Update on the capping of Rocco's.

Sure glad I don't live on the truck travel route....93 to Dascomb Rd. to Shawsheen, over Bridge to South St.! It's going to be a two year nightmare for those residents.

I Know it needs to be done but seems our illustrious leaders could have fought harder on the Town's behalf but then what else is new?

Click here for the full report:

Karin Theodoros Zaroulis January 19, 2014 at 09:47 PM
Bob, You are 100% RIGHT... Property owners have a right to what is called " Quiet use and enjoyment"... Clearly the Town Manager and the selectmen have not yet taken the steps to preserve that right in that neighborhood. Without Argument, Rocco dump needs to be cleaned up and capped, but those nearby homeowners, all of whom had nothing to do with creating the condition that needs to be remedied, and all of whom trusted that the Town had protected them from this affliction, have a right to not be subjected to the upcoming disruption of it’s clean up, especially not for 2 years... The BOS needs to establish a less intrusive plan of remediation. What it is shaping up here appears to be wrong, but the Manager and BOS can still fix it with some kind of circumventing traffic plan. I hope the Manager and BOS both step up to the plate and completely eliminate the inconvenience and imposition on the abutters. Its dead wrong to make those hard working homeowners pay the price of cleanup, by subjecting them to blight of the anticipated truck trips. They are not being accorded the quiet use and enjoyment that the Government they pay taxes to should be protecting for them... That Rocco Dump thing does need to be capped, but the BOS needs to protect and shelter the homeowners and the neighborhoods from even knowing its going on... The BOS should NOT be taking the cheapest and easiest way out. The need to establish a traffic flow plan for those haulers and other vehicles back and forth and demand that it be followed People have a right to go home to peace and quiet in their hard earned homes and to not have to worry their children will be run over by trucks plowing up and down the streets. The BOS needs to devise a plan for clean up that does not impact the abutters within a t least a mile…
Donna Marie Robitaille January 20, 2014 at 09:53 AM
Karin You are taking a first step which is needed to release the residents of this commotion caused by a poorly in place plan. IF there were well thought of attempts to lay out a better plan, the town manager ought to use them to proceed. The entire process should be stopped until a plan to act accordingly is produced. Town Manager should put an executive order to cease work until such measures of improvement can be achieved. RESIDENTS SHOULD DEMAND THIS HAPPENS> I think the fact you stated about taking the cheap way out is an excellent point. Eventually ,someone is going to make a lot of money from that site.There will be huge profits from development of surrounding land. Make them pay not YOU. Again, we here in South Tewksbury should insist the rights of homeowners are protected and that town officials step up to examine how to make it right. As for now, the plan is wrong and clearly a disservice to those that live there from their own town.
Gerald Carrigg January 20, 2014 at 07:36 PM
How are they going to get area if not south street? Any other way I can not think of any to bring up to bos.
Karyn January 20, 2014 at 07:52 PM
Originally I believe there was discussion of a temporary slip ramp from I-93 to the dump site which in my mind would have been worth the effort to lobby for on behalf of the Town/residential neighborhoods affected. IMO, would have been much more effective and efficient to shorten the duration of the cleanup effort. In any case, I think it is a moot point now.
Bee Free January 21, 2014 at 07:19 AM
was any of you at the meetings? EPA sets the route an schedule. you could haven been there to speak up
Donna Marie Robitaille January 21, 2014 at 10:36 AM
Dear Bee Free Residents do not have to stand and be heard in order for State and Federal officials to be aware of South Tewksbury residents and local town officials concerns. They are well documented from the start. Also, that it is to be the Town of Tewksbury which dictates the route and schedule according to records. From the arrival of the EPA to Tewksbury,we have been promised the least impact to residents will occur. It may be too late for a ramp(which should be the way in) but it is not too late for other measures to be put in place. Go to the minutes of the first meeting between Tewksbury and the federal agency EPA. We are a host community in this project and they are our guests, according to their own words. All of us bear the burdens of environmental cleanup in this country however homeowners shall not be unduly infringed upon during the process. Speaking for this plan, keep in mind it is not just out of the goodness of our hearts did we jump on the bandwagon for this capping of Roccos dump. There will be huge profits from the good land surrounding this area once cleanup is complete. I can only hope and pray that it is the ROCCO FAMILY that will see that return for the value of their land,and not the town of Tewksbury from a taking of their land.
Tewksbury2001 January 21, 2014 at 11:23 AM
What does this mean. Can you clarify the situation? "I can only hope and pray that it is the ROCCO FAMILY that will see that return for the value of their land,and not the town of Tewksbury from a taking of their land. "
Karyn January 21, 2014 at 11:32 AM
Speaking for myself, as a matter of fact I was...going back to mtgs. early on in the process. Residents DID speak up but THEY are not the Town and State LEADERS who should have been the ones to go to bat for the Town's best interests. It's bad enough we are stuck with the cost of our share of the clean up when the bulk of this took place long before 'our time' but I can UNDERSTAND that....it NEEDS to be done. However, neighborhood residents don't need to be getting the shaft in order to accomplish that, IMO.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 21, 2014 at 03:06 PM
Dear Tewksbury2001, I can only hope and pray that the Rocco Family will see return on the value of their land is rather simple to clarify. The Board of Selectmen reviewed the capping of this land years ago,when this all started,and stated with a cleaned dump area..the town could solicit national developers to come in and build on the surrounding good land for huge profits and at the time used examples of how we could spend that money. It has to do with the taking of land for non payment of taxes. It was of my opinion then ..that We got no business talking about developing land that We do not own. I have not been following details but in the case the Rocco family still owes taxes and Tewksbury is still contemplating profit from the cleanup..I stand by my statement. Also,at the time..our Town Hall depts..warned us that we are dangerously close to assuming the position of the stating the taking of land and to be careful in our actions. Obviously, Tewksbury would not want to do so until the land was capped and clean. So at this late date, I hope all keep in mind..It is NOT OUR LAND which surrounds the need to be cleaned area. Also remember the ROCCO FAMILY did right for the Town of Tewksbury in the fiftys' when We needed a dump site. This should be remembered with respect for Mr. and Mrs. Rocco.
Tewksbury2001 January 21, 2014 at 04:38 PM
@Donna- I don't know the back story. I glean from your comments that the town seized the land for non payment of taxes. That is what i did not understand.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 21, 2014 at 04:56 PM
I need to research recent details, but I do not think we took the land for back taxes as it needs to be cleaned. I just state that if the day comes when surrounding land can be used..I hope the Rocco family can have the profits of their land if they have not been able to sell it already due to the need of capping the landfill.
Tewksbury2001 January 21, 2014 at 05:14 PM
@Donna- If that is the case. Didn't we compensate the Rocco's for the use of their land?
Donna Marie Robitaille January 21, 2014 at 05:17 PM
We never should assume the position of taking that land which is exactly what Tewksbury former town manager and other officials did when this all started. Today, I hope someone can tell me that after cleanup is completed,whomever owns the will be useful surrounding property can prevail in their profits from sale or development without interference from the town.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 21, 2014 at 05:25 PM
To the best of my knowledge we never compensated the Rocco Family for anything except give them grieve in later years. I believe Mr.Rocco gave the town of Tewksbury land for a Dump because we needed one and he was a good neighbor.
Who Me? January 22, 2014 at 05:22 AM
The Rocco's failed to pay taxes on the land for over 25 years. Once Tewksbury was identified as one of the primary polluters of the land, and sent a 10 million dollar bill by the EPA, they indeed took the land for back taxes. The Town wants a permanent ramp built from 93 onto the property. This will ensure that South Street is then fully open to thru traffic 24-7, Federal laws are hard to ignore. The land is mostly polluted and or wet. But when money is involved things change. The Residents of South Street need to pick one, a 2-3 year clean up of the land using South Street or a 24-7 use for South Street forever.
Who Me? January 22, 2014 at 05:28 AM
Donna, just an FYI, "Good Neighbors" don't allow the illegal dumping of hazardous waste on their property to make a buck. That waste has harmed the ground water and has harmed people. I'm sure that you are a nice person but with all due respect you should sit quietly today and reflect on your campaign. At the end of the day I hope you realize that you should withdraw from the election as you are totally unqualified to hold elective office. I'm sorry but this had to be said.
Tewksbury2001 January 22, 2014 at 06:07 AM
I would agree with Who Me. If you go back and read all of donnas posts I can't imagine why anyone would vote for her in this election. I have no idea who she is other than reading her posts but if those are any indication of I would be very concerned having her in an elected position
Rusty January 22, 2014 at 08:58 AM
I hope they place a full time POLICE DETAIL at the conner of EAST St and SHAWSHEEN St with the hill and so many trucks using this dangerous intersection.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 22, 2014 at 10:17 AM
Rusty, You are correct and the police detail should be placed there. At the cost of whomever is to gain from the surrounding good portion of land which becomes quite valuable when the dirty area is capped/cleaned! If we already took the land then I assume Tewksbury will profit from there. OR if the EPA wants to be in charge of route and schedule perhaps their pocketbook should be open. Regardless of all, The town of Tewksbury residents should not be at risk during the living of their daily lives at home. It is bad enough we got already heavily traveled with trucks to begin with,to add more danger without needed protection is unlawful. The Tewksbury Town manager should cease the operation off the streets of Tewksbury,until these problems are addressed by action. Yes Rusty call the Town Manager because you are right. POLICE DETAILS TODAY!!
Donna Marie Robitaille January 22, 2014 at 11:06 AM
dear Who Me? and Tewksbury2001..You are wrong to say I am not qualified to serve in our town government. I served four years on the Tewksbury Conservation Commission and three years on the Tewksbury Zoning Board of Appeals. I have an excellent record working with Local and State officials,Town departments,residents AND developers. If you do not like me speaking out to say that the town of Tewksbury should research ways to gain more than just taxes from future development, then don't vote for me. If you do not like me speaking out to say We Need More from future development in order to secure our first responders,put police details or lights at every already dangerous intersections, or to help pay bills , then don't vote for me. If you do not like me saying that Tewksbury is among the very best choices in Massachusetts for a business to be, your eyes must be closed. and FYI The Rocco family was never charged in wrongdoing by local, state or federal officials. The property owner complied through Tewksbury Conservation Commission Cease and Desist Order. That was our dump area too and it never was filed that the hazardous waste was put there with the knowledge of the Rocco family or the town. Also, as for ripping apart my comment which I said out of respect for Mr. Rocco, I can assure that there are many like me grew up to know of The Rocco Family being a good neighbor. Just as we like Krocmal Farm, South Tewksbury residents lived with them and their business for many many years and several generations together happily in the neighborhood, and still do. If you do not like me speaking out to say that, then don't vote for me. You guys can pick on me for the posts. I can take it. NO ,I am not withdrawing from the election,if you don't like it...don't vote for me.
Rob R January 22, 2014 at 02:50 PM
How predictable it has become for certain Patch members to blame everything on the current BOS and TM whenever something of substance comes up. Anyone who cared enough to follow the BOS, Planning Board, Health, and Conservation meetings know the BOS and TM first choice was not to go up and down South St with large trucks while remediating the problem. The final decision makers were at the state level. Do your research on how state government works before throwing stones at local official who did not have the final say in this decision. Your disappointment of not doing enough should be directed at our State Reps, all politicians at the State House and the EPA. Seems like whenever an event or proposal pops up that will change something in this town, certain people automatically complain about the TM and BOS on the proposal or how the town goes about doing it no matter what. My guess is down the road whatever is approved to be built around this area the same people will come out to complain about that change also. This is from the Lowell Sun…..The Wilmington engineering firm Greenman-Pederson Inc. evaluated potential haul routes for the project, ruling out “all” options but South Street as not feasible. (I suggest complaining to them)
Donna Marie Robitaille January 22, 2014 at 03:16 PM
Dear Rob R. Speaking for myself, I surely do not blame the present Board of Selectmen or present Town Manager. I simply want to point out that it is the leadership of this town that has the power to intervene not the residents. Yes we can be heard and we have been. Obviously, the EPA is not living by the handshake it gave our former town manager,Conservation Commission,Senator Ted Kennedy, and representatives of residents. The minutes of this meeting should be examined and our town manager should indeed demand a second look with his say weighing heavily on the decisions of route and schedule as stated will be so by the EPA themselves. Those first days of seeking super funds and then the first decisions should survive what happens today. I respect the leaders of my community then and now.
Tewksbury2001 January 22, 2014 at 08:52 PM
Usually the people that complain most about leaderhsip are the people that have never held a leadership position, never had to make executive decisions, never had to fire anyone, hire anyone, manage a multi million dollar budget, never had to get deposed in a case your company/city may be involved with, never have to give a presentation in front of a crowd, never have to make a hard decision that you know is going to make 50% of the people in the room mad at you... Those are the people that complain the most.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 23, 2014 at 08:08 AM
Dear 2001 Just read your comment.. I woke up thinking the same thing to say to Me. I quickly assured myself, THINGS CHANGE>>PEOPLE DON'T How fitting that you are beginning to understand why I am qualified to sit on the Tewksbury Planning Board. I will keep telling myself as my opinions and beliefs about the Town of Tewksbury, are exposed here on Patch those same things you speak of. So see we are not that different. We just have different views. What I have to say is the same as I feel everyday whether a candidate or not. I do not like to complain or create controversy.It is because of a deep personal concern for this community that my fears and hopes are stated. As for the above, Yes..I have held a leadership position, I have had to make executive decisions AND I was there when WE fired the zoning board members and changed the rules from a five member board to a three member board, I do not like controversy and I disagreed with the ANTI DEVELOPMENT group that started a mini revolution here. I did hold my head up, after serving four years on the Conservation Commission during this time and asked The Board of Selectmen for a position on the NEW and supposedly improved ZBA. At the time, I did my job but I didn't like the change. This community took measures I do not agree with. A three man board is unfair to applicants as you must have three votes to be approved. Three out of Three is unfair. Three out of five is fair. WE did this,to appease the people(a large group unseating selectmen) and point here is that I did my job as an appointed town official although I as a resident disagreed with almost every point of view that side of the political fight. I have known good men to have their head in their hands over budgets as I was here when prop 2 1/2 arrived. Which brings to mind..I watched the Youth Center close. How is it ,at this late date,we let it All in and our teen center is still not funded and appears to be closed forever.. There is no excuse for this. So in recent years,we have managed to approve everything ..seven hotels..Walmart.. Home Depot..Route 1 effect on Main Street.. and WE lose the security of our South Street Fire Station..and forget about the Youth Center. Also REDMEN pay to play high school sports AND STUDENTS PAY TO PARK> I realize these were hard decisions..I am not against leaderships school committee or selectmen for making hard choices. I just believe and know it should not be so. AND If there is anything we can do to research and examine new ways to get more from future some development, We Should! Addressing the above, I have been deposed in my former capacity as a town official, I have had to give a presentation in front of a crowd, AND I have voted more than one hard decision that made most of the people in the room mad. Things change people don't..I am the same girl that grew up here,went to school here,worked here,hopefully did contribute to community here, raised children here and wants to live happily ever after here.What has changed is somewhat silly to explain. Tewksbury 2001.. I suppose you said it best.. People like me do not like to complain.I did a good job during difficult times and I am proud of the decisions made. I am well aware of what we built and how things changed. Most all for the better and for the things that need to be accomplished,such as securing services, attending to dangerous intersections, lift burdens of water sewer bills from residents,Stop charging for High School Sports and Stop Charging Students to Park, Re open Youth Center, These things possibly can be achieved if we find ways to get More from future developments. Whatever happens from here, I know for sure that this community will be alright. Just like it's people..this town will always be what it is. The Best!
Rusty January 23, 2014 at 08:55 AM
Is East st a state road ? Maybe the MASS State Police would be interested in maintaining a full time truck inspection detail during this landfill operation.
Donna Marie Robitaille January 23, 2014 at 09:17 AM
Rusty, i think the Massachusetts State Police will not want or feel obliged to help. As with the State Highway Department.. their views of an already heavily traveled State roads, may be worrisome to them BUT for example..Although the state owns the road They will not own our troubles on Rt.38. I agree with your logic however the Town created the traffic,not them> At the same time,The EPA should HEAR THE RESIDENTS AND TOWN OFFICIALS AS PROMISED WHEN THEY ARRIVED HERE>>And act in the best interests of residents during cleanup operations. The idea of a Fulltime truck inspection and traffic detail There! is a good idea and should be incorporated into their plans. Tewksbury Police should get the details at the cost to the State or town but not from their budget.We should not stand still for less, because every accident strains their services to residents and all traffic woes will strain OUR residents during going about their daily lives. Just as anything that has merit of danger..such as dumping of hazard waste..should be stopped, The EPA should be made to recognize,acknowledge and ACT accordingly for the safety and welfare of TEWKSBURY RESIDENTS>


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