Town Council Approves Design Concepts for Mt. Auburn St. Reconstruction

After many meetings looking at the proposals to reconstruct Mt. Auburn Street, including the controversial road diet, the Town Council voted to approve the preliminary designs Tuesday. The project now moves to the state transportation officials for their input, but there are still many steps before it becomes a reality. 

The Town Council’s Public Works subcommittee recently held two meetings to take a closer look at the plans for the major corridor through town, particularly focusing on Coolidge Square and the business district near the intersection with Common  Street. Residents and business owners had a lot of concerns, ranging from reducing the lanes from two to one each way, loss of parking and loading areas for businesses, and bicycle and pedestrian safety. On Tuesday, Councilors weighed whether to approve the plans recommended by the Public Works Committee, and send them to the state’s Department of Transportation (MassDOT) for the 25 percent design review.

Check Out the Open Houses Around Watertown This Weekend

Watertown has a number of properties hosting open houses this weekend. $649,000 – 256 Sycamore Unit 0, 7 room, 3 bed, 2 bath 2/3 family, Open Houses: Saturday 12-2 Sunday 12-2

$874,900 – 188 Summer St. Unit, 7 room, 3 bed, 4.5 bath townhouse, Open House: Sunday 12-2

$879,000 – 15-17 Hardy Ave, 2 unit, 11 total room, 5 total bedroom, Open House: Sunday 11-12:30

$849,000 – 57 Spruce St., 9 room, 4 bed, 2 bath colonial, Open House: Sunday 11:30-1

$669,900 – 155 Highland Ave., 7 room, 3 bed, 2 bath colonial, Open House: Sunday 1:30-3

$859,000 – 626 Belmont St., 10 room, 3 bed, 2.5 bath colonial, Open House: Sunday 11-12:30

Sponsored by:

$1,269,900 – 37-39 Hillcrest Cir., 2 unit, 10 total room, 5 total bedroom, Open Houses: Saturday 12-2 Sunday 12-2

$565,000 – 151 Coolidge Ave. Unit 510, 5 room, 2 bed, 2 bath high-rise, Open House: Sunday 12:30-2

$785,000 – 199 Coolidge Ave. Unit 105, 5 room, 2 bed, 2.5 bath high-rise, Open Houses: Saturday 12:30-2 Sunday 12:30-2

$575,000 – 37 Hillcrest Cir.

Hosmer School Community Worried About Loss of Field Space, Length of Construction Project

Major renovations are planned for all three of Watertown’s elementary schools, but Hosmer School will go through the most significant changes, and endure the longest construction period. Wednesday night, the School Building Committee visited Hosmer to share the latest plans and hear from parents and neighbors. Concerns included loss of green space and play area, as well as the impact of construction on the students. The school is first up on the schedule of renovations, and current plans call for demolishing the current classroom wing and building a new building on the Mt. Auburn Street side of the current cafeteria/gymnasium building.

See How Much Property Tax Bills Will Increase for Watertown Residents Next Year

The average Watertown residential tax bill will be going up between $160 and $285 next year, depending on the type of property. 

Tuesday night, the Town Council approved the tax rates for Fiscal Year 2019, which includes as 23 percent residential exemption for qualifying properties. They also approved a 175 percent shift from residential to CIP (commercial, industrial and personal) properties. The exemption and shift were approved at the same rate as last year. The average tax bill for homeowners who live in their homes will rise: $160 for single-family homes, $285 for condominiums and two-family homes, and $367 for three-family homes. The rate will be $12.92 per $1,000 of assessed value of properties.

Watertown Field Hockey’s 9-Year Tourney Win Streak Ends With Loss in State Semifinal

BRAINTREE — Something happened Tuesday night for the first time since George W. Bush was in the White House — the Watertown High School field hockey team lost in the State Tournament. 

The Raiders’ nine-plus year, 49 game State Tournament winning streak ended with a 2-1 loss to Dennis-Yarmouth in the MIAA Div. 2 State Semifinal. After one-goal wins in the past two rounds, Watertown again found itself in a dogfight. The Dolphins strategy of packing in on defense and playing for a counterattack frustrated the Raiders in the first half. One of Dennis-Yarmouth’s forays into Watertown territory resulted in two straight corners.

Construction Costs for Watertown’s School Building Projects Up Several Million Dollars

The latest cost estimates for the renovation/rebuilding of Watertown’s three elementary schools are up several million since the last estimate presented to the School Building Committee. On Wednesday night, the project manager and architect presented their latest, best estimate of how much it will cost to renovate and rebuild Hosmer, Lowell and Cunniff elementary schools. The cost of the construction would be $122 million ($56.5 million for Hosmer, $31.67 million for Cunniff and $33.8 million for Lowell) and the additional costs would bring the total up to an estimated $153 million, said Project Manager Shane Nolan of Daedalus Projects. This is an increase of about $5.8 million from the estimate presented in August. About $1 million of the cost increase in the construction budget comes from a change to the project scope to include replacement of all existing windows and doors at Lowell and Cunniff, said architect Scott Dunlap of Ai3 Architects.

Watertown Residents Gather to Honor Veterans Day, Bid Farewell to Veterans Agent

Watertown’s veterans gathered Sunday morning to mark Veterans Day. They also bid farewell to the town’s Veterans Services Officer. 

The celebration of those who are serving and who have served in the United States Military was held at the Pvt. Charles Shutt Detachment of the Marine Corps League on Mt. Auburn Street. Along with the annual events to mark Veterans Day, those gathered bid farewell to Mark Comeiro, who has served as the town’s veterans agent since 2015.