By Adam Swift
The Town Council held a public hearing Tuesday on the taking of just over 60 temporary town easements for the Revere Street reconstruction project scheduled to get underway next year.
The $6.4 million state-funded TIP (Transportation Improvement Project) will include a half mile of Revere Street from the intersection of Revere, Main, and Winthrop streets to the intersection of Highland and Crest avenues and Revere Street. The project includes the reconstruction of both of those intersections with improved traffic signals, along with a bicycle lane.
â€œWe have been working on the Revere Street TIPs project for a while,â€ said Town Manager Tony Marino. â€œOne of the requirements of MassDOT is that we take a look at all of the potential easements, temporary easements along Revere Street and some of the side streets. What they are, a lot of them are sidewalks that have been in place for a long period of time and people may not have known that they owned a small portion of it.â€
MassDOT requires the town to have all the easements in place so that once the project starts, someone doesnâ€™t come forward to file something that could halt the project, Marino said.
A few months ago, the town manager said the town sent out letters to let the property owners know about the easement takings. The town then sent out an appraiser to look at the temporary easements needed for construction as well as the handful of permanent easements needed for the project.
â€œOnce all these easement reports were done for approximately 67 parcels or so, the appraiser then hired someone to review his work,â€ said Marino. Out of the two sets of appraisals, a document was created listing all the properties, the appraised values, and the process for the taking of the properties, which need to be approved by the Town Council.
â€œThe next step here is that the council votes the order of taking, then there is a certification of the vote,â€ said Marino.
The total appraised value of all the easements was $719,800, according to Marino. While the construction itself is being paid through the state, the easements will be paid for through ARPA federal Covid relief funds.
If someone wants to dispute the amount of the payment from the town, they need to take their check, and then they can challenge the appraisal amount by having their own appraisal done, Marino said.
â€œNot many people have asked about that, but certain people have,â€ said Marino.
Precinct 5 Councilor Joseph Aiello said that once the Revere Street project gets underway, the town has to make sure it properly communicates the impact it will have on abutters, residents, and commuters.