Watertown-Cambridge Greenway Construction Schedule Announced

The last section of the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway, a bike and pedestrian path, will begin construction in late summer or early fall. 

A letter sent out by Leo Roy, commissioner of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), announced that the project will begin soon, and will create 1.25 miles of path along the former Boston & Maine Railroad tracks between Arlington Street/Nichols Avenue/Crawford Street intersection in Watertown and the entrance to the Cambridge Water Department at Fresh Pond. It will connect to the section already completed from Arlington Street to School Street in Watertown which is also referred to as the Community Path. “The trail will offer additional opportunities for transportation and passive and active recreation and physical activity, while promoting community and economic growth through increased connectivity,” Roy wrote. “The multi-use Greenway will provide an important regional connection linking the Charles River Path system, the Minuteman Bikeway, the Alewife Greenway and the Mystic River Reservation into an interconnected off-road pathway network.” The new section of the path will be 12 foot wide paved trail with two foot wide grass strips along both sides, according to the letter.

Hundreds Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Watertown Senior Center

In the early 1990s, having a place for seniors in Watertown to call their own and run activities aimed at older adults was just a dream, but that changed 25 years ago. On Friday, the Watertown Senior Center’s anniversary celebration was so large even the center on Marshall Street could not hold all those wanting to join in the fun. 

Most years, the Senior Center’s birthday celebration draws 90-100 people, but for the 25th anniversary nearly double that amount filled 20 tables at Hibernian Hall. The Celebration included lunch, a raffle and dancing to music from the Phil Cefalo Band. The Senior Center’s own Mellowtones also performed. The ground breaking for the Watertown Senior Center took place on June 11, 1993.

Republican State Committeeman from Watertown Endorses Senate Candidate

The following information was provided by the Geoff Diehl for Senate campaign:

Today Representative Geoff Diehl, the endorsed Republican candidate for U.S.
Senate, announced that he has received the endorsement of Republican State Committeeman Steve Aylward, of Watertown. “I am proud to endorse Geoff Diehl for U.S. Senate. He has been a great leader on fighting for taxpayers, standing up for victims, and demanding accountability at the State House,” said Aylward. “I am honored to have received Steve’s endorsement. His strong support will help us win Watertown,” said Diehl.

Reduced Number of Apartments in Morse St. Project Pleases Planning Board

Developers of the former massage school on Morse Street went back to the drawing board and came back with a new design for an apartment building that pleased that Planning Board. Wednesday night, the Planning Board voted to recommend to the Zoning Board (which will make the final decision on the project) that it approves the latest design. The project will need a special permit to switch from a commercial to a residential use. The first proposal sought to make 45 apartments in the complex at 101-103 Morse Street, just off Watertown Street. The Zoning Board told developers it was too dense, so the designers came back with a 40-unit apartment building in June 2017.

See a Mock-Up of a Taller Tower at the Arsenal Yards Site

On Monday, June 18, 2018, the developers of the Arsenal Yards project — the former Arsenal Mall — will hold a community meeting to discuss a proposed amendment to allow a building 67 feet higher (197 feet total) than allowed under current zoning. The Town has shared a slideshow that will be used at the meeting which shows a rendering of the taller tower. According to the slides, the taller tower would have the same number of units (122) as the 129-foot-tall tower, but would have a different look. Besides being taller, it would be thinner, and have more glass, according to the rendering. It would also have no studios, but would have a penthouse.

Planning Board Approves Fourth Phase of Arsenal Yards, Including the Plaza

The fourth phase of the renovation of the Arsenal Mall, which will create a plaza surrounded by restaurants and retail stores with apartments on top, got the approval of the Planning Board Wednesday night. 

The two main sections of Phase 4 of the Arsenal Yards project will be built around an area that will be shared by pedestrians and vehicles, and is designed to allow outdoor seating for restaurants that look out on the area. The whole area is designed to be blocked off to traffic and used for events such as a fair, a farmer’s market or other gatherings, the developers told the Planning Board. Building C will have 27,500 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space on the ground floor, with 130 apartments on five floors of housing above.

Watertown Resident Interning for Senate Candidate Geoff Diehl

Today Representative Geoff Diehl, the endorsed Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, announced that Watertown resident Samuel Ford will be interning for his
campaign. “I am happy to have Sam as an intern and I believe he will be a great asset to the campaign. Sam is one of the many young interns on the team and I believe their energy and passion will help contribute to an election day victory,” said Diehl. Regarding his new internship with the campaign Ford said, “I am honored to be a part of the Diehl campaign team and I look forward to helping him succeed. This will be a great learning opportunity and I hope to gain valuable experience.”

Ford is currently a history major completing his junior year at UMass Amherst.

Town Council Approves Major Raise for Watertown’s Town Manager

Watertown Town Manager Michael Driscoll received a raise of more than $20,000 Tuesday night after the Town Council approved giving him raises in two previous years. Changes to the Town Manager’s salary must be made by an ordinance approved by the Town Council. The Council unanimously approved the ordinance Tuesday night that increased his annual salary by $23,000. The ordinance passed on Tuesday listed some of Driscoll’s accomplishments during his time as manager, including raising the town’s bond rating to AAA by Standard & Poor’s, paying off the town’s unfunded retirement system by July 1, 2019 (years before other communities), saving money for the town by entering town employees into the Government Insurance Commission’s group health insurance, and high marks from the state’s Division of Local Services after a full financial management review. Driscoll’s previous salary was $172,500, and the ordinance passed Tuesday included a raise to $184,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 and to $195,500 in Fiscal Year 2018, the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.