School Budget to be Presented, 2 Projects at Planning Board & Police Exam

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An illustration of the plans for the former Mount Auburn Club at 99 Coolidge Ave. A community meeting will be held Monday about the project.

One of the first steps in the making of the Watertown school budget will be presented Monday night, a community meeting will be held about the redevelopment of the Mount Auburn Club site, and the Planning Board will discuss two major projects.

Watertown Public Schools administrators will present the Fiscal Year 2022 level services budget at Monday’s School Committee meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. That budget shows how much it would cost to preserve the district’s current staffing and programs, with no additions or cuts. It is typically the first major step in the school budget process.

The School Committee will also hear a report about equity efforts. The district hired a firm to look at the Watertown School’s policies and response to racist incidents and bullying following reports of racial harassment by a Watertown Middle School earlier this school year.

A report on the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) audit of the Watertown Schools is also on the agenda. See the whole agenda and how to tune in and participate in the virtual meeting by clicking here.

Planning Board

Two major projects will be in front of the Planning Board on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

First up is the plans to build a three-story 78,000 sq. ft. life science building at 23-29 Elm Street, which is located behind the Residence Inn by Marriott.

Changes to the Tufts Health Plan site at 705 Mt. Auburn St. is also on the Planning Board’s agenda. The property was purchased by Spear Street Capital, which plans to redevelop the building into life science office and lab space. A portion of the rear of the building is proposed to be torn down and replaced by a two-story addition. The total square footage will increase by nearly 27,000 sq. ft.

See how to join and participate in the meeting by clicking here.

Mount Auburn Club Site

Developers will discuss their plans for the former Mount Auburn Club site at 99 Coolidge Ave. at a community meeting on Monday, Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. This is the second meeting on the project held by the new owners, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, which also owns the Arsenal on the Charles.

Plans include a five-story, 255,000 sq. ft. office/research lab building and a parking garage. The proposal also calls for creating two acres of public open space, a nature trail along a stream that runs through the site, and a new bike lake. See the project presentation materials here.

See more information about how to tune in and participate in the virtual meeting by clicking here.

Town Council Meets Tuesday

The Town Council’s agenda includes a public hearing on borrowing money to replace boilers at Watertown Middle School.

The Council will also hold first hearings on several items which will have public hearings in future meetings, including: borrowing $2.5 million to pay for 2021 street and sidewalk repair projects, $548,000 to install an air conditioning system in the middle school cafeteria, and a $4.6 million transfer to cover part of the costs of the construction of the new Hosmer and Cunniff elementary schools.

Town Manager Michael Driscoll will also present the Watertown Housing Plan, and the Town Council will also take up a proclamation honoring Michael McNamara for becoming an Eagle Scout.

Council Committee reports will cover the wayfinding grant design, transitioning from beer and wine package store licenses to all alcohol package store licenses, and a report about the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.

See more information about how to join and participate the meeting by clicking here.

Police Exam

The Watertown Police Department announced that the Civil Service Police Entrance Exam will be offered soon. Those interested in taking the exam to qualify to become a member of the WPD can click here for more information.

This Week’s Meetings

Monday

The School Committee’s Athletic Subcommittee will meet at 4 p.m. and will review the winter sports season and have an update about the Fall 2 season, which includes football and other sports not held in the fall. Also, the subcommittee will discuss and take a vote on the middle school athletics pilot program. Click here for more information.

The Council’s Committee on Human Services will discuss whether the Department of Health needs to expand its staff to conduct its work. The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. See how to tune in and participate here.

Wednesday

The Council on Aging Board will meet Wednesday at 4 p.m. Click here for more information.

Thursday

A citizen petition asking for improvements to the dog park at Howe Park will be discussed by the Council’s Committee on Parks and Recreation at 6 p.m. Click here for meeting details.

The Historical Commission will discuss the Watertown Demolition Delay Ordinance and sites under demolition delay at its meeting on Thursday at 7 p.m. See how to join and participate here.

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