EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 9, 2013

Andover's Council on Aging weighs in on Youth Center


How much parking would be created under the project wasn’t clear, as conflicting numbers were referenced at the meeting.

Maria Maggio, acting director of Plant and Facilities, said that the plans will create an additional 41 parking spaces on the site. A separate count by council member Edward Medeiros, referencing a site plan of the paving project, showed only four being created.

In either case, many of the spaces are away from both the Center at Punchard and Cormier Youth Center, which Robb said is unacceptable.

“The major concern that we have as a council is to protect the health and safety of people that use our building,” he said. “These parking spaces are abominable now, and if they get worse, you’re going to have lawsuits on your hands because somebody’s going to get hurt.”

The fundraising efforts of the Andover Youth Foundation also came up at the meeting. In the past year, the foundation — charged with raising a total of $2.2 million before the town provides a dime of its committed $2 million — raised only $100,000 with another $300,000 in pledges waiting in the wings.

Diane Costagliola, chairman of the foundation, said the foundation would hits its goal.

“We have an absolute commitment from everybody that made pledges,” she said. “We will have that money by the time we need to.”

The project will need up to $5 million to be built. Two articles coming to Special Town Meeting on Feb. 11 seek to break the project into phases and move the footprint by around 35 feet due to a wetlands issue.

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