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Selectmen to Montuori: Town wants to be part of North Post planning

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SHIRLEY — Heidi Ricci and John Rounds, appointed to represent the town as MassDevelopment resumes planning for Devens’ North Post, have reported the progress of those plans to the Board of Selectmen.

As a result, the board has agreed to send a letter to MassDevelopment Executive Vice Present Richard Montuori stating the town’s continued interest in the process as well as the outcome.

The selectmen signed the letter at their Jan. 7 meeting. It calls for clarification on the master-planning process for North Post and when it might be completed, rare species identified on that parcel and the town’s involvement in discussions with state regulatory agencies, housing-unit numbers, transportation improvements and Mac Pherson Road upgrades.

The final item on the list is of particular interest and importance to the town, said Selectman David Swain.

The board said that in the letter.

“All alternatives should be analyzed, including the potential elimination of Walker Road railroad crossings to enable a new at-grade crossing at Mac Pherson (Road),” the letter states.

It further states that the town has yet to take a position on any of the options.

“Recognizing that planning for the North Post affects both Ayer and Shirley, we would like to work cooperatively with MassDevelopment and the town of Ayer ” the letter states.

It also underscores the possibility that the state agency could be having discussions and making plans without the input of the two towns.

“All key decisions need to be made through an open process that involves the public,” reads the letter.

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