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GA Blog: Topsfield

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5.7.19 Upcoming North Shore Town Meetings in May 2019

Town Meetings are happening this month in two towns on the North Shore. Residents of Topsfield and Danvers should be aware of these important events allowing citizens to contribute their voices to town governance.

Topsfield's 2019 Annual Town Meeting will be tonight, Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 7:00pm at the Proctor School. The warrant can be found here.

Danvers’ 2019 Annual Town Meeting will be held on Monday, May 20, 2019 at 7:30pm at the Danvers High School Auditorium. The warrant can be found here.

The town meetings primarily concern fiscal year 2020 budget and allocations for local development projects.

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3.9.15 Habitat for Humanity Lottery - 2 Ipswich Condos

6-8 First Street, Ipswich, MA

Wicked Local reports that Habitat for Humanity is building two affordable condos at 6-6 First Street in Ipswich, MA.   The two, 3-bedroom, 1.5 bathroom duplex condominiums (“condexes”) will be side by side in one building, originally built in 1890 as workforce housing for the Ipswich mills.  The interior, currently in terrible condition, will be gutted and rehabbed. The exterior will be restored to what it was historically. 

Habitat has already built three homes on Essex Road, across the street from the Bruni Market Place.

The town took the First Street property for nonpayment of taxes and the property is now part of the Affordable Housing Partnership, said Terry Anderson, affordable housing coordinator.  The town put out a request for proposal to rehab the building and chose Habitat for Humanity.

Each condo is to be sold for approximately $130,000, at no interest.  

The homeowner will be chosen by lottery among qualified buyers - those who live or work in Beverly, Danvers, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Peabody, Salem, Saugus, Swampscott, Topsfield, Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Essex, Ipswich, Hamilton, Wenham or Rowley.  The chosen buyer will be requires to spend 400 hours of construction duties as a condition of the purchase.

There are income requirements - the family’s total gross income must fall within the specific ranges based on family size: Three members, $33,880 to $50,820; four members, $37,640 to $56,460; five, $40,70 to $61,020; and six $43,700 to $65,520.

The application deadline is April 30.  

Read the entire Wicked Local article.

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6.17.11 Project Creates Affordable Housing and Improved Home for Food Pantry

The Salem News recently reported that construction of an affordable housing project that is years in the making will begin this week in Hamilton, MA.

Located at 69 Willow Street, Firehouse Place will create a newly improved space for the Acord Food pantry-- which has served for residents of Hamilton, Wenham, Ipswich, Topsfield, Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea-- and will also include four, one-bedroom affordable housing apartment units. When first built the building was used as a firehouse.

The Project is a mission of Harborlight Community Partners, a Beverly-based nonprofit organization, and will be supported by Community Preservation Act funds.

Construction of the project is expected to finish in the fall.

Read the entire Salem News article:

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12.31.10 New Boardwalk Constructed in Willowdale State Park

New Essex County Trail Association boardwalk

The Tri-Town Transcript reported that a new boardwalk in Willowdale State Park in Topsfield was opened in early December that bridges wetlands and connects the east and west sides of the 2,400-acre state park.  The Essex County Trail Association (ECTA) built the 160-foot boardwalk in October using grant money from REI Sports which was awarded in July.

“This bridge will help increase accessibility and opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. REI has shared aspirations and goals with ECTA — to increase stewardship, conservation and recreation in our natural areas,” said Bruce Jurgens, manager of REI’s Reading store. “The new boardwalk will allow for safe access across the wetland.”

The state park, which spans the three towns of Topsfield, Boxford, and Ipswich, contains over 40 miles of trails and buds up against the Bradley Palmer State Park which spans Ipswich, Hamilton and Topsfield. Together the two parks contain 3,100 acres of protected land.

Read the entire Tri-Town Transcript

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12.6.10 Topsfield Farm Receives Grant Money From State

The Tri-Town Transcript recently reported that farms in 25 communities, including one in Topsfield, will be receiving grant money from the Patrick administration for environmental improvements.

Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) Commissioner Scott Soares announced that 35 grants will fund projects that will help protect natural resources from agricultural practices. Meredith Farm in Topsfield was awarded nearly $14,000 in grant money to purchase and install fencing. The DAR’s Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program, will award $465,000 in grants to farms across the Bay State.

“The grants improve environmental quality in rural areas of the state and help our farms become more sustainable by reducing their impact on natural resources,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles.

Read the entire Tri-Town Transcript.

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10.4.10 English Commons “Green” Development in Topsfield

English Commons in Topsfield

According to the Tri-Town Transcript, local developers Carl and Alan Berry, are looking forward to finishing the first phase of English Commons, a 55-and-over Green housing project located off Route 1 in Topsfield.  English Commons will consist of a total of 50 homes built on a 68.5-acre plot of land, with more than two-thirds preserved for open space.

Sales prices for the homes range between $685,000 to almost $800,000.  Green aspects of the community are spread throughout the design, from lights and air conditioning to low impact drainage plans and plants that demand less water.

“This community is one of the first Low Impact Design communities in the area that conforms to the state and local LID requirements. All of the homes are Energy Star certified also,” said Sales manager Mark O’Hara about the fact that the homes use at least 15% less energy than standard homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC).

Read the entire Tri-Town Transcript article.

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