days.

To learn more about carbon reduction, residents and non-residents may sign up for a free, four-session course called “Where Climate Meets Community.” Choose from two meeting options, either in Boxborough’s Sargent Memorial Library on Mondays, September 18–October 9, 10:30-11:50am, or via Zoom on Tuesdays, September 12-October 3, 6:30-7:50pm. To sign up, email Boxborough resident Marjorie Kamp at, placing “2040” in the subject line and indicating choice of sessions. Kamp says the course will help people reduce their carbon footprint by as much as 50%.

The Boxborough Sustainability Committee is sponsoring the course, which is a discussion of Damon Gaveau’s 2019 book “2040: a Handbook for the Regeneration Based on the Documentary 2040.”

Boxborough Transfer Station Handles Trash, Recycling, Compost & More

BOXBOROUGH: On a recent Saturday morning, the Boxborough Transfer Station buzzed with activity. With trunks and hatchbacks open, cars stopped between the long containers as residents hopped out of their vehicles to deposit their trash and recyclables before proceeding to the north side of the property, where large, open containers for wood and scrap metal and an informal swap area attracted a group of residents disposing of items and browsing what others left behind.

Boxborough News reached out to Ed Kukkula, Department of Public Works Director, to learn about how the Transfer Station operates. Only Boxborough residents may visit the Transfer Station, and a sticker is required. Stickers can be purchased for a full year, six-month, three-month, or one-time use. Senior citizens (65+) and residents with an affordable housing trust waiver receive their stickers for free. The Transfer Station is open on Wednesdays (11am-7pm) and Saturdays (8am-4pm).

Sticker holders can dispose of trash, also known as solid waste, and household recycling (paper, cardboard, glass, metal, and plastic) in a single-stream container; no sorting is required. Other items that residents can dispose of include mercury (e.g., thermostats, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs), propane tanks, electronics, CRTs, textiles and clothes, mattresses, metal, clean wood, white goods (i.e., appliances), and food waste (compost).

The composting bin was added two years ago. The town is working with Black Earth Compost Company to help keep food waste out of the trash and turn it into valuable nutrient compost that is reused by many farmers and homeowners all over Massachusetts. An extensive list of food items that can be composted in the bins at the Transfer Station can be downloaded from the town’s website.

When asked if he would like to implement any changes at the Transfer Station, Director Kukkula responded that he would like to hire a part time Transfer Station attendant who only works for the town two days a week. This would allow one of the employees who currently works there to work for the DPW full time instead of just three days per week. “Other than that, I believe the Transfer Station operates very smoothly and provides a great service to the residents. Larry and Greg do a great job!”

To request a sticker, view the layout of the transfer station, learn about what is accepted at the transfer station and how to recycle or dispose of items not accepted, residents can visit

For an extended version of this article with information about what happens to trash and recycling after it leaves the transfer station as well as financial facts about the operation, visit
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Town of Boxborough To Launch Citizens’ Academy

BOXBOROUGH: This September, Town Hall will open its doors for Citizens’ Academy, a unique opportunity for residents to learn how the town of Boxborough operates. The program will consist of weekly evening sessions designed to introduce participants to all facets of town government - from financials, to land use, to public safety.  Enrollment is open to Boxborough residents ages 16 and older. To enroll, contact Rajon Hudson at or (978) 264-1718.

Citizens’ Academy is designed to expose residents to the various town departments, boards, committees, and commissions so residents can gain a better understanding of how municipal government works. Through presentations, discussions, and visits to town departments, participants will have the opportunity to hear from various directors, managers, and board/committee members to learn about the operation of town programs and services. 

The goal of this program is to encourage civic involvement from previously unengaged citizens and provide transparency for Boxborough's town government,” said Assistant Town Administrator Rajon Hudson. “Not only is this program designed to educate residents about how town government operates, but also to create a pipeline for generating interest in more people serving on boards and committees. We hope that this program will increase participation in civic engagement and create a new platform for building relationships with the community.”

Citizens’ Academy is scheduled to begin Wednesday, September 13, with an introduction and overview of Boxborough, with presentations by the Select Board and the town administrator. The program will continue on Wednesday evenings in September, October, and November. The topics will include town financials and budget, land use and community development, human and community services, town meeting and town clerk, emergency services, public safety, and the library. The program will end with a “graduation” and recognition of participants at a Select Board meeting on Monday, December 11.

Each session begins at 6pm and will last about 90 minutes. The relevant town departments, boards, and committees will give a presentation, with the remainder of the time in the session left to answer residents’ questions.
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Emergency Assistance Program Helps 30+ Residents in First Six Months

BOXBOROUGH: Boxborough rolled out the Boxborough Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP) on January 2, 2023. Through July 2023, 34 grants have been written for residents. 

The program provides eligible households impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its lingering economic impact with a financial assistance payment of up to $1,000 to help pay common household expenses such as rent, mortgages, utilities, other household fees, and medical and prescription expenses. Made possible by American Rescue Plan Act funds, the program’s goal is to provide a household with one-time financial help in a calendar year. The funds expire on December 31, 2024.

Expenses have ranged from mortgage/ rent (the largest category at 55 percent), utilities (30 percent), childcare and summer camp expenses (8 percent), medical/dental and transportation. The ages of the applicants have ranged from 16 to 84 years old. 

“What is very satisfying working with this program is the success and gratitude the residents have shown,” said Boxborough’s Community Services Coordinator Wendy Trinks. “We have helped residents avoid homelessness and many electricity shut offs. The grants have also provided tuition for summer camp that children otherwise would not have been able to attend.” 
  The program has also allowed Trinks to assist residents beyond a one-time grant. Through their participation in BEAP, Trinks has connected residents to other resources as well, such as food pantries, Veteran Services Support, Boxborough Rental Assistance Program, mortgage assistance, clothing, and other grant programs. 

The program has also helped Trinks learn about other organizations and resources available to Boxborough residents.

“I encounter people every day in need, and community services is a great asset at town hall,” said social services police officer for Boxborough, Det. Rob Arakelian. “They are able to provide direct funding to the residents and then connect them to other resources.”  

BEAP funds also support Boxborough’s participation in the Domestic Violence Services Network. “The Boxborough Emergency Assistance Program has been extremely helpful in ensuring valuable community outreach programs such as DVSN are properly funded and functioning. It is absolutely vital these types of programs are readily available to the public,” said Boxborough  Police Chief John Szewczyk.

For more information about the Boxborough Emergency Assistance Program, contact Wendy Trinks at (978) 264-1735 or
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Water Resources Committee Discusses Water Line Extension and RFP for Strategic Plan

BOXBOROUGH: The Water Resources Committee met virtually on June 27 and August 1. Les Fox, no longer on the Select Board, was appointed by the Board as member-at-large on June 12. On June 26 the Select Board also appointed John Markiewicz as member-at-large. On June 27, the committee welcomed John as a new WRC member and elected Les as WRC Chair and Bryon Clemence as Clerk. 

The WRC has been closely following and supporting the Boxborough water line extension project. In May, Littleton town meeting authorized borrowing for LELWD’s project to extend their water service into Boxborough with a new water main. The Boxborough Select Board recently executed an Intermunicipal Agreement with Littleton for the extension of the Littleton Water Department service into western Boxborough, enabling the project to proceed with design and permitting. Construction is estimated to take place from June 2024 through June 2026. The line will extend from LELWD’s new state-of-the-art water treatment facility on Whitcomb Ave in Littleton, through The Park (Campanelli) on Beaver Brook Road, then on to Swanson Road and Codman Hill Road. 

In January, the WRC sponsored a webinar to provide a project update to condominium residents and businesses in the new service area. There were 100 attendees, and expert panelists from DEP, LELWD and MADOT to address questions. In July, the WRC sponsored a webinar for LELWD to provide additional project information and updates and estimates of betterment fees. Slides and the recordings of the January and July webinars have been posted on the WRC webpage. Another forum will take place in early 2024 to provide updated cost information on betterments and connection fees. LELWD has devoted a section of their web page for news and information on the water line extension.

In addition, a working group of the WRC has continued to develop a scope of work for an RFP to hire a consultant to advise us on how best to address some key strategic goals of our charter: Ensure that Boxborough is prepared to meet future, long-term water supply needs for everyone in the town; identify the town’s needs for protecting and enhancing existing water supplies, aquifers, and other surface water and groundwater resources; and determine the best means for ensuring safe and reliable water supplies, using a planning horizon of 100 years, and considering cost, feasibility, and available alternatives. 

The WRC will discuss the draft scope of work at its next meeting on September 12, and then circulate it to other boards and committees for comment. All are welcome to join for the discussion and provide input.
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Select Board Votes to Execute Town “Taking” of Three Roads

BOXBOROUGH: On August 7, the Select Board voted to approve an Order of Taking to acquire permanent easements on Joyce Lane, Loring Avenue, and Macleod Way, and abutting land. The Order of Taking was prepared based on a plan previously accepted by the Select Board and approved at Town Meeting. The town will not take complete ownership of the roads, but will instead take a permanent easement that will allow the town to maintain and plow the roads. 

Going forward, parking will no longer be allowed on Joyce Lane, Loring Avenue, or MacLeod Way for public safety reasons. The roadways and cul-de-sacs are narrow, and street parking could impede emergency response efforts. Residents have been informed that parking on these three roads is no longer allowed and that parking tickets will be issued. The town administrator will serve as the municipal hearing officer for an in-town appeal process. 

Select Board Chair Kristin Hilberg suggested that a “warnings” system and a “grace period” for parking fines may be appropriate, given the history of street parking on these roads. Other Select Board members agreed, and the Town Administrator Michael Johns indicated that he would discuss this possibility with the Boxborough police chief. 

The board also discussed the Boxborough Field Use Permit Policy. Currently, the Select Board holds the authority to waive or reduce field use fees. The Select Board is now considering delegating that authority to the town administrator so that fee waiver requests could be addressed more promptly. Administrator Johns indicated that he would be willing to accept that delegation of authority, as long as the policy is clear about when it is appropriate to waive or reduce a field use fee. Johns agreed to propose policy revisions at a future Select Board meeting. 

The Select Board will hold its next meeting on August 28.
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Next Week at Boxborough Town Hall

BOXBOROUGH: Below is a list of Boxborough’s board and committee meetings scheduled to take place Monday, August 14 through Friday, August 18. Note that the information is gathered a week or more in advance. Meetings can be added to the calendar up to 48 hours before the meeting. Meeting agendas are posted on the town website up to 48 hours in advance of the meeting. Consult the calendar on the homepage of the town website for meeting agendas and up-to-date meeting information. For meetings on Zoom, the link can be found on the agenda. 

Tuesday, August 15:
  • Zoning Board of Appeals, 7pm via Zoom
Wednesday, August 16:
  • Conservation Commission, 7:30pm, Town Hall
Thursday, August 17:
  • Well-Being Committee, 8am via Zoom
  • Economic Development Committee, 7:30pm, Town Hall
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Liberty Field Playground to Open September 1

BOXBOROUGH:Brand new playground equipment has been installed at Liberty Field. Boxborough’s Recreation Commission reports that the playground and the adult fitness area at Liberty Field are expected to be open for public use by September 1. Construction on the remainder of the property is expected to be complete by late spring of 2024. Stay tuned for details on a ribbon-cutting celebration.

Boxborough’s Cutest New Resident

BOXBOROUGH: A three-week-old foal spends the morning near her mom at Wetherbee Farm on Hill Road. Born on July 12 to mare Sunny and sire Cofactor, Boxborough’s cutest new resident is already quite popular, given the number of cars that slow down and stop along the fence on Hill Road. Her owner reports that she doesn’t have a name yet. Have a suggestion? Send your ideas to We’ll pass them along, and we’ll be sure to publish them on our website.
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Sustainability Committee Sponsors Free Carbon Reduction Course

BOXBOROUGH: Boxborough’s Sustainability Committee encourages individuals to help reverse global warming by enrolling in a free, four-session course called “Where Climate Meets Community,” a discussion of “2040, a Handbook for the Regeneration based on the documentary ‘2040,’” by Damon Gaveau.

People may choose either of two sessions. One is four in-person meetings at Sargent Memorial Library, 427 Mass. Ave., on Mondays, August 7-28, 10:30am-noon. The other is four Zoom sessions on Tuesdays, August 8-29, 6:30-8pm.

To sign up, email the session leader, Boxborough resident Marjorie Kamp at, placing “2040” in the subject line and indicating a choice of the Monday or Tuesday sessions. Kamp will send enrollees the first assignment and information about how to get the “2040” book.

Kamp, a former pharmaceutical purchasing executive, has taught the course many times. She says the interactive discussion will help people reduce their carbon footprint by 50 percent in five years and help “reverse global warming and transform the earth to a flourishing place.”
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LELWD Water Line Extension Project Update

BOXBOROUGH: On July 26, Littleton Electric Light and Water Department held an information session regarding the Boxborough-Littleton Water Line Extension. LELWD Water and Sewer Superintendent Corey Godfrey provided updates on the status, timing, and costs of the project.  

In June, Boxborough and Littleton signed an intermunicipal agreement regarding a proposed water line that will extend from Littleton to certain properties in Boxborough to address PFAS and sodium chloride contamination. In July, an Environmental Notification Form was filed with the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency; it is available for public review and comment.

There are four components to the water line extension project: a Taylor Street well, a Raw Water Transmission Main from the Taylor Street well to the Whitcomb Avenue water treatment facility; the Littleton portion of the water line extension, which will extend the existing water distribution system to the Boxborough town line; and the Boxborough portion of the water line extension. Boxborough will pay 100 percent of the cost of the Boxborough portion and 15 percent of the cost of the other three components. The estimated total cost to Boxborough, after a financial contribution by MassDOT, is $6,571,500.
  Godfrey explained that the costs will be recovered through betterment fees, a method for recovering the construction cost of a public utility. Betterment fees are calculated based on proportional amount of water use. The betterment fees will be paid by “every (property) that the water line goes in front of … whether you choose to connect or not.” Godfrey cautioned that the numbers presented are early estimates only, and actual costs will not be known until the project is bid out and awarded to a contractor. Construction is expected to begin June 2024 and be completed by June 2026.

Les Fox, chair of Boxborough Water Resources Committee, spoke about the work being done on the Boxborough side regarding the mechanics of the betterment fees and billing processes. In addition, Boxborough is working with Littleton to pursue special legislation so that the intermunicipal agreement between the two towns can be codified.

LELWD is maintaining a webpage about the project and will continue to post updates . LELWD expects to host another information session about the project at the end of this year or beginning of next year. 
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Boxborough to Revive Complete Streets Plan, Apply for MassDOT Grants

BOXBOROUGH: About 30 people participated in the Complete Streets forum in the Grange Room at Boxborough Town Hall on July 26. Conducted by Town Planner Alec Wade, residents worked at tables in groups of five or six using sticky notes to mark their preferences for proposed projects that would help improve road safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation defines a “complete street” as one that “provides safe and accessible options for all travel modes – walking, biking, transit, and vehicles – for people of all ages and abilities.” Municipalities can apply for grants from MassDOT to fund their projects. To apply for funding, towns must pass a Complete Streets Policy and develop a Prioritization Plan.

Five years ago, the Boxborough Select Board appointed a Complete Streets Committee. The committee worked with the then town planner and held a public forum to create a prioritization plan. The town applied for a grant but was not awarded any funds. The committee disbanded, and the effort fell by the wayside until the current town planner decided to revive it.

To move the effort forward, Wade must go to the Select Board to determine whether Complete Streets will use the committee model, as before, or if it will be managed jointly by the Planning Office and the Department of Public Works. Either way, the prioritization plan from five years ago will be updated and, when ready, the town can begin applying for grants from the state.

The Complete Streets forum was the second of three summer forums organized by the town planner. The next forum is Crew 2040 - Sustainability Forum on August 30, 7pm at Town Hall.
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Boxborough Real Property Revaluations

BOXBOROUGH: The Town of Boxborough has contracted with Patriot Properties to complete the revaluation of real estate for the purpose of local property taxation. Massachusetts requires that each community undergo a certification of property values every five years to arrive at an assessment that reflects the property’s full and fair cash value. That process is currently taking place in Boxborough for Fiscal Year 2024. 

The first step is to bring all properties in line with market conditions established by actual sales during calendar year 2022. This is done following guidelines set by the Department of Revenue to meet certification requirements established by law. 

Not all properties will be inspected for revaluation during the current fiscal year. Only those properties that require a building permit, those that have sold, and those that have not been inspected within the last 10 years will be completed during FY 2024.

If there was a recent addition or renovation to the home, the town assessor or contracted inspector may do a drive-by to confirm there were no additional changes. If there were no recent additions or renovations to the home, the inspector may stop by the home to take outside measurements and ask the homeowner a few questions confirming, for example, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, how the structure is heated, whether there is a working fireplace, whether the structure has a finished basement, and other related factors. 

Once that is done, the assessor reviews and analyzes sales data, updates land and building schedules, and tests valuation produced by the office’s Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal system to ensure that the revaluation is both fair and equitable. 

The town is required to post a public disclosure notice either on the town website, a local publication, or both for a minimum of five business days prior to certification of real estate and personal property valuations by the Department of Revenue.

Property owners do not receive an individual notice of change in the valuation of their property but are encouraged to contact the assessor’s office at to request a parcel/property card during the public disclosure period (5 days). If a property owner finds any discrepancies with the data on their parcel/property record card, they must bring this matter to the assessor’s attention prior to the close of the public disclosure period. Otherwise, the taxpayer must wait until after the actual tax bills are received and follow the statute for real estate abatement. The abatement application can be found on the town’s website under the assessor’s page.
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Planning Board Extends Decision Deadlines for Subdivision Plans at Adams Place and 1414 Mass Ave

BOXBOROUGH: At its meeting on July 31, the Planning Board opened the public hearing for a Definitive Subdivision Plan for the 242-244 Adams Place property. Paul Alphen, attorney for the applicants  (Boxborough Adams Realty Trust and Boxborough Hospitality, LLC) walked through the subdivision plan which would combine five lots into two. If approved, a zoning freeze would take effect on the property, which means that it would not have to adhere to the zoning bylaw changes voted at the Fall 2022 Special Town Meeting and would instead be subject to the previous bylaw which would allow more development on the land. 

Attorney Alphen stated that the Definitive Subdivision Plan was filed because the Planning Board denied a special permit application filed by the Boxboro Regency to redevelop their property and build an office/R&D building. The applicant has appealed the decision in Land Court, and the case is yet to be decided. In preparation for the court’s decision, the applicant has filed the subdivision plan to freeze the zoning.

The Board voted to continue the public hearing until August 21 and asked the applicants to extend their decision deadline from August 22-September 22. The applicant agreed to the extension.

The Board then continued the public hearing for the Definitive Subdivision Plan at 1414 Mass Ave, which is owned by Lincoln Property Company. If approved, a zoning freeze would take effect on the property, which means that it would not have to adhere to the zoning bylaw changes voted at the Fall 2022 Special Town Meeting and would instead be subject to the previous bylaw.

Lincoln Property’s engineer, Sandra Brock, addressed the comments on the plan from Places Associates, the town’s engineering firm, and members of the board. Concerns from board members and the public were heard, many of which focused on potential traffic and access  issues on Route 111.  The Board voted to continue the public hearing to August 21, and the applicant agreed to extend the decision deadline from September 5-22.
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Fall Town Meeting Set for November 6, Warrant to Close August 28

BOXBOROUGH: The Boxborough Select Board, at its meeting on July 24, 2023, voted and set the date for the fall town meeting for Monday, November 6, 2023 at 7 p.m. in the Blanchard Memorial School, 493 Massachusetts Avenue.

During the select board meeting, the warrant was opened for boards, committees, commissions, departments, and citizen petitions. Warrant articles will be accepted through the close of business on August 28.

According to a memo from the Boxborough Select Board to all department heads and chairs of boards, committees, and commissions, all final warrant language is due to the executive office by August 30; recommendations and summaries are due to the executive office by September 20; and the final draft warrant is scheduled to go to the Select Board for approval on September 25. The warrant is scheduled to be mailed on October 19. 

Warrant articles can be submitted by mail to the Select Board, 29 Middle Road, Boxborough, MA 01719, or via email to
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Next Week at Boxborough Town Hall

BOXBOROUGH: Below is a list of Boxborough’s board and committee meetings scheduled to take place Monday, August 7 through Friday, August 11. Note that the information is gathered a week or more in advance. Meetings can be added to the calendar up to 48 hours before the meeting. Meeting agendas are posted on the town website up to 48 hours in advance of the meeting. Consult the calendar on the homepage of the town website for meeting agendas and up-to-date meeting information. For meetings on Zoom, the link to the meeting can be found on the agenda. 

Monday, August 7:
  • Sargent Memorial Library Trustees Meeting, 7 p.m., via Zoom
  • Steele Farm Advisory Committee, 7 p.m., Steele Farm Barn

Tuesday, August 8:
  • Personnel Board, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall

Wednesday, August 9:
  • Board of Health Meeting, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall
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Boxborough Fifer’s Day: September 2

BOXBOROUGH: The 2023 Fifer’s Day will take place on September 2 at Flerra Meadows on Stow Road, with a rain date of September 3.  Fifer's Day is jointly sponsored by the Boxborough District Minuteman Company and the Town of Boxborough's Public Celebrations and Ceremonies Committee. The Day commences at 9:30am with the Fifer’s Four Mile Road Race. This is followed by presentation of the Golden Fife Award about noon. The Fair will then commence and include food and barbecue, including a vegetarian option, children’s games and activities, volleyball tournament, booths representing Town organizations, and a craft fair. There will be live music throughout the afternoon.  For more information or to sign up for a non-profit booth, craft booth, road race, or volleyball please go to If you would like to get involved by helping with planning of Fifer’s Day, or helping on the day, please contact the Boxborough Minutemen Company web site at
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Celebrate Farmers Market Week August 6-12

ACTON/BOXBOROUGH/MAYNARD/HUDSON/MARLBOROUGH: August 6-12 has been designated 2023 National Farmers Market Week. This celebration of Farmers' Markets recognizes how they increase access to fresh food, support local farmers and food producers and build community.

Summer produce is reaching its peak with corn, tomatoes, and beans all available. During the week, there are many opportunities for area residents to visit one or more farmers markets. On Sunday, the Acton-Boxborough Farmers’ Market is held from 10am–1pm, On Tuesday, visit the Hudson Farmers Market from 4-7 pm on Main St in front of Town Hall.  On Saturday, the Maynard Farmers’ Market runs from 9am-1pm in the Mill Pond parking lot on Main St, and the Marlborough Farmers Market from 9am-1pm,  The Markets in Marlborough, Hudson and Maynard are all easily accessible from the Assabet River Rail Trail

In addition to offerings such as local fruits, vegetables, cut flowers, baked goods, meats, dairy, coffee, hot sauces, cider, wine and other specialty items, most farmers' markets are gathering places that often feature artisans, musical performances, community information and kids’ activities. Many MA Farmers' Markets also accept Senior / WIC Farmers' Market coupons and SNAP benefits. Check the individual market websites for details.  Let's make this the week everyone visits a farmers' market to find out what all the excitement is about!
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A Short History of Boxborough’s 240 Years

BOXBOROUGH: This year marks the 240th anniversary of Boxborough’s incorporation. Boxborough began when a group of founding families, greatly inconvenienced by the long distance to church services or perhaps just seeking their own political identity, acquired Harvard’s old meeting house and transported it to the hilltop intersection of Hill and Middle Roads. In 1775, they started petitioning the State legislature to become a separate entity, and in 1783 Boxborough was finally incorporated as a district of about ten square miles, made up of parts of Stow, Harvard, and Littleton.

By 1800, a small center village had grown up around the meetinghouse at the top of Middle Road. However, with the exception of small local industries, Boxborough’s economy remained almost entirely agricultural through the 19th century. 

In 1806, the Union Turnpike was extended west from Concord (today’s Massachusetts Avenue/Route 111), passing through Boxborough, thereby easing the local farmers’ access to regional and Boston markets. The building of the Evangelical Congregational Society meeting house on the Union Turnpike in the 1830s began the shift of the town’s center of activity from the old Hill Road town center. In 1845, the Fitchburg Railroad came through the northeast corner of town with a flag stop at the Littleton border, further speeding the shipment of farm products.

Growing of hops was a specialty on many Boxborough farms in the early 19th century, when the town had the reputation as the largest hop-growing town of its size in New England. Dairying became increasingly important in the second half of the 19th century, and after the Civil War, many Boxborough farms also included large orchards of apples, pears, and peaches; some farmers were doing a brisk business in grapes and berries. By 1900, poultry raising was another important specialty.

While orcharding, poultry farming, and some dairying continued into the 1970s, farming of all types declined throughout Boxborough after World War II. Commuting to jobs outside of Boxborough increased, spurred by regional highway construction, including Interstate 495, which came through the west part of town in the early 1960s. Residential growth skyrocketed, dramatically changing the character of the community as the population of the town doubled in the 1960s and then doubled again in the 1970s. Beginning in the 1960s, a number of multi-family buildings, first as apartments and later as condos, were built, particularly to the west of I-495. The 1990s saw an increase in office park construction, also mostly on the west side of I-495.
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Boxborough Well-Being Committee Marks 10 Years

BOXBOROUGH: At its July 20 meeting, the Boxborough Well-Being Committee elected new chair Mary Pavlik to replace outgoing chair Liz Markiewicz and recognized that 10 years have passed since the committee was established by the Select Board in 2013. In the past decade, the Well-Being Committee has collected data on Boxborough community needs, advocated for and supported the Town’s community services coordinator, and collaborated with local entities to connect Boxborough residents with a variety of resources and services.

The Committee also heard updates from Community Services Coordinator Wendy Trinks. Trinks reported on collaboration with Susan Lemere, the new Co-Response Clinician working with the Boxborough Police Department. Trinks also discussed the ongoing success of the Boxborough Emergency Assistance Program. Launched in January, BEAP provides eligible households impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its lingering economic impacts with a financial assistance payment of up to $1,000 to help pay common household expenses such as rent, mortgages, utilities, other household fees, and medical and prescription expenses 

Trinks noted that Rev. Cindy Worthington-Berry, who will be leaving the United Church of Christ Boxborough in September, has been a critical partner and supporter of the Community Services department and said that she looks forward to building a relationship with Worthington-Berry’s successor.

The Well-Being Committee’s mission is to look at ways to improve the health and welfare of Town residents. The Committee identifies factors that impact residents’ well-being and determines ways and resources to support improvements.
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Agricultural Commission Organizes; Work Continues on Sargent Road Land

BOXBOROUGH: The Agricultural Commission met on July 18 and re-elected Owen Neville, Kathie Becker, and Bryon Clemence, respectively, as chair, vice-chair, and clerk for 2023-2024.

The commission reviewed the impact of the current wet weather on agricultural production, including the possible pollution effects of runoff from streams.

Much of the meeting related to the continuing effort of the Commission, along with the Conservation Commission and other groups, is being devoted to the Sargent Road property purchased by the Town, including possible names for the property. 

Members of the two commissions walked the Sargent Road property in late June and laid out the proposed main walking trails. These are being communicated to the Sudbury Valley Trustees, which is the holder of the conservation restriction on the land.

The chair of the Agricultural Commission and others in town participated in a conference call with the staff of the Sudbury Valley Trustees to discuss possible education, training, and management programs for control of invasive species on the Sargent Road property and elsewhere in town. This will be an ongoing project. 
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Lifelong Boxborough Resident, Donald “Donnie” Morse Passes Away

Printed with permission from the Acton Funeral Home.

BOXBOROUGH: Donald C. Morse, age 90, a lifelong Boxborough resident, passed away on Wednesday, July 19, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Ruth (Read) Morse, their five children, Phyllis, Howard, Thomas, Albion, and Paula, 9 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. He was the son of the late Albion Morse and Stella (Cobleigh) Morse. Donald is predeceased by four brothers, Albion, John, Roger, and Warren along with his sister Phyllis.

Donald was born in the family home where he was raised. Family and farming were his life, as he owned his first cow at the age of four. He milked dairy cows until the mid-70’s and then began raising black angus cows. He loved his vegetable and flower gardens where he could be found daily. Donald’s farm has been in the family since 1635 when the land was purchased from the Nipmuc Tribe for several bushels of maize. He was extremely passionate about preservation of family history and had more stories to tell than Charles Dickens.

Donald married Ruth on July 29, 1963, passing just short of their 60th anniversary. He attended local schools in Boxborough and Acton, then graduated from UMass-Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Donald served in the army during the Korean War and was a presidential honor guard for president Dwight Eisenhower. He was known by all and deeply involved in the local community serving as a member of the Boxborough’s Grange, Cemetery Commissioner, member of the Assessor’s department, Animal Control officer, Animal Inspector, Veteran Agent, and Master of Concord Masons.

In lieu of flowers please send a donation to UMass Amherst – Stockbridge School of Agriculture.
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From the Desk of the Boxborough Town Planner

BOXBOROUGH: Welcome to the inaugural “From the Desk of the Boxborough Town Planner” column - a collaboration between Boxborough News and Town Planner Alec Wade of the Boxborough Office of Land Use and Permitting. Each month, Wade will provide an update on the town’s land-related projects and initiatives. 

During the month of July, the Office of Land Use and Permitting was primarily focused on preparing for the Complete Streets Forum on July 26th, the second of a three-part summer forum series to promote community engagement on town issues. The forum will feature translators for Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, and Hindi. “I am excited to provide this pivotal service and I expect to do so at many forums in the future,” says Wade. “We are committed to providing accessible engagement to everyone in the community.” Residents should keep an eye out for an online survey after that will be made available after the Complete Streets forum.

The summer forum series is a new initiative championed by Wade as a way to take a more data-driven approach to town projects. The forums are an opportunity to gather community input on a town project, interpret the data, and present the results to the relevant town department(s).

In August, the Town Planner expects to begin preparing a presentation to the Select Board and Planning Board regarding updates on the progress of the Boxborough2030 Master Plan and then expects to “pair grant and town funding towards related projects that require additional technical or professional assistance.” 

The Office of Land Use and Permitting will also continue to support the work of the Planning Board. There are several significant development projects currently in front of the Planning Board:
  • The Park at Beaver Brook: At the end of June, Campanelli presented a conceptual path forward for permitting the remainder of the park. After meeting with the Board in July, the Office of Land Use and Permitting intends to conduct public engagement to gather community feedback on the Park. The feedback will be shared with the Planning Board once an application is submitted.
  • 1414 Mass Ave: An application for a Definitive Subdivision is currently open with the Planning Board. The Planning Board is tasked with determining if the proposed subdivision road meets town standards. If approved, a zoning freeze will take effect on the property, which means that it does not have to adhere to the zoning bylaw changes voted at the Fall 2022 Special Town Meeting and will instead be subject to the previous bylaw.
  • 242-244 Adams Place: An application for Definitive Subdivision is currently open with the Planning Board. The Planning Board is tasked with determining if the proposed subdivision road meets town standards. If approved, a zoning freeze will take effect on the property, which means that it does not have to adhere to the zoning bylaw changes voted at the Fall 2022 Special Town Meeting and will instead be subject to the previous bylaw. 

A special permit application has been submitted to the Zoning Board of Appeals to reconstruct the condominiums at 95,101, and 107 Swanson Road. The special permit is a necessary next step in relocating several households back into their homes. The Town Planner enabled the Expedited Permitting Procedure for this application and anticipates that the Zoning Board of Appeals will issue a decision the evening of August 15th.
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Boxborough Fire Department Responds to Stow Plane Crash

BOXBOROUGH: In its role as a participant in regional emergency services response, the Boxborough Fire Department assisted a victim of a plane crash in Stow.

On July 23 around 1pm, a Cessna 182 single-engine four-seat aircraft, which had reportedly experienced an in-flight mechanical failure, crashed in a wooded area between two homes on Taylor Rd., just south of Minute Man Air Field. There were three people aboard the aircraft. All were transported to the airfield and were subsequently flown by medical emergency helicopters to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Boxborough interim Fire Chief, Capt. Shawn Gray, said the fire department supplied a mutual aid ambulance to the crash scene. “The ambulance crew assisted as needed and transported one of the patients to the landing zone at Minute Man Air Field,” Gray said.  At that point the Boxborough crew transferred care to the medical helicopter personnel. 

The FAA will be investigating the cause of the accident.
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Select Board Hears Police Union Grievances, Fifer’s Day Updates, and Sets Fall Town Meeting Date

BOXBOROUGH: At its meeting on July 24, the Select Board held two grievance hearings to address contract disputes between the Boxborough Police Chief and the Local 200 Massachusetts Coalition of Police. The first grievance concerned the issue of “hang overs,” which are when an officer on duty covers the beginning of the next shift at the request of another officer who is running late. In the past, this has been an undocumented, informal practice. Police Chief John Szewczyk feels that the practice is a liability for the department. After hearing from the police chief and union representatives, the Select Board decided that the grievance was invalid, as the contract is silent on the issue, and it is, instead, a matter of “policy and procedure” that must be worked out between the Chief and officers.

The second grievance concerned the pay structure for holiday overtime pay. Chief Szewczyk argued that certain past pay practices with respect to holiday overtime hours are inconsistent with the contract. The chief noted that he would be willing to give the union their desired pay structure in future contract negotiations, but that the current contract does not support this pay structure. After parsing the contract language, the Select Board voted to table the issue until its next meeting in order to further review the contract and consider different interpretations of the relevant language.

On Chief Szewczyk’s recommendation and ensuing discussion among Board members, the Select Board voted to endorse the “Strengthening Police and Community Partnerships” program facilitated by the Department of Justice to improve police-community relations. The Police Chief expressed his strong support for the program and will move forward in his efforts to bring it to Boxborough in the next several months.  

The Board heard from the Public Celebrations and Ceremonies Committee regarding plans for the rescheduled Fifer’s Day on September 2nd. Committee Chair Jennette Kollman reported that it is unlikely that the rescheduled celebration will include a parade because the participants, namely, the Blanchard Band and local Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, will not have met yet since the new school year will begin only days before. Kollman indicated that the PCCC is still exploring possibilities and will conduct a ceremony for the Golden Fife award recipient and the parade marshal honors. PCCC did request and was granted a parade permit to prepare for the possibility of a parade.

Fall Town Meeting was set for November 6, 2023, and the Warrant was opened. Town Administrator Michael Johns reported that the position of Boxborough Fire Chief is being readvertised in an attempt to attract a larger pool of applicants, and Captain Shawn Gray is the interim Fire Chief. The Town is currently interviewing four applicants for the Associate Town Planner position.
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Next Week at Boxborough Town Hall

BOXBOROUGH: Below is a list of Boxborough’s board and committee meetings scheduled to take place July 31-August 4. Note that the information is gathered a week or more in advance. Meetings can be added to the calendar up to 48 hours before the meeting. Meeting agendas are posted on the Town website up to 48 hours in advance of the meeting. Consult the calendar on the homepage of the Town website for meeting agendas and up-to-date meeting information. For meetings on Zoom, the link to the meeting can be found on the agenda. 

Monday, July 31: Planning Board, via Zoom, 7pm.
Wednesday, August 2: Conservation Commission, Town Hall, 7:30pm.
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Birding at Flerra Summer Playground

BOXBOROUGH: Becky Harris led an enthusiastic group of birders at Flerra Summer Playground on Tuesday, July 11. Sponsored by the Boxborough Recreation Commission, Flerra Summer Playground runs four week-long sessions through the month of July for kids in grades K-7. The program has been a community fixture since the 1970s. If you’re driving near Flerra Meadows this week, watch out for kids walking and biking to and from Flerra Summer Playground.
Police recognition lunch

Boxborough Police Recognition Luncheon 

BOXBOROUGH: On July 11, Boxborough sponsored a recognition luncheon recognizing the career accomplishments of members of the town’s police department. Honored at the event, which was hosted by Town Administrator Michael Johns (far right), were (from left): Lieut. Steven Patriarca, Sgt. Philip Gath, Det. Robert Arakelian, Officer Safaraz Mushtaque, and Chief John Szewczyk.
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Sustainability Committee Discusses Energy-Saving Plans

BOXBOROUGH: At its meeting July 12, the Boxborough Sustainability Committee drafted a “wish list” for the developers of the Park at Beaver Brook, discussed the carbon-reduction public forum planned for August 30, and agreed to study whether nuclear power is a safe energy source.

Chair Francie Nolde opened the meeting by welcoming new BSC member Andrew Tavolacci. She then introduced a draft of recommendations for Campanelli, the developers planning six new buildings on what was the Cisco campus. The committee added detail to the wish list,  asking the company to commit to addressing climate issues with technology specified in the new Massachusetts Specialized Building Code.

The BSC recommended action to protect Beaver Brook, the Boxborough Esker, meadowland, and trees. It also asked the builders to plan for all-electric, passive-construction buildings, using solar energy, heat pumps, or geo-thermal systems. The BSC also suggested conservation efforts in transportation and the treatment of water and waste.

Because the Planning Board is about to ask all town committees and boards to submit ideas about amenities Campanelli might provide the public, the BSC will send their recommendations to the Planning Board next week.

Nolde and guest Marjorie Kamp encouraged BSC members to drive through the Campanelli property west of I-495, as much of it is ecologically sensitive, open conservation land. Nolde said, “Cisco was a great manager of the land, and we hope Campanelli will be the same.”

The committee will discuss the Massachusetts Specialized Building Code at its next meeting on September 6, at 7pm.; it will be the BSC’s first hybrid meeting in Town Hall, with Zoom available. The new building code will come before town meeting in May 2024.

The committee agreed to encourage the public to ask, “How can you reduce your carbon usage?” during the Sustainability Committee’s public forum at Town Hall on Wednesday, August 30, at 7:00 p.m. Kamp will guide participants in learning “how what we eat, wear, drive, and throw away can help our environment.”
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Personnel Board Reviews Work Plan, Prepares Employee Engagement Survey, Studies Salaries, and Continues Update of Job Descriptions

BOXBOROUGH: At its July 11 meeting, the Personnel Board and the Assistant Town Administrator Rajon Hudson reviewed the Board’s eight-item work plan for 2023-2024 designed to support the town’s effort to continue to improve its effectiveness as an employer.

One key component of the work plan is an employee engagement survey to be distributed to all town employees in the fall. The purpose of this anonymous survey is to identify current strengths and weaknesses of the town’s employment life cycle. This benchmark staff engagement survey will help inform future activities.

A second major effort is a salary study of comparable towns to confirm that Boxborough’s salaries are competitive and consistent with the town’s stated salary targets. This study will be conducted internally by the Assistant Town Administrator with support from the Personnel Board. The board agreed that a compensation study will not be required in the near future, as the current classification and compensation system is working well. 

It was reported at the meeting that the project to update job descriptions and convert them all to a standard format is proceeding apace. Fire Department job descriptions are almost complete. The first drafts of the Sargent Memorial Library job descriptions have been submitted to the Personnel Board by Library Director Peishan Bartley; Bartley attended the meeting to describe the structure and duties of the library staff. 

It was also reported that the board’s preliminary review of the town’s personnel policies was positive, as many important items are already in place. The Personnel Board will be working to complete several needed and previously drafted policies in 2023. All new policies are subject to approval by the Select Board.
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Local Developer Discusses Building Options at Stow Road

BOXBOROUGH: At the July 13 Housing Board meeting, Mark Brooks of Omni Properties talked about the development of the town-owned property at 70–72 Stow Road. In this wide-ranging discussion, Brooks said that any development of the property is made far more difficult by the absence of a municipal water supply in Boxborough. He expressed concern about contamination, such as PFAs found in many Boxborough wells and urged the town to pursue external sources for water. He also strongly recommended that the Stow Road site be evaluated for the presence of protected species. 

Brooks said that rental and ownership housing could be built on the site, and that building a municipal building is a viable possibility. The limited number of dwellings that are possible is problematic to many developers, including him. Rental housing can currently be realized more quickly and financed more readily. The inclusion of sustainable elements in new construction requires subsidies to be economically feasible. He recommended that the town secure the services of a consultant to navigate the complex and ever-changing thicket of regulations in this area. 

The Housing Board decided to eliminate the formal application period for the Boxborough Rental Assistance Program and instead rely solely upon “rolling” continuously submitted applications. 
  Many owners of affordable homes have experienced water damage due to the recent heavy rains. The board agreed to seek immediate funding for its Homeowner Opportunity for Preservation and Equity program to help with these problems. The HOPE program aims to preserve the value of Boxborough’s affordable homes by helping owners with needed repairs.

The board reviewed the status of the Boxborough Emergency Assistance Program (BEAP). This program provides Boxborough residents with one-time help for a financial crisis. The program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act. It has thus far expended $41,770. More than one-half of the grants provide housing assistance. A significant amount of funding remains in the BEAP program. For further information, contact Community Services Coordinator Wendy Trinks at
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Finance Committee Welcomes New Members, Discusses New “Financial Dashboard”

BOXBOROUGH: At its June 11 meeting, the Finance Committee welcomed new members Bob Stemple and John Connor.

Stemple has been a resident of Boxborough for nearly 30 years and comes to the Finance Committee with experience as a former member of the Boxborough Select Board for 9 years, former Boxborough Fire/EMT for 27 years, treasurer of the Boxborough Firefighter Association for 20 Years, and administrative director of finance at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Division of Infectious Diseases for five years.

Connor has been a Boxborough resident for more than 15 years and has a professional background in financial services. Finance Committee members are appointed by the town moderator.

“I look forward to serving on the Fin Com with the other members as we ensure that the residents understand how their tax dollars are being spent and to ensure the best use of those funds, as we navigate through these changing times yet again,” said Stemple. “In addition, I want to work with the Boxborough Select Board, as we did when I was on the Select Board, to mutually agreeable solutions.”

Fin Com member Tony Newton discussed a new “Financial Dashboard” initiative. The Financial Dashboard, expected to launch for fiscal year 2024, will be a quarterly summary of the town’s financial information, including spending, income, reserves, debts, and staffing. The goal is for the Dashboard to be a timely, accurate, and accessible resource for both the Fin Com and for the public. Newton and the Fin Com expect to work closely with the town administrator and Town Hall staff to create the Dashboard each quarter. 

For the coming year, Maria Neyland will continue to serve as chair, with Tony Newton as vice chair. Gary Kushner will serve as clerk. The members divided up liaison responsibilities and discussed the fiscal year 2024 calendar, including a possible fall town meeting  date of November 6. The Fin Com’s next meeting will be August 15. 
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Conservation Restriction Recorded on 95-105 Sargent Road

BOXBOROUGH: On June 29, the Conservation Restriction on 95-105 Sargent Road was recorded at the Registry of Deeds, protecting the 21.35-acre property in perpetuity and making it the newest addition to Boxborough’s collection of conservation land. 

Trails have been mapped out, and plans for cutting trails are in the works. The Boxborough Department of Public Works recently created a parking lot on the property and installed signage. The town is planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the fall. 

In January 2022, Boxborough was notified of the opportunity to purchase the land at 95-105 Sargent Road pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 61, Classification of Forest Lands and Forest Products, as the land had originally been placed in forestry management in exchange for reduced taxes. At the May 2022 Town Meeting, voters authorized the Boxborough Select Board to purchase the land with the hope that the cost to the town might be reduced by the receipt of grants and/or donations. Several months later, Boxborough was awarded $400,000 from the Massachusetts Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity grant program to support the land purchase.

Sudbury Valley Trustees assisted the town with the acquisition and holds the Conservation Restriction. The Boxborough Conservation Commission and Boxborough Agricultural Commission hold the fee on the property, which will be protected and managed for sustainable forestry. The Boxborough Conservation Trust contributed funding for the purchase and worked closely with the town throughout the process.
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LELWD to Host Boxborough Water Project Forum

BOXBOROUGH: Littleton Electric Light and Water Departments will host an online forum July 26 at 6:30 p.m. regarding the Boxborough water extension project. Visit to register for the forum and receive webinar details. 

In June, the Boxborough Select Board voted to approve the Water Line Extension Intermunicipal Agreement with the Town of Littleton and delegated the work of finalizing the agreement to Boxborough Town Administrator Michael Johns. The Water Line Extension project is expected to bring water to property owners in the western part of Boxborough, an area in which water testing has found per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) levels exceeding state drinking water standards. 

A July 6 letter for “property owners and residents on the route of a planned water line to serve the western side of Boxborough on Beaver Brook Road, Swanson Road, and Codman Hill Road as far south as 330 Codman Hill Road” signed by Johns and LELWD Superintendent Corey Godfrey states, “Working with the MassDEP, MassDOT, the Boxborough Board of Selectmen, the Boxborough Water Resources Committee, the impacted homeowners’ associations and other partners, the Littleton Electric Light and Water Department has put forward a plan to provide clean reliable water to this area of Boxborough. LELWD plans to run 4.5 miles of water main from the new Whitcomb Avenue water treatment plant in Littleton to serve the impacted properties in Boxborough.” 

A copy of the letter, which includes information about project costs and betterment fees, can be found at
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Boxborough to Hold “Complete Streets” Public Forum

BOXBOROUGH: On Wednesday, July 26, the Boxborough Office of Land Use and Permitting will host a “Complete Streets Public Forum” at 7pm at Boxborough Town Hall, 29 Middle Road. 

Participants of all ages are welcome and encouraged to join Town Planner Alec Wade for guided exercises and discussion about how residents get to work, where residents like to walk, whether residents feel safe walking or driving on Boxborough streets, and how important biking is in Boxborough. Snacks and refreshments will be provided, and participants will hear a presentation on the Complete Streets Program. 

This is the second event of the new Boxborough Summer Forum Series. The first public forum was held in June on the topic of the Sargent Memorial Library redesign. A third public forum, in partnership with the Sustainability Committee, scheduled for August 30, will focus on the Carbon Reduction for Earth Wellbeing program. 

“The Summer Forum Series represents a rare and exciting opportunity for residents to frequently engage in the development of their community,” says Wade. “From library layouts to the roads and bridges you drive every day, your voice matters in creating the ideal quality of life in Boxborough.” 
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Next Week at Boxborough Town Hall

BOXBOROUGH: Below is a list of Boxborough’s board and committee meetings scheduled to take place July 24-28. Note that the information is gathered a week or more in advance. Meetings can be added to the calendar up to 48 hours before the meeting. Meeting agendas are posted on the Town website up to 48 hours in advance of the meeting. Consult the calendar on the homepage of the Town website for meeting agendas and up-to-date meeting information. For meetings on Zoom, the link to the meeting can be found on the agenda. 

- July 26: Complete Streets Forum, Town Hall, 7pm.

Tips for Safe Fourth of July Celebrations

According to the state Department of Fire Services and State Police, Massachusetts fire departments reported nearly 1,000 fires related to illegal fireworks between 2013 and 2022. In addition to the 42 fire service injuries, five civilian injuries, and $2.5 million in damages attributed to these fires, Massachusetts medical facilities reported about 30 severe burn injuries extending to 5% or more of the victims’ bodies that were caused by illegal fireworks. In 2022 alone, fire departments reported 106 fires and explosions attributed to fireworks, an increase of nearly a third over the prior year.

It is illegal for private citizens to use, possess, or sell fireworks of all kinds in Massachusetts without a license and a permit. This includes fireworks purchased legally elsewhere and brought into Massachusetts. It includes sparklers, firecrackers, cherry bombs, and other fireworks. Fines range from $10 to $1,000, and some violations could carry a one-year prison sentence.

Residents are encouraged to report any misuse of fireworks they notice in the community to your local Police Department.

In case of a firework-related or other emergency, always dial 911.

Additionally, residents are reminded of these key safety tips for Fourth of July celebrations:
  • Attend organized and permitted fireworks displays only.
  • Report illegal fires to the police.
  • Remember that alcohol/drugs and fireworks do not mix.
  • Keep pets indoors and away from fireworks. The loud noises and flashing lights can be frightening and overwhelming for pets. Pets can become frightened and run from familiar environments and people, becoming lost. Read more here.

The Department also urges residents to observe the following tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on getting home safely following Fourth of July celebrations:
  • Be mindful of pedestrians.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. From 2017 to 2021, 1,460 drivers were killed in motor vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July holiday period — 38% of the drivers killed were drunk.
  • Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, do not plan on driving. Instead, designate a sober driver or use a ride-share service to get home safely.
  • Take keys away from individuals who are under the influence and are planning to drive. Alcohol and drugs impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory, which are critical for safe and responsible driving.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, safely pull over and call 911.

Local Residents Earn Dean's List Honors from MassBay Community College

WELLESLEY HILLS: The following local students have been named to the MassBay Community College Dean's List. They achieved this outstanding academic honor for the spring 2023 semester.

* Jordan Gordon of Boxborough, who studies Business Administration
* Anna Roberts of Boxborough, who studies Computed Tomography
* Jordan Cedeno of Maynard, who studies Liberal Arts - Elementary Education
* Marina Schiering of Stow, who studies Liberal Arts
* Daniel Ryu of Wayland, who studies Business Administration
* John Wilson of Wayland, who studies Liberal Arts
* Jacob Snyder of Wayland, who studies Liberal Arts - Psychology /Sociology
* Andrew Eggleston of Wayland, who studies Computer Science
* Lara Shelton of Wayland, who studies Liberal Arts

To be eligible for the MassBay Dean's List, students must complete at least six credits of college-level courses, be in good standing with the College, and earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. To learn more about MassBay, visit
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Collaboration & Celebration: An Indian Luncheon Success

BOXBOROUGH: The Boxborough Council on Aging (COA), United Church of Christ Boxborough (UCCB) and Friends of Indian Senior Citizens Organization (FISCO) joined together to host a community luncheon on June 20, connecting neighbors from Burlington to Boxborough and beyond. UCCB pastor Cindy Worthington-Berry reached out to the FISCO team after hearing about an event it hosted for seniors in Acton. 

FISCO is a non-profit social work agency based in Burlington that supports Asian Indian senior citizens residing in the northwest Boston MetroWest area. Led by volunteers who are themselves Indian senior citizens, its mission is to provide companionship, connection, and compassion to senior Asian immigrants. 

The afternoon began with chair yoga and meditation followed by a delicious vegetarian meal. Lively conversation filled the room of more than 40 attendees as new connections were made and delightful food was shared. “We are so grateful for the gracious hospitality of FISCO members who came today to share with us,” said UCCB pastor Cindy Worthington-Berry.
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Flerra Summer Playground Begins 52nd Season

BOXBOROUGH: Starting July 5, 320 kids (and counting!) will participate in the 52nd season of the Boxborough Recreation Commission’s Flerra Summer Playground program at Flerra Meadows. Led by Directors Brian Picca, Laura Spurling, and Anastasia Koulopoulos, along with a team of seven Lead Counselors, 12 Counselors, 14 CITs (first-year paid counselors), and about 70 volunteers, Flerra Summer Playground will cycle through four week-long sessions for kids in grades K-7. The program has been a community fixture since the 1970s. 

Each week has a unique theme - Music Week, Game Week, Winter in July Week, and Hollywood/ “Flerrawood” Week - with plenty of outdoor activities, including arts & crafts, “tie dye Tuesdays”,“water Wednesdays”, dodgeball and tenni-ball, and a talent show. The Boxborough Police and Fire Department will visit and play their annual BPD vs. BFD dodgeball game, and Dr. Becky Harris will visit for bird-watching. 

“We love the community, we love the kids, and we are so happy to be able to do this every summer,” says Director Brian Picca. “Follow us on Facebook to see all of our fun this summer! If anyone would like to contact the directors, please email us:”

Registration for Flerra Summer Playground is still open. The Recreation Commission will stop accepting registrations the Thursday before each week.  

And remember, if you’re driving near Flerra Meadows this week, watch out for kids walking and biking to and from Flerra Summer Playground!
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Boxborough Planning Board Gets Early Look at Campanelli Building Plans for The Park at Beaver Brook

BOXBOROUGH: At its meeting June 26, the Planning Board heard Campanelli’s newest plans for developing the former Cisco campus. The PB also extended the building permit for the Enclave at Boxborough and elected new officers: Mark White as chair and Rebecca Verner as clerk. Future PB meetings are scheduled for July 10, July 31 and August 21.

Campanelli partner Russell Dion and attorney Johanna Schneider gave the PB an overview of how their firm intends to market new buildings on the 350 acres they purchased in the fall of 2021. Existing and new commercial buildings will occupy about 30 percent of the land; 70 percent of the property will remain as open space and land under conservation restrictions. 

Dion and Schneider explained that existing Cisco two- and three-story office buildings have been empty, so Campanelli’s master plan will include new one- and two-story buildings for light manufacturing, R&D, medical device companies, testing chambers, and some office space. 

The Campanelli representatives said the development, called The Park at Beaver Brook, will attract Cambridge companies which will need significantly less parking than Cisco had planned for the campus next to Route 495. Campanelli has also widened the buffer between proposed buildings and a bordering housing development in the town of Harvard. About 45 acres of Campanelli’s land is in Harvard.

The company will spend a few months refining a master plan which needs approval from the office of the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act which protects endangered species, water, and land. Dion said Campanelli is also aware of new greenhouse gas and environmental justice requirements.

Dion and Schneider said the company will ask the PB to extend an expired special permit to allow Campanelli to proceed with the project. PB acting chair Cindy Markowitz said the board will consider other permitting options as well. Plans for each new building must pass the town’s permitting process.

Dion said Campanelli has received a permit for PFAS mitigation of well water, but he hopes for a less expensive approach by joining the rest of western Boxborough in getting water from a proposed partnership with Littleton.

Early in the meeting, the PB responded to a request from Toll Brothers, the developers of Enclave at Boxborough, to extend their four-year approval period beyond its September deadline. The letter explained that COVID significantly delayed the marketing and construction of 50 town center condominiums. Knowing that the dozen remaining units will undergo the usual inspection requirements, the PB voted to extend the completion period till September 30, 2024.
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Board of Health Grants Conditional Approval for Subdivisions South of 111 & I-495

BOXBOROUGH: At public hearings on June 21, Boxborough’s Board of Health (BOH) considered two applications for definitive subdivision plans near the junction of Routes 111 and I-495: one on land that includes the Regency Hotel, the other on contiguous land at 1414 Mass. Ave. The BOH recommended approval of both plans “with conditions” related to further information regarding water, septic systems, and groundwater runoff.

Both developers stated their plans were “hypothetical,” the approval of which would allow application of zoning rules in effect when they first submitted their proposals in 2022. Planning Board (PB) approval of the subdivision plans would allow both developers to avoid zoning changes passed at Town Meeting later in 2022. The BOH reviews the plan to see if proposed building sites can be used without injury to public health.

A lawyer and three engineers for Boxborough Adams Realty Trust explained that the landowners at 242-244 Adams Place, including the Regency, hope to win a “legal debate” to reverse the PB’s denial of their application for developing office and light manufacturing buildings on the site. 

The trust’s representatives called their new application “Plan B,” a contingency to reconfigure the land for smaller buildings should they lose the PB debate. Instead of a plan for five lots on over 60 acres bordering I-495, they would reduce the plan to two lots, with smaller buildings constructed across the street from the gas station on Route 111. The BOH recommended approval of the plan “with conditions” and the understanding that the developers need final approval from the PB, Fire Department, and BOH. 

Sandra Brock of Nitsch Engineering, and lawyer Jared Eigerman representing 1414 Mass. Ave. owner Lincoln Property, asked the BOH to approve a revision of plans the BOH recommended against in May.

Eigerman said that should both the BOH and PB approve Lincoln’s “hypothetical” plan, Lincoln would be able to construct three large manufacturing buildings south of Mass. Ave., though details of that plan are subject to change. If Lincoln was required to follow the new zoning bylaws, it would have to cut the size of the buildings in half.
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Minutemen Discuss New Date for Fifer’s Day 

BOXBOROUGH: On June 27, the Boxborough Minutemen Company Executive Board and Fifer’s Day subcommittee held a virtual meeting to decide on a new date for Fifer’s Day. In order to coordinate a new date, the Minutemen must work with other stakeholders, including the Public Celebrations and Ceremonies Committee, the Recreation Commission, and the Town’s public safety staff.

Fifer’s Day was originally scheduled for June 17, but it was canceled the day before because of  predicted rain and thunderstorms. Fifer’s Day festivities include the Fifer’s Four Mile Road Race, a parade from the Blanchard School to Flerra Meadows, the presentation of the Golden Fife Award, a volleyball tournament, live music, food, and booths and exhibits.
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Select Board Accepts Financial Policies, Capital Budget Committee Charter

BOXBOROUGH: At its June 26 joint meeting with the Finance Committee, the Select Board voted to accept, as amended, a package of town financial policies developed by the Finance Committee. Before voting, the Board agreed to an amendment about the FinCom’s role with respect to interdepartmental budget transfers. Town Administrator Mike Johns stated that he is pleased with the work of the FinCom in developing financial policies for the town, as policies such as these are an important component of a town’s overall financial stability. He noted that all the relevant stakeholders at Town Hall have reviewed the policies, and once finalized, the policies will be made available to the public on the Town website. 

The board also voted to accept, as amended, a Capital Budget Committee Charter, which lays out the purpose, membership, and responsibilities of a brand-new Capital Budget Committee. The Capital Budget Committee will “establish, track and recommend the Town’s long-term capital needs for items over $10,000 and a useful life of more than 5 years.” The Capital Budget Committee will comprise five members: two members (or designees) of the Select Board, two members (or designees) of the FinCom, and the Town Administrator. 

Boxborough Police Chief John Szewczyk introduced two representatives from the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service to present to the Board about their “Strengthening Police and Community Partnerships” program. The SPCP program would invite community leaders to a DOJ-facilitated conversation about improving police-community relations in Boxborough and create an “SPCP Council” to act in an advisory capacity to the town. The program is free. Select Board Chair Kristin Hilberg expressed support for the program, but the Select Board did not take a vote.

FY2024 appointments and reappointments were handled in a lively session. Of the 70 positions on the agenda, roughly 13 residents appeared before the Board either virtually or in person. Chair Hilberg gave residents the opportunity to introduce themselves and their committee work. This approach led to a number of impromptu informal updates about the projects and goals of various committees. The Select Board members expressed gratitude for the service of all appointees.

Chair Kristin Hilberg opened the meeting with an apology for the Select Board’s recent breach of Open Meeting Law. Chair Hilberg took responsibility for the breach, which failed to properly post that the Select Board would be meeting jointly with the Finance Committee at its June 12 meeting. Hilberg said that the Select Board is working to set up Open Meeting Law training as requested by a complainant.
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The Next Two Weeks at Boxborough Town Hall

BOXBOROUGH: Below is a list of Boxborough’s board and committee meetings scheduled to take place July 3-14. Note that the information is gathered a week or more in advance. Meetings can be added to the calendar up to 48 hours before the meeting. Meeting agendas are posted on the Town website up to 48 hours in advance of the meeting. Consult the calendar on the homepage of the Town website for meeting agendas and up-to-date meeting information. For meetings on Zoom, the link to the meeting can be found on the agenda. 

Tuesday, July 4: Town Hall Closed for Independence Day holiday

Wednesday, July 5:
  • Conservation Committee, Town Hall, 7:30pm;
Monday, July 10:
  • Planning Board, via Zoom, 7pm;
Tuesday, July 11: 
  • Zoning Board of Appeals, via Zoom, 7:30pm;
Wednesday, July 12:
  • Board of Health, Town Hall, 7:30pm.

Free Bee Market to Host Summer Pop-up Each Saturday

BOXBOROUGH: The Free Bee full market was a great success in May, and now the simpler pop-ups have started. Free bread and produce, with a smattering of prepared foods, will be given out on the UCC Boxborough side lawn at 30 Middle Road each Saturday starting at 10:30 a.m.

The pop-up lasts until the food is gone, which has happened in under an hour. The season has typically started out slowly and then added more food as farms and markets become increasingly stocked with local produce. Beginning in mid-July, food usually has been restocked later in the morning. Till then, most of the food is delivered between 10 and 10:30 a.m., and set up as quickly as possible.  

Those with garden surplus or eggs to share are encouraged to drop off their produce anytime between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on any Saturday. Contributors may also email to arrange pickup. Those who would like to volunteer, join the newsletter group, or find out more should also send an email.

The next full Free Bee is scheduled for September; however, more food is slowly being added to the summer pop-ups. Laura, Free Bee’s craftsperson extraordinaire, will offer her give-away crafts on June 24 and July 22.
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Agricultural Commission to Partner with ConsCom for Sargent Road Land Trails

BOXBOROUGH: The Agricultural Commission held its monthly meeting on June 13. Members discussed working with the Conservation Commission regarding the development of a trail layout with connections to adjoining parcels on the 95-105 Sargent Road conservation, agricultural and open space land. Chair Owen Neville reviewed the Forest Management Plan developed by the previous owner under the land’s Chapter 61 use. The harvest described in the plan has been completed. The current focus through 2026 is on controlling invasive species. Neville contacted Sudbury Valley Trustees for possible assistance in these efforts. More information will be forthcoming. 
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Personnel Board Considers HR Upgrades and Warrant Article to Fund Compensation Study

BOXBOROUGH: Lee Slade, Chair of the Personnel Board, announced that after 11 years of dedicated and continuous service on the Personnel Board, Sheila Bauer has decided not to seek reappointment. However, in order to provide some degree of institutional knowledge, Sheila has agreed to stay on the board as an associate, non-voting member.  

Rajon Hudson, Assistant Town Administrator, said it is important that the town develop human resource technology, including online timesheets, onboarding software, performance evaluation modules, and continuing education platforms for staff. Currently, the Town has no HR data management system. Adding the technology may require funding through a town meeting warrant article.

The town is also considering a warrant article at the fall or annual town meeting to fund a new compensation study. The last study was done in April 2020 and implemented in fiscal year 2021. There was some question about whether the town needed another full compensation study or if a salary survey of comparable towns would suffice.

Slade indicated that the board is supporting Town Administrator Michael John’s efforts to make Boxborough an “Employer of Choice.” The board will work with the town to develop, articulate and benchmark a meaningful aspiration for the town as an employer, followed by the creation of simple, clear steps and goals metrics related to achieving that aspiration. The next step in that process is to conduct an employee engagement survey.  

The board also plans to review existing personnel policies, to support Hudson in updating job descriptions with a new format.