The latest news from Andover Town Offices and around the community.
Town of Andover Newsletter
August 31, 2023 | No. 015

Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Action Grant

Town of Andover Receives State Grant to Advance Flood Mitigation Planning Along Shawsheen River

The Healey-Driscoll administration announced this week that the Town of Andover has been awarded a grant for $81,900 through the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program.


The MVP Action Grant will enable the Town to advance the design of a flood resilience project at the Lower Shawsheen Soccer Field, a priority site identified through previous MVP-funded planning efforts completed by the Town in recent years. Additionally, the grant will support further evaluation of the potential acquisition of properties along the Shawsheen for future floodplain reconnection or restoration projects.


The award marks the third consecutive year that the Town of Andover has received funding through the MVP Program, a state initiative established to provide support to communities in preparing for the impacts of climate change and mitigating damage from extreme weather events.

Elm Square Safety

Town Implements Safety Improvements at Elm Square

The Town of Andover is continuing to take a proactive approach in improving the safety of Elm Square for all users. Throughout August, the Town of Andover has implemented a series of high-priority projects and traffic pattern changes identified through the Road Safety Audit of the intersection conducted in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

Exclusive pedestrian phasing is now in effect in Elm Square. Under this system, motor vehicle traffic is stopped in all directions while walk signals are activated. Slip lanes remain under “yield of pedestrian” control as they are not presently signalized. This replaces “concurrent pedestrian phasing” previously in place in the intersection.

Additionally, right turns on red are now prohibited from Main Street northbound onto Elm Street and North Main Street southbound onto Central Street. “No Turn on Red” signs have been installed at both approaches to enforce this change.

Last week, the center traffic lane on North Main Street southbound was converted to left turn only (onto Elm Street), and an exclusive left turn lane has been added on North Main Street northbound (onto Pearson Street). Signs and new street markings have been added to reflect these changes. 


Two parking spaces on Elm Street near High Street have been removed to improve sightlines approaching the intersection. The Town is also in the process of replacing the the existing pedestrian crossing on Central Street (near Essex Street) with a new crosswalk further away from the intersection to prevent conflicts with queuing vehicle traffic.

Temporary signage and message boards will be in placce at Elm Square for the next several week to alert pedestrians and motorists to these changes.


The Town of Andover is actively monitoring the impact these changes, and continuing to assess additional recommendations identified through the RSA. Visit the link below for more information about the Town's multifaceted approach to addressing safety challenges in Elm Square, including the full RSA report. 

Keeping It Clean
Town Booms Remove Waste and Debris from the

Merrimack River

For the past two years, the Town of Andover has deployed booms on the Merrimack River to collect improperly discarded solid waste and debris that threatens the health of the river. This project was initiated by a private warrant article adopted by Town Meeting in 2021.


Last week, staff from the Conservation Division joined contractors from Clean Harbors to collect and dispose of material captured in three booms currently installed along Andover’s shoreline. Dozens of plastic water bottles, a large plastic drum, carpeting, and a basketball were among the items removed from the Merrimack through this successful operation. Andover’s booms will remain in place through the fall.

MBTA Community Working Group

Working Group Tours Potential Sites for MBTA Communities Mutli-family Housing Zone

The Town of Andover established the MBTA Communities Working Group earlier this year to help guide the Town's process of assessing the requirements of the state's MBTA Communities zoning law and develop potential strategies for its implementation in Andover.  

The MBTA Communities zoning law was enacted in 2012 in Massachusetts and requires communities that host MBTA service to create at least one district in which multi-family housing is permitted as of right. An eligible zone must allow an minimum gross density of 15 units per acre, be located within half a mile of an MBTA station, and have no age restriction and be suitable for families with children.


The law is intended to confront the state's lack of multi-family zoning, a significant barrier to the creation of new housing, and stimulate housing growth in walkable areas closer to public transit hubs.  


The Town of Andover is considered an MBTA community because of its two commuter rail stations. The Department of Community Development & Planning has submitted preliminary reporting to DHCH to comply with regulations, and is seeking input from the community to assess options for creating an eligible district, an effort that has been aided substantially by the newly-appointed MBTA Communities Working Group.


Since the Working Group's appointment in June, its members have hit the ground running -  working to understand the intricacies of the law and engaging the community on how it should be implemented in Andover. In August, the Working Group participated in site walks of the areas around Andover’s two MBTA commuter rail stations to assess their suitability for inclusion in a compliant MBTA community multi-family housing zone. 

The creation of compliant zone would require approval by Town Meeting. The MBTA Communities Working Group and Town Planning staff are committed to providing opportunities for members of the community to learn more and contribute to the process of shaping Andover's MBTA Communities prior to the measure being brought before Town Meeting next year. 


Residents are invited to attend a community feedback pop-up at Memorial Hall Library on Wednesday, September 6th from 10:00 AM - Noon. Stay tuned for more opportunities to learn more and get involved throughout the months ahead. 

Reimagining Old Town Hall

Community Invited to Review Findings of Old Town Hall Adaptive Reuse Study on September 14th

Old Town Hall is a vital community asset situated at the focal point of Andover's active downtown. The building has played a defining role in Andover's history since it was built in 1858, hosting Town Meeting, political and social gatherings, and lectures from visiting dignitaries.


Earlier this year, the Town of Andover initiated a community conversation on how to best transform the facility to meet the evolving needs of the community and to provide the greatest benefits to residents and businesses.


As the process of reimagining Old Town Hall enters its next phase, the Town of Andover will host a community forum on Thursday, September 14th at 6:30 PM. The event will take place on the second floor of Old Town Hall, and will include a presentation on the findings from an Adaptive Re-Use Study conducted this spring. The full report from the study will be released following the meeting.

This spring, the Town conducted a survey to allow members of the community to provide input on potential future uses of the building. The results of the survey will be discussed during the September 14 community forum, and can viewed in advance at the link below. 

Haggetts Pond Rail Trail

Town to Host Second Public Forum on Haggetts Pond Rail Trail on Monday, September 11th

The Town of Andover invites members of the community to attend a public forum on the Haggetts Pond Rail Trail project on Monday, September 11th from 7:00-9:00 PM at the Robb Center, located at 30 Whittier Court. The event will provide an opportunity for residents to learn more about the Town’s plan to convert the existing railbed along the western edge of Haggetts Pond into a fully accessible, multi-use path and to provide input on the design of the project.

The project seeks to enhance the conditions of the existing trail at Haggetts Pond, improve parking options at the site, and to fulfill the longstanding community priority of creating an accessible trail in Andover that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.

The proposed trail would span 1.6 miles, beginning at Bellevue Road and ending at High Plain Road. Plans for the trail include construction of a wooden boardwalk that will offer a scenic vantage point of Haggetts Pond, as well as improved and expanded parking areas on Haggetts Pond Road, High Plain Road, and Bellevue Street. 


Planning for the Haggetts Pond Rail Trail has been in progress since 2016 when the Town commissioned the Institute for Human Centered Design to complete an inclusive design review at the site. The project gained momentum this year with the Town of Andover’s receipt of a $500,000 grant through the Commonwealth's MassTrails program and a subsequent reallocation of ARPA funds to support construction of the trail. 


The upcoming public meeting will mark the second forum hosted by the Town of Andover regarding the Haggetts Pond Rail Trail. The first forum was held on August 16, 2023 at Memorial Hall Library. A recording of that meeting can be viewed at the link below. The Town also hosted a site walk along the trail earlier this week with nearby residents, members of the Commission on Disability, and other stakeholders.


The Town will mail notices regarding the public forum to abutters of the project site in early September. 

Town of Andover Job Board


The Town of Andover is currently seeking qualified individuals to fill various positions within our organization. Learn more about exciting opportunities to join our team and grow your career at the links below, and apply online today. 


Working Foreman - Public Works

Cemetery Laborer - Public Works 

Maintenance Mechanic - HVAC & Mechanical - Facilities

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