Town officials have said all along that they would seek resident input during the process of developing the Yentile Farm land. With a new community survey currently available online, there’s no better time than now to weigh in.
The eight question survey asks about desired activities, concerns and other input that will help inform the Yentile Farm Development Committee of the residents’ wishes.
Judy O’Connell, a Wilmington selectman and the head of the committee, said the town is also reaching out to every group that could take advantage of the property. That includes the high school athletics department, local youth sports groups, Recreation Commission, elderly services and more.
“Everyone is really looking forward to something being developed at that site,” said O’Connell of the roughly 20 acres of Cross Street land. “We want it to be a recreational site for all ages, so we want to be practical as to what makes the most sense. We want to know the wish list of the community. It’s a site that can only be developed so much, so we won’t be able to put anything and everything we want. But we want to pick a high priority list and try to work with that to utilize the property so it’s something the town can be proud of.”
O’Connell said it’s too early to know an exact timeline for the project and what it may cost. But the committee is working on finding alternative methods of planning and funding.
That includes reaching out to local architectural colleges to see if any would be interested in having its students take on design efforts. It’s likely that colleges would likely do so at no cost, though some ask for a donation in exchange.
Development Committee members are also going to be looking at other communities who have already been through a similar process to develop a list of best practices.
To complete the survey, residents can log onto this website or visit Town Hall. The survey can also be completed from the Wilmington Public Schools, Wilmington Memorial Library and Town of Wilmington websites. For questions about the committee and its efforts, contact the Town Manager’s Office at 978-658-3311 or via email at email@example.com.
In February the Board of Selectmen will be updated on the progress being made in the planning. O’Connell said it’s likely that an update of some kind will come before resident’s at Town Meeting, though it’s unclear exactly what that update will consist of.
“There is a lot that goes into this to make sure that every aspect has been fully and thoroughly explored,” said O’Connell. “We have to make sure we’re going about this the right way. We don’t want to expedite it too quickly. We want to do our due diligence. We want to be expeditious, but also practical and prudent. It’s a fine line between rushing or taking a step back and making sure the end result meets our goals and objectives.”