|Home Page||History and Demographics|
|Date:||November 24, 1997|
|Location:||Town of Billerica, Massachusetts|
The Town of Billerica Massachusetts is part of Middlesex County and is situated 24 road miles northwest of the City of Boston. The town's abutters are Chelmsford and Lowell to the north, Wilmington and Tewksbury to the east, Carlisle and Bedford to the west and Burlington to the south. Regionally, the Town of Billerica is 19 miles north of Boston, 23 miles northwest of Lynn, 45 miles northeast of Worcester, and 205 miles from New York City.
The Town of Billerica is the only town in the United States to bear that name and the sister town to Billerica, Billericay, is located in Great Britian. The Town of Billerica, formerly a King's Grant tract from the colonial days, was incorporated as a town in 1655.
The town, with a population of 10,000 residents, was primarily based in agriculture up to the 1850's, then the Faukner Mills (still standing) and others began business in North Billerica along the northerly flowing Concord River. The town supported a modest level of industrial development until the 1950's. The mills were replaced with a substantial level of industrial development and residential development, largely supported by the town's proximity to the major northeast highway arteries (i.e., Interstate 95 to the south, Interstate 495 to the north and US Route 3 running north and south through Billerica) and stimulated by a relatively poor level of zoning regulations.
The Town of Billerica has become a major regional employer and home to several high technology firms, many of which are offshoots of companies sited along Interstate 95 (a.k.a. Route 128) primarily in Waltham and Lexington Massachusetts.
Billerica has a current population of approximately 38,000 residents. The majority of the new housing stock is located within residential subdivisions created by the Zoning Enabling Act (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40 et al). The town's older neighborhoods are located in the center of town, in North Billerica, Pinehurst (to the southeast) and Nuttings Lake (to the southwest).
The Lowell Regional Transit Authority provides bus service and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) provides rail connections to the City of Boston and the City of Lowell from a regular train stop in North Billerica. The Middlesex Canal, that once provided cross-town water transport, has been preserved, in part, near the Billerica and Wilmington town line along Massachusetts Route 129. In addition to the Concord river, the Shawsheen River in the southerly portion of the town, is the second major waterway in the town and it serves as the emergency water supply of the Town of Burlington. The state operated Middlesex House of Correction located in West Billerica, houses nearly one thousand prisoners and employs a significant staff.
Even though much of Billerica has been developed, there are still large parcels of undeveloped land. The town has its own sewage disposal plant and more that 45% of the residents and businesses have access to the plant via an in-place sewer pipe network.
The town is experiencing a modest level of development, both residential and industrial. The town has attempted to maintain its rural character, and consistent with this intent, has acquired ownership (i.e., at considerable expense) of a number of tracts of open land for preservation purposes over the last ten years.
The total area is 26.39 square miles and the total land area is 25.89 square miles.
The normal average temperatures range from 24°F (January) to 72°F (July) and daily temperatures can occasionally occur from -15°F to 100°F. The normal annual precipitation is 44.8 inches comprised of rain and snow.
"Billerica, Wilmington" is United States Geophisical Survey (USGS) Topographical Plate of reference and the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments is the Regional Planning Agency and the City of Lowell is the Metropolitan Statistical Area (1993 Definition)
Form of Government
A five member Board of Selectmen is the Chief Operating Authority of the town. A Town Manager, appointed by, and reporting to, the Board of Selectmen manages the day-to-day business of the town. An elected 241 member (including the Town Moderator) Representative Town Meeting is the legislative and appropriation authority of the town.
The number of registered voters (certified by the Secretary of State 1992) are 20,444. The total Democrats registered are 7,757 (37.9% of the total registered), the total Republicans registered are 2,492 (12.2% of the total registered), the "Other Parties" registered are 27 (0.1% of the total registered) and the voters independent of party affiliation (Unenrolled) are 10,168 (49.7% of the total registered).
The key governmental officials representing the people of Billerica, Massachusetts are: United States Senators are Edward M. Kennedy (D) and John F. Kerry (D), the United States Congressman is Martin T. Meehan (D), the State Senator is Robert A. Havern, III (D) and the State Representative is William G. Green Jr. (D).
The town's population (1990 US Census) is comprised of 19,133 males and 18,476 females.
The age distribution (1990 US Census) is: Under 5 = 2,787 (7.4%), ages 5-14 = 5,202 (13.8%), ages 15-44 = 19,865 (52.8%), ages 45-64 = 7,185 (19.1%), ages 65 & over = 2,570 (6.8%).
The Race and Ethnicity (1990 US Census) mix is: White = 36,111 (96.0%), Black = 399 (1.1%), American Indian, Eskimo or Aleut = 52 (0.1%), Asian or Pacific Islander = 563 (1.5%), Hispanic Origin = 476 (1.3%), Other = 8 (0.0%)
The number of households (1990 US Census) was 10,645 in 1980, and 11,695 in 1990, up by 9.9% and the household size (1990 US Census) is 3.13 persons per household
The number of households by type (1990 US Census) are: Married Couple Family = 8,036 (68.7%), Male Householder = 383 (3.3%), Female Householder = 1,055 (9.0%), Non-Family Household = 2,221 (19.0%).
Income Distribution (1990 US Census) Households Percent of Total Less than $5,000 174 1.5 $5,000 - $9,999 528 4.5 $10,000 - $24,999 1,222 10.4 $25,000 - $34,999 1,325 11.3 $35,000 - $49,999 2,549 21.8 $50,000 - $74,999 3,608 30.9 $75-000 - $99,999 1,662 14.2 $100,000 or more 619 5.3
The median household income is $50,210, ranked 65 in Massachusetts and the per capita income is $16,395, ranked 181 in Massachusetts.
Sources of Income (1990 US Census) Number of Average Households Income Wage & salary 10,435 $50,738 Nonfarm self-employed 1,381 $20,542 Farm self-employed 48 $8,819 Social Security 2,000 $7,827 Public assistance 441 $3,946 Retirement 1,609 $7,951 Interest 5,357 $2,596 Other 1,789 $4,662
The poverty status (1990 US Census) is 844 (2.3%) of 36,406 persons against the state wide of 519,339 (8.9%) of 5,812,415 persons.
Housing Units (1990 US Census (1990 US Census) Units Percent of Total Total Units 12,005 Total Occupied 11,695 owner occupied 9,630 82.3 renter occupied 2,065 17.7 Total vacant 310 for sale 48 15.5 for rent 152 49.0 other vacant 110 35.5 Owner Vacancy Rate 0.5 Rental Vacancy Rate 6.9 Median Value (owner occupied) = $162,400 Median Contract Rent (renter occupied) = $676 Type of Structure (1990 US Census) Units Percent of Total Single Unit 9,918 82.6 2-4 Units 672 5.6 5 or More Units 1,286 10.7 Other 129 1.1 Year Structure Built (1990 US Census) Units Percent of Total 1989-March 1990 72 0.6 1980-1988 1,452 12.1 1970-1979 2,605 21.7 1960-1969 3,210 26.7 1950-1959 1,619 13.5 1940-1949 862 7.2 1939 or earlier 2,185 18.2 Home Sales (Banker & Tradesman) (1990 US Census) Number %Change 1990 379 -9.8 1991 452 +19.3 1992 593 +31.2
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