Town Holding Meeting to Discuss Hazard Mitigation Plan

Natural hazards can have serious impacts on the Town of Watertown and its residents and businesses, and town officials are preparing a Hazard Mitigation Plan to help the town reduce its vulnerability to natural hazard events such as flooding, hurricanes, and winter storms.

Please join the Town for a public presentation of the Draft Hazard Mitigation Plan at a meeting of the Town Council. Questions and comments from the public are welcome at the meeting or afterwards until January 18, 2019. Date: Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Richard E. Mastrangelo Council Chamber, Watertown Administration Building, 149 Main Street, Watertown, MA

For more information, please contact Martin Pillsbury at mpillsbury@mapc.org

Arsenal Yards Developer Pulls Request for Taller Building

A rendering of what a 197-foot-tall residential tower could look like at Arsenal Yards. Developers would have needed a zoning change to allow it to be more than 130 feet tall. The requested zoning amendment, however, has been withdrawn. Boylston Properties, the developer of Arsenal Yards, has withdrawn its request to build a tower taller than is currently allowed by Watertown’s zoning rules. Developers had submitted a request to the Town to increase allowable height in the Regional Mixed Use District (RMUD) — where the mall is located — from 130 feet to 197 feet.

Council Subcommittee Wants Funds to Fix Longer Roads, Unsure About Prioritizing Streets Near Schools

A road after being milled and prepared for overlay of new asphalt.

Last week, the Town Council’s Public Works subcommittee approved a set of roads to be reconstructed in 2019, but the list was limited to smaller, neighborhood streets. During the meetings, Councilors discussed ways to find money to do the longer roads leading from neighborhoods to the main arteries. One of the limitations for reconstructing secondary arteries is money. Council Vice President Vincent Piccirilli said it may be time for the Council to designate funds for rebuilding these roads, also known as collector roads. For the past several years, the Town’s budget has included $2.5 million for road and sidewalk construction.

See What is Opened and Closed on Christmas Day, Including Stores, Restaurants

Most government offices, retail stores and restaurants will be closed on Christmas Day. A few will remain open, at least part of the day. Government

State and Federal offices: Closed

Town Hall: Closed

Library: Closed

Senior Center: Closed

Post Office: Closed

Mass. RMV: Closed

Retailers

Most will be closed, but can be open at owner’s discretion. Liquor Stores: Closed

CVS will be open on Christmas: Watertown Square location will be open 24 hours, the Watertown Street and Mt.

Watertown Residents Can Apply to be in Citizens’ Legislative Seminar

The following information was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger’s office:

Senator Will Brownsberger announced that he is seeking nominees to participate in the 82nd Citizens’ Legislative Seminar (CLS) to be held Tuesday, March 19 and Wednesday, March 20 at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. CLS is a semi-annual educational seminar geared towards adults of all ages interested in learning more about state government and the legislative process. Established in 1976 through a collaborative effort of the Massachusetts Senate and the University of Massachusetts, Boston, the two-day seminar features engaging presentations by Senators and staff on aspects of the day-to-day experience of legislators in the Commonwealth. Topics will include the history and process of the Legislature, the State Budget, the parliamentary role of the Clerk of the Senate and the future of the Legislature. The Seminar will walk participants through the legislative process including how bills are introduced, debated, and passed.

Watertown’s New Veterans’ Services Officer is a Familiar Face

Watertown’s Town Hall. Watertown’s new Veterans’ Services Officer will be a familiar face to many. Gina M. Rada has been appointed to the position of Veterans’ Services Officer, Town Manager Michael Driscoll announced this week. She succeeds Mark Comeiro, who left for a similar position in Andover. As Veterans’ Services Officer, Rada will be responsible for the oversight of services to Watertown veterans and their dependents.

See Which Watertown Roads Will be Repaired in 2019

Eight Watertown roads will undergo full repaving in the 2019 construction season, while others will get a new top layer on the the worst sections of the roadway. 

Each year the town sets aside $2.5 million in its budget for road repair. The Town Council’s Public Works subcommittee approved the recommendation of the roads to be repaired next year at a meeting Tuesday night. The list, presented by the Department of Public Works, still must get approval of the full Town Council. The roads that made the list are:

Bellevue Road, from Channing Road to Common StreetAvon RoadChandler StreetBurnham StreetBridgham AvenueNichols Avenue, from Dexter Avenue to Boylston StreetBartlett Street, including Everett Avenue

District C Councilor Vincent Piccirilli, chair of the subcommittee, wondered if the double yellow line would remain on Nichols Avenue. 

“The reality is people park on both sides and people drive straddling the double yellow line,” Piccirilli said. “Under traffic laws it is illegal to do so.”

LETTER: Author of Watertown’s Solar Requirement Thanks Supporters, Urges More Action

The following statement was read, in part, to the Town Council on Dec. 11, 2018, by Watertown Resident Jocelyn Tager. The requirement to have solar power systems on new developments over a certain size was passed by the Town Council on Nov. 27, 2018, making the town the first in the state to adopt such a requirement. Here is the full version:

My name is Jocelyn Tager.