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The Yankee Express

Webster’s Campground, Water Projects, High School Renovation Project

Webster's Planning Board will hold a site plan review for renovations to Bartlett High School on Nov. 13.

By Janet Stoica

According to Webster’s Town Administrator, Richard LaFond, enforcement issues began over 10 years ago for Webster’s campground business on Route 16. “A campground is a facility that must be inspected annually,” states LaFond. “After this year’s inspection the violations of health, safety, and zoning were documented again and enforcement began. The proper course of action after a property owner does not comply with local enforcement action is to go to court. This is not uncommon but a normal part of an enforcement process. In fact, we have one other property owner in court at this time. In the original order it was actually the property owner, Mr. Michael Finamore, who invited the judge to personally inspect the property and the judge accepted the offer visiting the site with an engineer and a court officer. It was during this inspection that the judge determined that the property was uninhabitable and a campground occupant departure schedule was created for each group of occupants. As the campground owner has scheduled a water shutoff on October 25, all occupants’ departures should be completed by this date.”
The October 30 Annual Town Meeting will have seen the results of three water project articles. As of this writing, the Town Meeting had not yet occurred. The first article concerns funding of $3.8 million for the water meter replacement program. It has been determined that the town’s water system is losing about 26 percent of revenues due to outdated meters. Two other articles on the warrant include funding of $4.5 million for water main replacement/construction along Route 16, North Main Street, and Upland Avenue; transfer funding for security cameras at the animal shelter; new rules and regulations for Memorial Beach; purchasing and installing public safety boat docks at Memorial Beach; false alarm fines; May Street park renovations; and new bylaws for historic buildings.
Webster’s Bartlett High School renovation project has received permitting approvals from the town Conservation Commission and on November 13 will have a hearing with the Town Planning Board for approval of the site plan project according to Town Administrator LaFond. “The project has gone out to bid and the general contractor bids are due by mid-November, so hopefully we’ll have shovels in the ground by year’s end. Much has gone into this long road between the architects and our Town Engineer. We’ve put a lot of work into this. The Massachusetts School Building Authority funding along with our town funding will, for all intents and purposes, have made this 44-year-old school into a new building after renovations. Classroom space, vocational areas, just about everything will be state-of-the-art and built for our students of this era. It’s a great time for Webster students, teachers, and administration.”
Webster’s Lake Street has now become the town’s showcase of new travel. Two coats of asphalt have been applied to the roadway along with appropriate pavement markings. After months and months of new water and gas piping installations, the street is now complete and is bound to make many drivers happier than they’ve been in years giving them the opportunity to drive on a clear and smooth surface compared to their past obstacle course frustrations. 
Lastly, the town has met with its State Representative and Senator to discuss state assistance for the maintenance of Webster Lake since the body of water is state-owned. There is much ongoing maintenance necessary to keep the lake in great condition for its residents and summer visitors which includes algae and invasive plant species mitigation. LaFond stated that he is looking forward to a partnership between the town and the state. Over the years the Webster Lake Association has been greatly instrumental in the caretaking of the lake as a benefit for all citizens and state funding and assistance would greatly enhance their efforts. 
Contact Janet:  [email protected]