Deal on Fernald Center in Waltham a Possibility, Officials Say
City Councillor Tom Stanley recently talked about how the city could acquire the Fernald Center.
While details have yet to unfold, a possible deal for the former Fernald Center has emerged, according to City Councillor Tom Stanley.
According to Stanley, under an idea recently generated among state and city officials, Waltham could take ownership of the site through a “sale/partnership” for a “fair market” price. Under the plan, state lawmakers would have to approve special legislation to sell the land to the city, Stanley said.
The facility, located on Trapelo Road, provides services to developmentally-disabled individuals.
The state decided to close the Walter E. Fernald Development Center in 2008, but the center remained open after residents filed appeals against being transferred to other facilities, according to the Boston Globe. The appeals are still pending, Executive Office of Health and Human Services Spokesman Alec Loftus said.
Thirteen residents are still receiving services at the Fernald site, according to Loftus. Also, 93 full-time employees work at the site, he said.
Stanley, who is also a state representative for Waltham, made the Fernald announcement during the Monday, Feb. 25, City Council meeting. He said the idea recently emerged during a meeting with the Massachusetts Division of Capital and Asset Management.
“What came out of the meeting I had… was really a new idea, a new concept from the state, which I believe is very intriguing and very interesting,” Stanley said.
Stanley has asked Mayor Jeannette McCarthy to attend the Monday, March 4, Committee of the Whole meeting at City Hall to give more details on the proposal.
McCarthy told Waltham Patch she was aware of negotiations about the site but could not comment further until the pending appeals are resolved.
Stanley made the announcement in the wake of little development with the disposition of the site. In October 2011, McCarthy told the Council that DCAM would soon present a proposal to the city, but no proposal was ever issued.
DCAM could not be reached for comment.