Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Select Board, June 05, 2023

  • Package Store License Request: The board postponed the discussion of a package store license at 232 Mass Ave to June 26th due to the applicant’s illness.
  • Town’s Financial Report: The board reviewed the town’s financial report for the third quarter of FY 2023, which indicated that the town’s finances were on target, with a few exceptions due to departmental vacancies and increased energy costs for the facilities department.
  • Friday Night Concert Beer Garden Proposal: The board approved a proposal for a Friday Night Concert Beer Garden at the Arlington Reservoir, proposed to run from June 30th to August 11th, 2023.
  • Consent Agenda Approval: The board approved a consent agenda that included minutes from the previous meeting, requests for crosswalk paintings, banners, a proclamation from the Rainbow Commission, a request for a contractor drain layer license, reappointments to various committees, and several requests for special one-day beer and wine licenses.
  • Arlington Housing Authority Appointment: The board discussed the appointment of a tenant member to the Arlington Housing Authority. Eight nominees were presented, and each was given two minutes to present their case for appointment. The board thanked all nominees for their willingness to serve.
  • Disability Commission Appointment: The committee approved the appointment of a new member to the Disability Commission based on their familiarity with her work and her representation of the interests of the disability community.
  • All-Alcohol License Transfer Approval: The committee approved an all-alcohol license transfer for a restaurant planning to serve South Asian food. The restaurant’s representatives confirmed that they are both TIPS certified and aware of the conditions set by the building commissioner.
  • Transit Priority and Safety Improvements Proposal: The committee discussed a proposal for transit priority and safety improvements on Massachusetts Avenue. The proposal includes extending the existing inbound AM peak-only bus lane to Alewife Brook Parkway, creating a new outbound bus lane from Alewife Brook Parkway to the bus stop north of Sunnyside Road, and implementing safety measures. The committee requested approval for the roadway layout design and the conditional removal of two parking spots.
  • Town’s Financial Planning and Strategic Initiatives: The committee discussed the town’s budget constraints and spending plans, with a focus on education costs and town operating costs. The committee agreed to continue constraining spending on the school side at 3.5% per year for general education costs and 3.25% for the town side for operating costs. Special education costs would increase by 6.5% per year, a decrease from the previous rate of 7%.
  • Override Vote and Budget Adjustments: The committee discussed the need for an override vote to adjust the town’s budget. The committee proposed three separate motions related to the override vote and budget adjustments. The committee also discussed the need for retention for teachers and professional and paraprofessional staff, including special education.
  • Overrides, New Growth, and Future Meetings: The committee discussed the idea of reframing the notion of overrides as an opportunity for the town to determine its priorities and investments. The committee also discussed the potential for new growth in the town, with the aim of increasing revenue and providing more housing. The committee then moved on to voting on several motions related to the override and future meetings.
  • Correspondence Received: The committee discussed correspondence received, including a request for a stop sign, a request to address clearances on Winter Street, and an update on the Mass Ave/ Appleton Project and Chestnut Street Safety Project. The committee agreed to accept and refer these letters, and to keep the relevant parties informed of progress.



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