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Ayer’s decision on 2B hinges on other stakeholders

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

AYER — The stipulation that Ayer would only adopt the “2B” scenario if all the other stakeholders accept it was inserted by selectmen Paul Bresnahan at the onset of the meeting.

The board favors Ayer regaining jurisdiction over all its territory at Devens, he said, but it is currently the only stakeholder with that opinion.

The opening motion within the proposal was amended to state that Ayer’s selectmen prefer that the town take back all of its land, and would not adopt the new town scenario if any other stakeholder does not approve it.

With Harvard giving a mixed endorsement of the plan, that could raise questions about how Ayer will proceed.

The Harvard selectmen voted Tuesday to endorse the process moving forward, said town administrator Paul Cohen, but they were not yet ready to support the 2B scenario. They would put that question to voters at the spring town meeting.

The endorsement is a mixed one, said Cohen.

”Technically Harvard has, but, effectively, it hasn’t,” he said. “It was clear it was not an endorsement of scenario 2B.”

With the board split on the question two to two, Cohen said the selectmen felt there was not enough information at this point, and deferred to town meeting for direction.

Bresnahan could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning and Morrison declined comment without firsthand confirmation.

Similar requests for public participation were put forward by Ayer residents during their meeting, said Ayer Selectman Pauline Conley. She was disappointed that her board did not pursue a similar course.

”It’s unfortunate that the Ayer Board of Selectmen is not as concerned about its resident’s input as the Town of Harvard,” she said. “Several residents asked that this be put on the ballot, and voted at spring town meeting.”

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