Sale of East Elementary School
The first warrant article discussed by the Stoneham Board of Selectmen Tuesday night at Town Hall concerned the sale of the East Elementary School. The Selectmen approved the warrant article that would “authorize the transfer of the care, custody, management and control of a portion of the former East Elementary School property,” according to the article.
The Selectmen noted that they approved that the sides of the building will be given back to the town for parking after the proposed plan to build three, three-bedroom condominiums on Lot B which consists of 21,102 square feet. The construction will be spearheaded by Larry Russo and two other Stoneham investors.
The payment method of the $300,000 for Lot B was also discussed. The first option is a straight $300,000 to Stoneham. The other option is $250,000 to the town and $50,000 set aside to improve the attached playground and basketball court which will also be handled by Russo. The Selectmen expressed their support of the second option.
Christopher Street: A Public Way?
The second warrant article dealt with making the currently private way, Christopher Street, a public road. The discussion brought Attorney Craig J. Celli before the Selectmen on behalf of an unnamed resident living on Christopher Street.
Celli and the Selectmen discussed the proposition discussed in the warrant article, and the Selectmen cited that the Department of Public Works were against the change as the road doesn't meet public street standards.
“Making Christopher Street a public way would be time consuming, expensive to plow and the DPW doesn't think it makes sense,” said Town Administrator David Ragucci.
Celli defended his position by saying, “[Christopher Street] is every bit as wide as adjacent streets and one street over there is a private way that does get plowed.”
Celli defended his client's position, saying, “most importantly, it's a safety issue. Now you have taxpayers on that street that don't get the same treatment as the rest of the town. What happens if the private plow companies don't do a good job and someone gets hurt? … All we are looking for is plowing.”
The Selectmen formally approved the warrant article for the upcoming Oct. 13 Town Meeting, when the pair of articles will go to vote. However, the Board didn't take a position either favorably or against Celli's argument.