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Stoneham Working to Resolve Tri-Community Bike Path Issues

Before the town enters into a 99-year lease with the MBTA there are some land concerns that Stoneham wants addressed first.

The town of Stoneham anticipates signing a 99-year lease with the MBTA for a parcel of land that starts in Stoneham and runs through Woburn as part of the Tri-Community Bike Path, but not before some concerns Town Administrator David Ragucci has regarding the area in question are addressed.

"The town of Stoneham has a lease with the MBTA for the parcel of land that starts at Maple (Street) and goes through Woburn which is part of the bike path," Ragucci said following Tuesday night's Selectmen's session. "Over time there has been fill placed there by somebody. When the engineers went to look at that section, the grade now is not conducive for a bike path; it's just too steep.

"So, somebody is going to have to take some of that dirt out of there to make it acceptable as a bike path."

"What we're looking to do is to extend the lease agreement that says we're taking that land as-is," Ragucci continued. "My concern would be that if we take it as-is somebody might turn around and say 'Hey, the town of Stoneham knew the dirt was there, you knew it wasn't conducive for a bike path because of the slope and you're responsible for taking the dirt out.' That's unfair to the taxpayers of Stoneham.

"If we're going to do it as a Tri-Community, as I think we will and should, we all should commit to cleaning it up with the TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) (funds)."

Ragucci said soon he'll be contacting Woburn Mayor Scott Galvin and Winchester Mayor Richard Howard to discuss the cost to fix up the site "because it's not going to be borne by Stoneham."

mark stevens August 15, 2012 at 02:42 PM
I'd like to know why there is private property located on the old rail-bed?Was this land purchased by land abutters?I'm speaking of the railbed on the south side of Pomworth St. as one area where the tracks were years ago,but now the site has been blocked by out-buildings and equipment.This railbed should be free to walk,in its' entirety,and it shouldn't be blocked by businesses.
A Wilson November 17, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Hello Mark - you raise a common question. There are 5 or 6 locations along the trail that are now being used by business including the Property west of Pomworth St. Most have current leases from the town that expire in 2014 or when the Greenway starys construction, now scheduled for 2015. The business using the trail in the Pomworth St location include Dale Halchak, Trustee of the Manison Almeida Realty Trust and Rotondi Properties. Both started use without permission but did have leases from the MBTA since 2009. The lease on the Rotondi property has now expired and the Halchhak property is close to expiring. The issue with this section is the fill put on the tracks that will prevent public use. The Town of Stoneham is starting to investigate and would like to work with the MBTA to have the business remove in excess of 4000 cubic yards of fill that has been placed on the land without permission. The goal now is to restore this section so that it can be used for public purposes as intended. If you are interested, you can learn more at http://www.tricommunitygreenway.org/ Anthony

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