AYER — With negotiations on the future of Devens continuing through the Joint Boards of Selectmen (JBOS), the selectmen are seeking direction from constituents.
The May 29 discussion centered on success criteria and what the town wants to see at Devens.
Selectmen Chairman Pauline Conley began discussions by recommending that the board review the proposal to create a town at Devens, which failed last fall. She said she opposed that measure, primarily because it required housing at the North Post, which would return to Ayer through that deal.
With negotiations resuming, Conley asked residents to get in touch with the selectmen or selectmen’s office with feedback.
“Let us know what you agree with and don’t agree with, so we can represent your interests,” she said. “I want this to be as inclusive as possible.”
Selectman Frank Maxant suggested the town instead return to the criteria adopted for Devens in 1993, when the base was envisioned as having industrial development to benefit the tax bases of the host towns.
That would go against the recent Town Meeting vote, said Selectman Carolyn McCreary. Residents indicated at that meeting that they’re open to the idea of a new town at Devens, she said.
The board should consider all options, said Maxant, including a scenario in which Ayer takes jurisdiction over areas currently in Harvard. He said he’s been working with a professional familiar with Devens to produce a report on development and potential there.
“We can expect in the next few weeks to see this information in dollars and cents how much it’s worth to the community, from the standpoint of the original success criteria that was adopted,” he said.
There are likely a variety of opinions, said Conley, but that’s the idea.
“The point of the discussion is we need to get some ideas together to bring to the JBOS,” she said.