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Posted on: June 1, 2020

Reopening Weston: Town Department/Service Status

townseal

Town Officials and the Emergency Management Team are reviewing the state’s reopening guidelines for Phase 2 of the Four Phase Plan, as they become available. There still remains unanswered details that affect Weston’s Town services, such as the Recreation Fields, Pool, Camps, Town Election, Town Meeting, etc. 

As the guidelines become available, the Team consults with Department Managers to help shape the reopening plans. The following considerations are taken in with the decision-making: 

  1. Massachusetts is the third hardest-hit state in the U.S.
  2. Middlesex County is the hardest-hit county in the state
  3. Weston is one of several hard-hit towns
  4. Safety for staff and residents
  5. Sufficient amount of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is still difficult to obtain, but getting a bit better

When departments and services become publicly available, they will NOT be offered in the same way as before. The process to reopen Weston is going to be a slow and steady approach to allow for the safety of staff and residents. Additionally, new procedures and protocols will be in place to accommodate safety guidelines and this may take some time to become familiar. 

Please note, Phase 2 will not automatically begin unless:

  • the state Public Health Indicators permit (see Weston.org/Covid19) the move, AND
  • Weston can safely accommodate the state’s guidelines

Municipalities and demographics vary, so what works for one town may not work for another.


The following are updates to some of Weston’s Town Services during Phase 1 of the state’s plan that directly impact residents:  

Weston Public Library

Public curbside pick-up of materials is currently scheduled to be held one day per week, starting Friday, June 5th. See WestonLibrary.org for additional details on how the service will work. Advanced reservations must be made.

Please be patient with this current schedule, as the Minuteman system as a whole is affected. The Library will expand its curbside hours as they are able to and can safely do so.

Weston High School Graduation & Parade

Weston will celebrate its High School Class of 2020 with a car parade and graduation on Sunday, June 7th. The entire town is encouraged to cheer the graduates along the parade route, while observing appropriate social distancing from others. The parade will start at 4:00 p.m. in the Monster.com parking lot (133 Boston Post Rd). Please note, the Country School, Field School, and Community Center parking lots are reserved for specifically-assigned groups.

Due to current Dept. of Education regulations, the graduation at the High School is for graduates and their families only (limit one vehicle per graduate). Graduates will remain in their cars throughout the ceremony, which will include traditional events such as the bagpipes, the National Anthem, student and key-note speeches, and the awarding of the diplomas. Weston Media will be filming the event (not live-broadcast).

Weston Recreation Summer Camps

The Weston Recreation, working with local and state officials, has come to the unfortunate conclusion to refund all summer camp fees collected to date. The phase 2 guidelines that have been issued so far have made it clear that whatever programming offered this summer will be inherently different than the summer camp programs advertised and anticipated. The Recreation Staff and Commission will continue working with local officials to develop safe programs within the new safety guidelines provided by the state. Please stay tuned for future announcements and open registration when that time comes.

Memorial Pool

Weston Recreation is keenly aware of Memorial Pool being a summer staple in Weston, and with a long history of providing fun summer programming that is highly valued by our residents. We have been working diligently with state officials over the last couple months to learn and understand what adjustments would be needed in order to safely open. Unfortunately, given the upfront investment needed and the ongoing uncertainty from the state, it will not be feasible to safely operate this summer. All badges purchased to date will be fully refunded.

Please know, arriving at this conclusion was extremely difficult. We prepared for the season as much as possible, given the uncertainty. Substantial changes were expected, including strict limitations on attendance and time per visit, as well as closing the changing areas, the sandbox, and diving board, among others. 

Additionally, pool operation involves a significant investment in a normal season. The  investment would be greater this season with the necessity of additional staff to enforce new regulations and carry out new practices. And yet, safety concerns persist along with the potential of closing again due to an uptick in coronavirus spread.

Summer Concert Series

The annual Concert on the Green series, which kicks-off in mid-June with the Ice Cream Social, has been cancelled for this year. The series was scheduled to be held at the Field School’s outdoor amphitheater due to the Town Center construction. The outdoor gathering cannot be conducted in a safe manner, per state guidelines.

Transfer Station

The solid waste and recycling facility has reopened to normal operating hours (Tues., Wed., Fri., & Sat. 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.). Residents need to wear a face covering when on site and are urged to conduct their business as quickly as possible (minimize the socializing, please).

Current Status of Other Departments/Services

Town Hall

  • the building is closed to the public, staff is back in the building on a staggered time and day basis
  • a drop-box has been installed outside the double-glass doors of Town Hall and is for official business only, such as paying taxes. Staff is on site to collect materials
  • email is the best method to reach a department, see the Staff Directory for assistance
  • government board/committee meetings have moved to an online meeting platform and are still open to the public. Instructions are detailed on the meeting agendas as to how residents can participate either via computer or phone
  • Weston Media Center is working with Town Hall administration to provide recordings of certain online meetings
  • the Land Use/Building Department is closed to in-person business, please call/email to make arrangements for permits
  • the Health Department is closed to in-person business, please call/email to make arrangements for permits
  • the Town Clerk is available for limited services, email davenport.d@westonmass.org
  • Visit Online Services on the Town’s website to view bill paying options
  • call 781-786-5000 to reach a department to leave a voicemail message but keep in mind that email is best

Annual Town Meeting and the Annual Town Election

Per Weston’s Bylaws, the Annual Town Meeting must be called prior to the election and held the Monday after the election. The Select Board is still weighing its options and discussing the best path forward for the Town and within the parameters of the law and public safety. All meetings of the Select Board are open to the public and are currently being held via an online video conferencing platform. Agendas are posted to Weston.org/AgendaCenter at least 48-hours in advance of the meeting.

Q4 Tax Due Dates Extended & Penalty Interest Waived

Weston’s Select Board voted to extend due dates for real and personal property tax payments and applications for exemptions, as well as a waiver of interest on certain municipal tax and other bills paid by June 30, 2020.  

Continue reading for more detail...

Dog Licensing Deadline Extended

Weston’s Select Board voted to extend the deadline to license dogs from April 30th to July 31st. Renewals can be obtained online at Weston.org/DogLicense provided a current rabies certificate is on file. A license application can also be found online.

Absentee and Mail-in Voting for Town Election

As Town Officials await guidance from the state regarding how and when the Annual Town Election can safely be held amidst the ongoing public health emergency, the Town Clerk is preparing now for absentee and mail-in voting to alleviate in-person voting crowds. Residents are encouraged to prepare now by submitting their absentee or mail-in ballot applications.  Continue reading for additional information... 

Please keep in mind that in Weston’s Bylaws, the Annual Town Meeting must be called prior to the election and held the Monday after the election.

Conservation Land/Trails - Mandatory Leashing in Effect & Cat Rock is Closed to out-of-town Visitors

  • People walking with dogs on Weston’s trails must keep their dogs leashed in order to avoid coming into close physical space with another trail user. This is for EVERYONE’S protection from potential infection from a close encounter with others. YOUR COOPERATION IS APPRECIATED
  • If a parking lot is full, that most likely means the trails are busy. DO NOT PARK IN THE STREET. There are nearly 100 miles of trails in Weston, find an alternate trail to help maintain safe physical space or visit when the trails are less busy. Visit Weston.org/Trails or WestonForestTrail.org for maps
  • Observe No Parking signs - No parking signs have been placed along roadways and portions of some parking lots have been cordoned off to limit the total number of visitors. This is for everyone’s safety.
  • Leave No Trace - this means pick up and remove from the trails and woods your dog’s waste and anything else you bring with you. There are no trash barrels, take it home.
  • Wet weather means wet trails and that means no bikes on wet trails. Please take a moment to review trail etiquette/rules so as not to destroy the trails

Department of Public Works

  • the DPW building is closed to the public 
  • staff is back in the building on a staggered basis, call 781-786-5100 
  • the Water Division will continue weekly sampling, meter reading, and DigSafe mark-outs
  • MWRA drinking water continues to be safe and will continue to be reliably provided, see MWRA press release
  • the Annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection held in April has been postponed until later in the year 
  • Hydrant flushing has been postponed to later in the year

Fire and Police stations

  • buildings are staffed but doors are locked. Residents are encouraged to minimize physical visits to only essential business
  • PPE donations can be dropped off outside the Fire Dept. headquarters
  • DO NOT visit if you are exhibiting flu-like symptoms or are feeling run-down, please call in advance. This is to protect the health of the town’s first-responders

The Council on Aging at the Community Center

  • The Community Center is closed to the public
  • Essential COA staff and social workers are checking voicemail and email regularly throughout the business day. Call 781-786-6280 or email westoncoa@westonmass.org for assistance
  • The Emergency Reserve Corps is working with COA staff to help residents with groceries or pharmacy
  • Virtual programming and exercise classes are being offered, call or email for details
  • Meals on Wheels delivery will continue for now, as usual
  • Please visit the COA status web page at Weston.org/COA for further information and updates

The Recreation Department at the Community Center

  • The Community Center is closed to the public

Weston Public Library and the Weston AIC

  • the digital library is always available and Librarians are offering support to patrons who need help using digital resources. Visit the Library website WestonLibrary.org for details
  • Have you seen our Librarians online? Check out the virtual storytimes and Poetry Month selections at Facebook.com/WestonLibrary
  • The Weston AIC is closed to the public but is offering AIC-at-Home

Municipal, Recreation, School, Regis College,  parks and fields

  • All playgrounds in Weston are closed until further notice
  • All Weston Public School fields and grounds are closed to the public and trespassing will be enforced
  • All Regis College athletics facilities—indoor and outdoor, including the track, fields, and tennis courts – are closed and the campus and all buildings are closed to the public
  • Municipal and Recreation parks and fields may be accessed by individuals and people from the same household to get fresh air and general exercise. Maintain at minimum a 6-foot distance when others are present and follow recommended public hygiene of hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes

Brook School Apartments

  • All social gatherings and events within the buildings are cancelled and until further notice
  • Outside visitors and being asked to limit in-person visits to only necessity
  • tennis courts are closed

Emergency Management

  • Weston is in a State of Emergency as of March 17th, following the Massachusetts declaration on March 10th, and the Federal declaration on March 13th. 
  • Temporary measures have already been enacted, and may continue to be put in place, by Weston’s Emergency Management team to help prevent or control community spread and to help maintain the health and safety of residents and town employees
  • Emergency Management Leaders have the mandated responsibility to follow and enforce the orders and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State Department of Public Health, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Weston’s Board of Health follows CDC protocol when managing an infectious disease
  • Residents should review their notification options for WestonAlerts, the Town’s official emergency notification system. Visit Weston.org/WestonAlerts to sign into your account and set your preferences for notifications

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