Eversource to Hold a Community Meeting August 2nd
By Tara Hughes
July 28, 2023. Eversource will be hosting a virtual neighborhood meeting via Zoom for people in Winchester to learn more about active construction activities on Cross Street in Winchester on next Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. Staff from Eversource, and its contractor McCourt Construction, will be on the line to answer questions and discuss the schedule for the remainder of 2023.
Miles Lang-Kennedy from Eversource said, “The meeting was based on a request from the Town Manager and Select Board to answer questions from people in the community as there is a lot of construction on Cross St.” While the meeting may be moderated by Select Board member Mike Bettencourt, it is not a government board meeting.
Neighbors want to address both safety and mitigation measures by Eversource. Laura Conti, a resident who lives a block off of Cross Street, says “The sidewalk on the north side of Cross St. is closed due to construction vehicles between Holton and Forest (same side of road as Davidson park). This wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that there is NO sidewalk across from this on the south side of Cross Street. This leaves pedestrians to walk in the one-lane road with traffic. It’s unsafe and needs immediate attention.” She has reached out to the town and Eversource. In a previous meeting with Eversource she said they told her they were “not aware of the sidewalk issues and are going to have a sidewalk engineer review to try to improve that stretch of construction to make it safer for pedestrians.” Conti also said, “The simultaneous closures at both the Main St. and Washington St. ends of Cross Street is an undue burden on those of us who live here.” She would also like to learn more about the mitigation plan for Davidson Park.
Other neighbors are focused on mitigation plans, like those for Davidson Park. Eversource is leasing a portion of Davidson Park for staging of equipment, which will cause some damage. Initial mitigation plans were presented to the Conservation Commission during their last meeting and some neighbors did make public comments, but no vote has been taken yet on the plans. Meredith Crowley, a resident involved in making the Community Meeting a reality provided the following information:
“A lot is happening in the Washington /Forest /Cross Streets area. Residents are invited to please attend a virtual community meeting hosted by Eversource August 2, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. Eversource and McCourt representatives will be available to discuss the project. Additionally, Mike Bettencourt may ask neighbors to weigh in regarding their concerns about the project and the ongoing mitigation efforts. Mitigation efforts that are currently proposed include:
• Leasing fees paid for the use of Washington St. Park and Davidson Park
• Some of the money will be set aside specifically for rehabilitation of the Leonard Field playground
• Additional landscaping in Davidson Park near the area where pipes are currently being stored
• Trees and turf to be added to Washington St. Park; plans have not yet been created.
“Mike Bettencourt may moderate some discussion regarding residents’ concerns about the construction activities and the mitigation efforts.”
Eversource’s Announcement is below:
Eversource will be hosting a virtual neighborhood meeting via Zoom for people in Winchester to learn more about active construction activities on Cross Street in Winchester on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 starting at 6 p.m. firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff from Eversource, and its contractor McCourt Construction, will be on the line to answer questions and discuss the schedule for the remainder of 2023.
• DATE: Wednesday, August 2, 2023
• TIME: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• LOCATION: Virtual via Zoom
• ZOOM LINK: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86804444188?pwd=Zmtaa3dUbTlnaThlcGtsNkgyMkVxUT09#success
• MEETING ID: 868 0444 4188; Passcode: 796056
• PHONE DIAL-IN: +1 917-768-2821; Conference ID: 610 057 725#
To learn more about the project go to: https://www.eversource.com/content/residential/about/transmission-distribution/projects/massachusetts-projects/woburn-to-wakefield-line-project
Tara Hughes is the President of Winchester News Group and a Town Meeting Member. Photo courtesy of Laura Conti.