Archive 2008 - 2019

Selectmen Meeting Deals in Imagination, Inoculation, and Contamination

by Eric Niermeyer

As per usual, the Board of Selectmen opened up its Wednesday meeting with a reminder that the town’s water ban is still in effect and will be for the foreseeable future due to the severity of this year’s drought. 

Jeff Ritter, the Town Administrator, then reported that Holliston’s early voting initiative has been very successful, with approximately 500 people casting early ballots so far.  Early voting will continue at the Town Hall at select hours until Friday, November 4th.

It was also announced that there would be a free flu clinic hosted at the Town Hall on Tuesday, November 1st, between 11am and 1pm.  The Board of Health asks that those participating in the clinic bring health insurance cards, though it is not required.

The Selectmen were then treated to a visit by a group of elementary school students who are participating in Destination Imagination, a volunteer-based education program that challenges kids to find creative solutions to open-ended challenges.  Their group is called the Neon Owls and was at the meeting to solicit suggestions for a community service project that they could work on in Holliston.  They encourage any and all ideas to be sent to their email at

This was followed by a meeting between the Selectmen and representatives of Holliston in Bloom, which is fresh off of a successful run at the recent 2016 America in Bloom symposium.  The 2017 symposium will be hosted in Holliston, which presents a significant undertaking for the all-volunteer group.

The Selectmen commended Holliston in Bloom for all the hard work it has done to beautify the town and agreed to set up regular meetings between now and October of next year in order to ensure that the group has sufficient levels of municipal support.  Holliston in Bloom members are currently planning the symposium’s overall theme and working on attracting corporate sponsorship as well as guest speakers and welcome anyone who thinks they can contribute to volunteer.

The Selectmen then consulted an attorney to discuss the town’s options in dealing with the perennial issue of the contaminated Axton-Cross property.  The eight-acre parcel was once home to its namesake chemical company, Axton-Cross, until it went bankrupt in 1991.  The Tron Group, a firm that works with troubled properties, has been administering the building in the decades since and has racked up over $600,000 in unpaid taxes and fees even as the state of the property has continued to decline.

While the fate of the Axton-Cross property remains unclear and the Tron Group remains obstinate, it seems likely that the town will eventually move in to briefly take ownership of the land before selling it to someone who can tend to it in a more environmentally sustainable fashion.

In addition to this, the Selectmen met with Mark Ahronian, the town's Tree Warden.  Ahronian catalogued the health of twelve newly planted trees, contemplated the idea of applying for a Tree City USA designation ahead of the America in Bloom symposium in order to acquire government grants and prestige, and discussed his departure from the Tree Warden position at the end of the year.

Lastly, the Selectmen also agreed to establish a baseline traffic count on School, Spring, and Pleasant Streets in anticipation of next year’s installation of traffic lights in the downtown area. 

Comments (1)

Hi Eric, Nice reporting could you also add in the article about the Tree Warden discussion with Selectmen thank you Mark Ahronian

Mark Ahronian | 2016-10-27 06:47:58