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Our Toxic Reality

Attleboro residents have been sold out with regards to the situation with the Attleboro Landfill.

It was interesting to see the headline "A Toxic Legacy" in Sunday's issue of  and more interesting to see a local supporting piece titled "Our Toxic Legacy." Both stories are about Brownfield projects that are in place or have the means of financial support through several federal and state sources. 

Although these projects are important, we here in Attleboro's Ward 4 are faced with a toxic reality of our own with ZERO funding.

The  has been under an enforcement order from The Massachusetts Department Of Environmental Protection to complete the capping and closure of this site on Peckham Street since the 1990s. Studies concluded that there was and will continue to be a potential for contamination to the groundwater until the eight- to 10-acre landfill is properly capped.

There was a public meeting on Aug. 14 in Norton to provide residents with informational material and discussion on a proposal by contractor EndCap Technology to cap and close this site. The concerns expressed from the citizens ranged from the high volume of incoming trucks that would be traveling down Norton residential roads and streets to the landfill, to environmental, health and safety concerns in terms of the additional slightly contaminated debris, dirt and soil needed to shape and cap the landfill.

From where I sit, it appears that Norton may very well be in the driver's seat holding the key to what could transpire with the effort to complete the capping and closure of the landfill. Of course, DEP is ultimately the one who would start the engine.

Norton, whether they know it or not, find themselves in a very good position on this issue. They could virtually name their own price on a tipping fee that could generate a huge chunk of revenue for the town.

The reason for this possible windfall to the town of Norton is that they are the last holdout from the following dealings. 

In 2009, an agreement was reached between the city of Attleboro and EndCap to grant the contractor use of a specifically designed outbound route that would allow a minimum of 35 trucks per day to travel from the landfill on Peckham Street down Pike Avenue, out to Pleasant Street and onto Starkey, Holden and North Main Streets to Route 95 North. According to the proposal, this would take place Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for at least three years.

As the representative of Ward 4, I am appalled that my neighbors and friends, particularly those living along the proposed truck route, have had no input or choice but to accept this outcome. Ward 3 residents have a stake here as well, since the trucks will be traveling on Starkey, Holden and North Main Streets.

Just the other day, Taunton asked for a mitigation agreement. If you read into this as I do, it means Taunton can be bought.

Attleboro residents have been sold out. Taunton says show me the money. And Norton, well, it remains to be seen. Whether they know it or not, no pun intended, they appear to have hit pay dirt here.

Jonathan Weydt is the Ward 4 representative on the Attleboro City Council.

Sarah August 29, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Thank you Jonathan for opening up discussion about this very important issue. I applauded your courage in placing YOUR ward 4 constituents needs first. I wonder if Frank Cook the Ward 3 City Councilor/ City Council President even knows that he is supposed to advocate for anyone OTHER than the Mayor. (Shame on you Frank) The public needs to be educated about how the capping will have an HUGE impact on everyday life. Every 8 minutes, 7 days per week trucks will be clogging Pleasant and Holden Streets. Two roads that are already challenging to navigate. How about children waiting for the bus? Homeowners, businesses and pretty much everyone will be negatively impacted. This deserves more discussion and alternative routing. Perhaps Frank will allow his constituents to speak freely to council about this….. Oh wait, he will probably waive the reading of any communication and make people wait until 11pm to have their legal right to speak.
Wayne Lacroix August 29, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Back in 2009, Did the city allow any public comment from residents before this agreement was signed? Is the city on the hook for more money? What is the opinion of Norton residents and their officials? Can Patch get a copy of the Attleboro agreement?
blueskies August 29, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Down pike to pleasant? Over the old bridge located on this route? I thought there was no thru trucking on this section of Pike? No comment from Mr. Kirby? Isn't his house on this route? Thank you Jonathan for getting involved.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Hi Wayne. I have attached a copy of the agreement to this article.
Sarah August 29, 2012 at 08:20 PM
I wonder if there was public comment on this matter? Although I am certain even if there was the Administration would ignore it. Perhaps now is the time to involve the community? How do we do this? How does John q. Public get a meeting with the Mayor and City Council? How do we get them to be more open and honest and work for US??? My Ward Councilor is Frank Cook. I have called him on many occasions with regard to issues (ARA, Farmers Market, Parking issues, snow removal) and he has never called me back. Not once. I do tune into city council and I have heard him say on more than one occasion that "no one has called me about that" when I know I have. So where do I turn? Where do we as a community go for answers? I am growing more and more frustrated with our City and its current leadership and the disrespect that they show for the people who put them in thier positions.
Roxanne Houghton August 29, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Sarah if you are looking to speak with a responsive City Council member, you should call Councilor Richard Conti, Sara Reynolds, JeremyDenLea, or WalterThibideau. Councilor Mark Cooper is also responsive, although he is a Ward 2 Rep. Possibly Councilor DiLisio? - not sure.. I do know that Councilor Conti answers his phone and returns ALL calls.
Briana Auclair August 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Sarah, The At Large Councilors are Sara-Lynn Reynolds, Brian Kirby, Richard J. Conti, James J. DiLisio, Peter Blais. I have no personal experience with Ms. Reynolds, Mr. Kirby or Mr. Blais (though I would rather chew gravel than have a conversation with him, so I admit that it's more on my part than on his.) However, Mr. Conti is very open to communication as is Mr. DiLisio. I would say if you would like to start with someone besides Mr. Cook (and I don't blame you, after hearing your story about his lack of communication) that those two gentlemen would be the ones to start with. Though like Roxanne mentioned, I have heard Mr. Denlea and Mr. Cooper are very easy to communicate with and get responses from. I am not sure how much help they can be as they are not your Ward councilors but in the future I would contact at least one other councilor on a matter. That way Mr. Cook cannot say he "has no received any calls on that matter." Also- he may be able to deny a call or voicemail happened but he cannot deny that an email was sent, you have too much proof. ;)
Bobby August 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Jonathan Weydt is doing his job,as a person with great knowledge in Commercial Vehicle Safety and trucking these 80,000 lb plus trucks will not LEGALLY scale the load capicity for this bridge on Pike Ave. They will ruin the pavement on this road that already needs work,its a narrow road with school bus traffic and these trucks DO not stop quickly.Who owns the Pike Ave Bridge the city or CSX as if its CSX they will be notfied for sure,so before you let heavy trucks go on a unsafe weight limit bridge in a posted no trucks zone think twice.
Bobby August 30, 2012 at 12:16 AM
CSX Railroad has been nofied as to see if they own the bridge or the city does,they are a very large company out of Jacksonville Fla with 43,000 miles of tracks in this country. I wait there response on this
Jerry Chase September 11, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Isn't there a "no trucking" sign near Miss Spatcher's house on the corner of Pike Avenue and Pleasant Street? I can remember one. Maybe it was discretely "taken down". The Revised Ordinances contain a list of streets with legal restrictions, BTW. The bridge on Pike Avenue is actually fairly new; but there is NO posted weight limit on or near it. The ownership of the bridge is an important issue. And the Northern approach to said bridge at "Bearcroft Junction" is treacherous by definition. I agree with others regarding the safety of YOUNGSTERS along this proposed travel route. Pike Avenue was too narrow 50 years ago, let alone now. And note that there are NO sidewalks on this (and other) road(s), like Peckham Street. Thank you, Jonathan Weydt, for doing a great public service to the City, especially for the residents of Ward Four. Get this material shipped by RAIL, as such would be much safer!
Jerry Chase September 15, 2012 at 08:08 PM
UPDATE: Described sign at Pleasant Street end of Pike Avenue is missing; sign on Pike Avenue near Bishop Street is in place. Attleboro Ordinances Section 10-4.15, Operation of Heavy Commercial Vehicles, lists nineteen streets, or parts thereof, in which heavy vehicle "though" traffic is prohibited. One of these is Pike Avenue, from Pleasant Street to Bishop Street.
Bobby September 26, 2012 at 10:04 PM
CSX Railroad advises this bridge on Pike Ave belongs to the Mass Dept Of Transportation not them. Bridge was done over almost 20 Yrs ago, Mass DOT has been asked to POST this bridge for a weight limit see how long it takes them.
Bobby September 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM
See below Jerry on ownership of bridge-The State!
Jerry Chase October 03, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Thanks, Bobby. I wonder if Rep. George Ross and Sen. Jim Timilty have also asked the MaDOT for the needed and overdue weight limit signage there.
Daniel F. Devine October 03, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Why do Ward Three residents keep voting Frank Cook back in? We had a louzy City Councilor (my opnion) in Ward One & we voted her out. Looks like it's time for a change in Ward Three and perhaps we shouldn't have a life time mayor either. Change is Good.
Daniel F. Devine October 03, 2012 at 10:48 PM
He has to check with the mayor first., Kirby should go too, time for a change.

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