Dedham Select Board forms Dedham Town Green Task Force

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DEDHAM, MA – The Dedham Select Board of Directors unanimously approved at its Wednesday meeting the creation of a six-person task force to review a plan for a city green at the site of the current police station.

The police station will become vacant once construction of the new public facilities building is completed later this year. This move created an opportunity for a different use of the plot. The Dedham Square Planning Committee spent two years gathering feedback from residents and business owners on the best use of the land, and a municipal green was overwhelmingly approved.

However, the original proposal also included the neighboring Verizon building. This building is no longer available for review as part of the project, so the view of the land needs to be scaled down and redesigned.

Last month, the Select Board voted to allocate $2.5 million to the design and construction of the city green.

“As we all know the edge has been working very hard to try and find a solution for the Dedham Police Station site which will be available sooner than we think,” said Select Board member Dennis Teehan . “Really one of the things I think this council has realized over the past few weeks is that it would be a good idea to have a working group to take some of the principles from the Dedham Square planning committee and incorporate them. into an action plan.

He noted that the work of the Dedham Square planning committee included providing “conceptual designs”.

“Our mission is to embed something into reality,” Teehan explained, noting that a task force will help the council achieve that goal. The council would advise City Manager Leon Goodwin on decisions such as applying for qualifications for a designer.

Teehan proposed that the task force should consist of six members – five appointed by the select council and one by the appointed by the Dedham Square Planning Committee and confirmed by the council.

After presenting the motion, Teehan said he would “prefer” two members of the Dedham Square planning committee to be included in the task force.

“It’s not about people,” he said, noting the work the committee has put into the project. “It’s a question of principles.”

He went on to talk about the need for compromise on the project.

“Compromise is an acknowledgment of the limits of our perspective and an acknowledgment of respect for the viewpoints of others,” Teehan said.

Although future generations may not care about the size of the task force, he stressed that they will remember the outcome of the project for generations in what he called “a once-in-a-century opportunity.” .

Newly elected board member Erin Boles Welsh agreed that a seven-member group would be a better option “in recognition of two years of dedicated service” from the committee.

“I think the community feedback that went into the process sets a new benchmark for community decision-making in the city,” she said.

Earlier in the meeting, Boles Welsh thanked the community for electing her to the board.

“I’m really excited to be here,” she said. “It is an honor to be here to serve my fellow citizens of Dedham.”

She thanked her family members for their support and presence at the swearing-in ceremony at the start of the meeting, as well as campaign volunteers, friends and constituents for helping her achieve her goal.

“We are a civically engaged community with great city pride,” said Boles Welsh. “That was demonstrated in our election this year. I am truly delighted to represent your thoughts and ideas over the next three years.”

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