DPW Facility / Senior Center Re-Evaluation Advisory Committee

DPW Facility/Senior Center Re-evaluation Advisory Committee Report to Board of Selectmen - April 2003

The following information comes from page 40 of the 2003 Annual Report, Town of Lexington

Role: To examine the economic and practical implications of the future use of the 201 Bedford Street property occupied by the Department of Public Works and to consider the costs and benefits of various land use options through Requests for Information from various private developers. Land use options, at a minimum, were to include explorations of sale/lease of land to a private party with a Senior Center developed as part of this process and development of a new DPW Facility at the Hartwell Avenue landfill site; joint DPW/Senior Center Facility at the 201 Bedford Street site. Also to gather citizens' input about the proposals through a series of public hearings and to report to the Selectmen the best possible reuse of 201 Bedford Street that will allow the Town the opportunity to build a new Senior Center and a new Department of Public Works facility and determine the financing strategies that might be pursued.

Appointed: By the Board of Selectmen: Chair Paul Lapointe (Council on Aging); Donald Chisholm (Council on Aging); Michele Ciccolo; Marshall Derby; David Eagle; Donald Graham (Council on Aging); Steven Hurley; Peter Kelley (citizen/selectman); Board of Selectmen liaison Bill Kennedy; Board of Selectmen liaison Jeanne Krieger; Barbara Lucas; John McWeeney; Capital Expenditures Committee liaison John Rosenberg; Appropriation Committee liaison Sheldon Spector. Town Staff: Director of Public Works Bill Hadley; Director of Social Services Heather Sweeney; DPW Management Analyst Kelly McKay Zeoli.


  • Prepared written and oral reports to the Board of Selectmen and the 2003 Town Meeting.
  • The DPW Facility/Senior Center Re-Evaluation Committee, with only one dissenting member, recommended that the "best possible use" of 201 Bedford Street would be as a combined-use site for a new Senior Center and a residential development by a private developer. This, and also building a new DPW facility at the Hartwell Avenue landfill site, meets the Committee's criteria. This scenario would:
    • Have minimal adverse impact on DPW's services to the community, yet create opportunities for efficiencies and productivity gains within DPW's operations that might offset annual incremental operating costs estimated to range from $42,000 to $75,000;
    • Allow the Town to make progress toward some of the goals expressed in Lexington's shared vision for the year 2020, including:
      • Expansion of eldercare services
      • Preservation of the physical character of residential neighborhoods
      • Increased housing options to promote diversity of income and age
      • Increasing protected open space
      • Creation of alternative revenue sources
    • Generate up to $525,000 in net annual incremental revenue, depending on the extent to which incremental town service costs offset incremental real estate taxes, payments in-lieu-of taxes, or annual lease payments;
    • Result in one-time revenue ranging from $1,000,000 to $14,677,000 from the sale of 201 Bedford Street, depending on the type of residential development and the extent to which private developers might assume costs of environmental cleanup and/or contribute to building a new Senior Center or new DPW facility;
    • Preserve the option for private development of 6 to 8 acres at the Hartwell Avenue site, creating further opportunities to generate revenue from the sale or lease of part of the site, as well as from incremental real estate taxes or payments in-lieu-of taxes;
    • Create sufficient alternative revenues to avoid the need to rely entirely on debt exclusion overrides to finance the costs of a new Senior Center and new DPW facility.
  • Participated in 90-minute recess at the April 28 Town Meeting to allow Town Meeting members and other interested parties to comment on the Committee's report. Summarized comments to develop the following agenda for further investigation and analysis
  1. Re-evaluate program requirements, space needs, alternative conceptual designs, and cost estimates for both a new Public Works facility and a new Senior Center.
  2. 2. Consider a multigenerational community center, rather than a "senior" center, that will meet the needs of both seniors and other members of the community.
  3. Invite Planning Board reviews and recommendations as to land use, zoning, residential development, and affordable housing at both 201 Bedford Street and Hartwell Avenue.
  4. Invite Conservation Commission reviews and recommendations as to wetlands and open space considerations that might affect development at both 201 Bedford Street and Hartwell Avenue.
  5. Determine the benefits to the Town of private development at Hartwell Avenue.
  6. Determine historical significance of the trolley barn at 201 Bedford Street.
  7. Evaluate the subsurface environmental conditions at 201 Bedford Street and develop cost estimates of remediation for different types of uses.
  8. Perform traffic counts and studies in the vicinity of both 201 Bedford Street and the Hartwell Avenue site.
  9. Re-evaluate the pros and cons of locating both a new Senior Center and new Public Works facility at 201 Bedford Street.
  10. Determine the net incremental operating costs or savings of consolidating all Public Works operations at Hartwell Avenue or leaving some operations at 201 Bedford Street.

End of 2003 Town Report page 40