City Responds to Complaints About Highland Ave. Road Project

Crews work on Highland Street over the summer as part of the ongoing road reconstruction project. A combination of weather and challenges with contractors have delayed a major road project in Watertown, said City Manager George Proakis, but there are steps being taken to prevent such delays. Last week, for the second meeting in a row, City Councilors got an earful from residents dissatisfied with various aspects of the Highland Avenue project. Many complained about the lengthy amount time that the project has taken to be completed (and more work still remains), and that sidewalks are often left torn up for an extended amout of time. Others said their driveways have been narrowed after years of having wider entrances, and some were upset about the safety of school children crossing at Copland Street to get to Cunniff Elementary School and at Lexington Street heading towards Watertown Middle School.

DPW Hosting Halloween Costume & Clothing Swap Event

The following announcement was provided by the City of Watertown:

Save the date for the Halloween Costume and Clothing Swap, and General Clothing/Textile Recycling Turn-in Event. The Department of Public Works (DPW) is hosting a spooky-themed costume swap, and general clothing and textile recycling event. This is an EVENING event on Thursday, October 26, 2023 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the DPW parking lot, located at 124 Orchard St. Bring your old Halloween costumes to swap and give them a new life! Come look for this year’s costume.

Reorganization of City Government Includes Changes to Planning, DPW and Other Departments

When the City Council approved the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, they also approved a reorganization of Watertown’s municipal government. Some changes impact who directly reports to the City Manager or the Deputy Manager. Other positions have been moved into new departments, and some departments have been split into divisions. One department with new divisions is Community Development and Planning, which will have Planning and Building Divisions and a third for community events and the Commander’s Mansion. The Planning Division includes a Current Planning Group and a Planning Director to oversee long-range planning.

Watertown’s Goose Dog is on the Job!

City of WatertownVee, Watertown’s goose control dog, has arrived in town! Vee, the dog brought to Watertown for geese control, has arrived in town and has already gotten down to work. The Watertown DPW’s Parks/Cemetery Supervisor Bob DiRicco and his wife picked Vee up at the training facility in Leesburg, Virginia, and drove her back to Watertown over the Patriots Day Weekend. On Tuesday Vee started work. City of WatertownVee and the DPW’s Bob DiRico visited City Manager George Proakis in City Hall Tuesday.

Free Curbside Compost Bins Available for Watertown Residents

Watertown DPWCurbside composting toters, like the one on the left, will be part of the Watertown trash and recycling program starting in August. The Watertown Department of Public Works announced that the City received compost bins which can be used with Watertown’s free curbside compost program. The City of Watertown sent out the following information:

“1000 new FREE residential compost bins have been delivered, paid for by a grant from MassDEP! Enrollment in Watertown’s FREE curbside compost program is open for an April 2023 start. Sign up today and your new bin and liners will be delivered the first week of April.,” the announcement reads.

Watertown Purchasing Dog to Chase Geese From Parks and Fields

City of WatertownVee, a border collie, will soon be arriving in Watertown where she will chase geese away from City-owned fields and parks. Watertown’s newest employee will get plenty of exercise, time outdoors, and her reward for doing a good job will be treats — doggie treats. Vee, Watertown’s goose control dog, will soon be patrolling the parks and fields around the City to make sure the flocks of birds don’t get too comfortable or leave their marks. She will live with and accompany Department of Public Works Parks and Cemetery Supervisor Bob DiRico to work, said Watertown City Manager George Proakis. “In a few days Mr. DiRico will go to Leesburg, Virginia, to pick up Vee,” Proakis told the City Council on Tuesday.

City Hosting $20 Mattress and Box Spring Collection at Recycling Event

The City of Watertown sent out the following information:

Watertown is offering $20 mattress and box spring collection at the Recycling Event on Saturday, March 25, 2023. The event will be held at 57 Stanley Ave in Watertown from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

There is a limit of 2 units per household (a unit is either a mattress or box spring). Residents can pay with cash or with credit card at the event, payable to HandUp Mattress, the vendor that will be collecting the units. This recycling option will only be available until the truck is full, so if you would like to bring a mattress/box-spring, please consider coming early! Learn more about the event and other materials to bring.

Lights on the Delta Shining in Honor of Indigenous Peoples Day

Charlie BreitroseThe new lights on the trees on the Watertown Square Delta can change colors and display patterns. This picture shows what the trees looked like in December 2019. The following announcement was provided by Jennifer Wolfrum on behalf of members of the Pigsgusset Initiative:

As part of Watertown Celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day, the Watertown City Council proclaimed Monday, October 10th as Indigenous Peoples Day. Aligned with this Proclamation, Councilor Nicole Gardner asked the Department of Public Works to make the colors of the lights on the Delta to reflect a central aspect of Indigenous culture. The red, yellow, white and black lights represent the colors of the medicine wheel, which is important to Indigenous People and their spiritual worldview.