Watertown Police Officer Suspended by POST Commission

A Watertown Police officer has been suspended by the POST Commission for accusations that he was charged with a felony. The Watertown Police Department referred questions to City Manager George Proakis, who confirmed that officer Kevin Rooney has been suspended during the POST Commission process. “Regarding this specific situation, Officer Rooney is on an unpaid administrative leave status. But, due to this being a personnel issue, that is all I can share at this time,” Proakis said. Proakis did not go into details about the reason for the suspension, but added the following statement. “It is my expectation that the actions of every one of our law enforcement officers, both on and off duty, consistently reflect positively on the Police Department and the Watertown community as a whole.

City Manager Outlines Schedule for Renovating Watertown Parks, Other Capital Projects

City of WatertownAn aerial view of Victory Field. Multiple projects at the complex are on the City’s five year capital improvement plan. Watertown’s five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) includes preparing the former Parker School to house City departments, upgrades to the skating arena, park and recreation projects, and making municipal facilities more energy efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels. The proposed Watertown Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Years 2024-28 includes $245.74 million in projects and equipment purchases, of which $161.39 million would be funded with general obligation bonds. City Manager George Proakis told the City Council on Tuesday that the numbers could change depending on the rising cost of construction, inflation, and how much tax revenue from new developments (known as new growth) occurs in Watertown.

Bowl 4 Kids Event Will Raise Money for Youth Programs

The Watertown High School girls basketball team will take some time away from the court to host a bowling event to raise money for youth sports and other programs for kids. Bowl 4 Kids will take place on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 6-10 p.m. at Brighton Bowl (Flatbread Co.), 76 Guest St. in Brighton. Last year, the event raised $10,000 for local organizations such as the Watertown Boys & Girls Club, the Watertown Food Pantry and youth sports organizations, said Taylor Lambo, a 2022 WHS grad who played on the girls basketball team.

Council to Hear from Public on How to Spend Watertown’s Federal ARPA Funds

Watertown City Hall

The City of Watertown will receive $10.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds, and next week the City Council will host a meeting to hear from residents about how they would like to see the money spent. The Council’s Committee on Budget & Fiscal Oversight will hold the meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in City Hall and there will be a remote option. Meeting information and the remote link will be posted here. Watertown must have a final plan for where the ARPA funds will be spent by Dec.

U.S. Rep Clark Presents Watertown with $240K for Project to Protect River, Increase Climate Resiliency

Charlie BreitroseCongresswoman Catherine Clark looks on as Watertown City Manager George Proakis speaks about the $240,000 in federal funds to build stormwater tree trenches in town. Congresswoman Katherine Clark visited City Hall Monday to announce $240,000 in federal funding for a climate-related project in Watertown. The City will use the money to install 15 tree trenches designed to remove pollutants from the Charles River and cool temperatures by providing more trees on City streets. The Department of Public Works applied for the money after hearing about the funding, said Watertown DPW Superintendent Greg St. Louis.

Charles River Chamber Seeks Nominations for Business, Non-Profit Leaders of Color

The Charles River Regional Chamber sent out the following announcement:

Do you know an outstanding business leader of color, or emerging leader of color, who works and/or sits on a board for a business or nonprofit that is physically located in Newton, Needham, Watertown, Waltham, Wellesley, Natick or Framingham? If so, please consider nominating that person for the “50 Most Influential Business Leaders of Color in Greater Boston’s Western Suburbs” list or the “Emerging Leaders of Color” list due to be published this spring. Both lists are a collaborative project between the Charles River Regional Chamber and Colette Phillips, and her companies Colette Phillips Communications and Get Konnected! and are designed to celebrate, document and encourage a diverse workforce in Greater Boston’s west suburban communities. The report will be an updated — and expanded — version of the original list first published in 2020 that became a resource for corporations and nonprofits looking to hire, looking for board members, looking for expert commentators and looking for thought leaders across the region.

Apartment Complex Could be Build Near Watertown on IHOP Site

A Google Maps screenshot showing the IHOP (the red dot) on Soldiers Field Road in Brighton, on the other side of the Charles River from Squibnocket Park in Watertown. A project with 200 housing units and commercial will be built on that site and the site where a former motel sits. The late-night dining destination on the other side of the Charles River from Watertown may become a complex with residential and commercial space. Universal Hub reports the plans will soon be filed for a residential project on property on Soldiers Field Road in Brighton where the IHOP (1850 Soldiers Field Road) and motel stand. The location sits near where North Beacon Street crosses from Watertown heading east, and converges with Soldiers Field Road, Nonantum Road, and the Birmingham Parkway in a rotary intersection.