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Culvert Replacement options discussed

The Bolton Select Board met on Thursday, Aug. 4, at 2 p.m. to address several time-sensitive agenda items, including a discussion on event-related liquor licensing, culvert replacements, and approval of a cell tower.

Liquor License procedures for LIV Golf Tournament

The LIV Golf Tournament, scheduled to be held at The International over Labor Day weekend, will be professionally catered by an outside organization, requiring the approval of multiple one-day liquor licenses for the catering company over the course of the event. The first agenda item at the Aug. 4 meeting was to determine the one-day fee for a for-profit company, something the town had not been asked to do prior to this event. Town Administrator Don Lowe recommended the fee be set at $100 for each one-day permit. The Select Board unanimously approved the recommendation.

Lowe had met with the executive director of the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC), along with the CEO of the catering company The Catered Affair Inc. and others involved in the event planning. Through that meeting, a three-step process was established to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

 The first step is for the current holder of the All Alcohol liquor license (in this case, The International) to agree to “shrink” their premises as defined on their license. The International will remove their licensing authority from the physical area that will be used by the catering company.  

Once that is completed, the event holder (in this case the catering company) will need to get approval of one-day licenses for each day they will be responsible for the designated space they will be using. The catering company will request seven one-day licenses to encompass Aug. 30 through Sept. 5. The first two days will allow for them to transport liquor into the facility, the second four days will be tournament-related events and the sixth will allow for the removal of the liquor.

The last step, after the event, is to reinstate the liquor license to its original parameters. This is proposed to occur on Tuesday, Sept. 6, the last of the one-day licenses needed.

The procedures were approved unanimously by the Board and will be submitted to the ABCC.

Forbush Mill culvert options

Director of Public Works Randy Heglin joined the meeting via Zoom seeking input from the Select Board on two options for replacing the culvert on Forbush Mill Road. Because there are possible grants associated with the replacement options, a decision needed to be made so that grant opportunities wouldn’t expire.

The most immediate need for replacement is the culvert near the entrance to the Transfer Station. This had been temporarily fixed several years ago, but is in need of a permanent fix, according to Heglin.

Heglin gave an overview of the options for replacement, with the first option being the replacement of the culvert with a new 9-foot, 9-inch span culvert—keeping it less than 10-feet so it would legally not be considered a bridge. The overall cost would be $860,000.

The second option would be replacement with a 14-foot span culvert that would be legally considered a bridge. The overall cost would be $1.4 million.

The costs, however, would be reduced by grants that would be available primarily to the larger span, ultimately making it potentially the lower cost alternative.

Looking at the pros and cons of each size, Heglin noted that after grants, the cost to the town for the smaller span would likely be $460,000 ($567,000 including interest if the town bonded the project.) The construction time would be approximately one month shorter than for the larger one, but would remain in the two-to-three-month range for either one.

But, Heglin noted, the smaller span size would not meet certain FEMA standards and therefore would not be eligible for certain grants to offset the town’s spending. He added that the smaller capacity would be more likely to flood in an intense storm.

The larger spanning bridge, because it would meet FEMA standards, would be eligible for more opportunities for grant funding, potentially bringing the cost to the town down to $200,000. The bridge would have an increased capacity against flooding, and the Mass Dept. of Transportation would take on the responsibility of inspection of the structures.

Select Board Chair Stan Wysocki spoke in favor of the larger bridge option, based on the lower cost to the town with more grant money available.

Board members Emily Winner and Bob Czekanski agreed in a unanimous decision to proceed with the 14-foot bridge option.

In other business

The Board voted unanimously to execute the warrant for the State Primary to be held on Sept. 6 at Nashoba Regional High School.

They also unanimously voted to authorize Don Lowe to execute a lease agreement with Crown Castle for a cell tower at 570 Main Street.

The next meeting of the Select Board will be Aug. 25.