UPDATED: This Week – Main Street Project WILL NOT be at ZBA, Council Making Multiple Votes, Snow Shoveling Ordinance & More

The latest rendering of the proposed project at 104 Main St. It now has five stories, after previously having half a dozen stories. (Courtesy of O’Connor Management)

(UPDATE: The project at 104 Main St. will not be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals Wednesday night). The final week of September is a busy one for local government in Watertown, with the project at 104 Main St.

Sen. Brownsberger Appearing at 2 Community Events This Week

State Sen. Will Brownsberger

State Sen. Will Brownsberger announced that he will be appearing at a pair of events in Watertown this week. Sen. Brownsberger’s office provided the following announcement:

Watertown Farmer’s Market – 9/20Senator Brownsberger and staff will host a table at the Watertown Farmer’s Market. The farmer’s market offers access to the local food system, fosters community connections through partner programs, and promotes healthy eating and lifestyles. Stop by to connect with our office, share a concern or learn about some state resources. Where: Saltonstall Park on Thaxter St, Watertown, MA 02472Date: Wednesday, September 20thTime: 2:30 PM-6:30 PM

Watertown Faire on the Square – 9/23The Senator’s office will also host a table at the 24th annual Watertown Faire on the Square. The event has something for everyone – live entertainment, exhibitors, a kid’s zone and food court & beer garden. Come by our table to say hello or have a chat.

City Bulking Up Cyber Security After Council Approves Funding

(Courtesy of City of Watertown)

The internet can be a treacherous place where identities can be stolen, scams are perpetrated, and websites get hacked. Watertown will take steps to keep the City’s websites secure, and up and running by increasing cybersecurity. On Sept. 12, the City Council approved funding to increase protection on municipal websites and networks. City Manager George Proakis told the City Council that he supports the efforts of Watertown’s Chief Information Officer Chris McClure.

Residents Wanted to Serve on Environment & Energy Efficiency, Public Arts & Culture Committees

The following announcement was provided by the City of Watertown:

City Manager George J. Proakis is seeking Watertown residents interested in serving on the Environment and Energy Efficiency Committee, and also on the Public Arts & Culture Committee. 

Environment and Energy Efficiency Committee

The committee shall research energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in Watertown; advise and assist municipal officials and employees in ensuring compliance with relevant national, regional, and state laws, regulations, and programs that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; review and make recommendations about policies, procedures, activities and facilities of departments, boards or agencies of the Town as they relate to energy conservation and emissions reduction; provide information, referrals, guidance and technical assistance to individuals, public agencies, businesses and organizations in matters relating to energy conservation and emissions reduction; whenever possible and desirable, coordinate activities of other local groups organized for similar purposes. The Environment and Energy Efficiency Committee meets the first Monday of each month. 

Public Arts & Culture Committee

The Watertown Public Arts and Culture Committee’s mission is to provide access to arts and culture to all Watertown residents and visitors through inclusive public projects that honor and engage cultural experiences across generations, identities, and geographies. We believe in the revelatory power of arts and culture to encourage contemplation, inspire new ideas, and spark dialogue. 

Interested applicants for both committees should submit a letter of interest accompanied by a resume or other information concerning background or experience by email to citymgr@watertown-ma.gov or City Manager’s Office, 149 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts 02472.

New Public Pedestrian Path to Go from Walnut St. to Arsenal St. Through Private Property

A Google Map with the pedestrian path shown in green. Pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to get from Arsenal Street to Walnut Street through private property after the City Council approved an easement agreement with the owners of the property. On Tuesday night, the City Council approved the agreement between the City and the owners of the property at 85 Walnut Street — BP3-BOS4 250 Arsenal Place LLC — for the pedestrian path, as well as for a sewer line, said Assistant City Manager Steve Magoon. The City will pay $1 for the easement according to the agreement. The path runs to Walnut Street through a pocket park, then goes through the parking lot of the 85 Walnut St.

Watertown Hires First Human Resources Director

Colleen Doyle has been hired as Watertown’s first Human Resources Director. (Courtesy of the City of Watertown)

The City of Watertown hired the new, and first, director of the Human Resources Department. The department replaces the Personnel Department. The City sent out the following announcement of the new hire:

City Manager George Proakis is pleased to announce that Colleen Doyle will join Watertown on Oct. 12, 2023 as the City’s first Director of our new Human Resources department.

Early Voting in 2023 Election Approved by City Council; Fewer Days Than Prior Years

Watertown voters will have the opportunity to cast ballots in person before election day in the 2023 Watertown City Election, but there will be fewer early voting days than previous elections. Under the state’s VOTES Act cities and towns have the opportunity to offer early voting, but must opt in. For Watertown that means a vote of the City Council, said City Clerk Janet Murphy. Voters will also be able to vote by mail, and at voting locations on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.

Final Draft of Comprehensive Plan to be Reviewed by City Council & Planning Board

Watertown’s primary planning document, the Comprehensive Plan, is being updated and the final draft will be reviewed and discussed at a joint meeting of the City Council and Planning Board. The City of Watertown sent out the following information:

The Comprehensive Plan is near the finish line! The final draft will be reviewed at a joint meeting of the City Council and Planning Board on Thursday, September 21, 2023. The meeting, including public comment, will start at 6:30 PM in the Council Chambers, second floor in City Hall, 149 Main Street. This draft includes changes recommended by the City Council’s Economic Development & Planning Committee. Read/download the draft (PDF).