Top 5 in Town News
An easy to digest, digest of Town News to help Weston residents stay informed more easily with happenings in Town Government.
1 - Solid Waste Reduction: Goal Weight for the New Year
While Weston’s solid waste tons per household have been decreasing ever so slightly over the last five years (1.12 tons in 2011 vs. .96 tons in 2016), Weston’s recycling rate has remained rather stagnant at 32% over the same time period. Many factors contribute to this stagnant rate; however, we should be striving to decrease the household tonnage of solid waste even more by keeping more stuff out of the trash.
So what more can stay out of the trash bag? The Goodwill trailer is a great place to start. The average Mass. resident throws away about 70 pounds of reusable textiles each year—and that’s not counting thrift store-quality clothes. Tattered/stained textiles, such as ripped clothing/socks, old sneakers, stained tablecloths, are a valuable commodity. Items that can’t be sold in the thrift store are sold for a variety of other uses. What more? Old electronics, such as remotes and webcams, can be reused, too. A new trailer was introduced last year at the Transfer Station to take your old fax machine, computer mouse, and phone charger. Visit www.weston.org/RSW
to learn more about what you can do to throw less “away.” Let’s aim to decrease the average household tonnage to .80 for 2017.
2 - Snow Removal By-law ReminderWeston General By-law (Article IV, Section 5)
prohibits the depositing of snow or ice onto or across any public way, including sidewalks or public property. This by-law addresses the ongoing problem of private contractors plowing snow from private driveways into the public way. This causes unsafe road conditions, which must be corrected by the DPW. This takes additional time and money to address. The DPW respectfully asks residents for their cooperation and to remind their snow contractor of this by-law. Violation tickets will be issued to the snow removal contractor and/or the property owner under the non-criminal disposition by-law.
Furthermore, under the same article, section 3 prohibits the interference with the Town's snow removal process. The owner of any vehicle that is interfering will be liable for the additional costs incurred by the DPW. To learn more about Weston's snow removal process and policies, including an FAQ, please visit www.weston.org/snow
3 - WestonAlerts: Emergency Notification
WestonAlerts is the official emergency notification system used by the Town of Weston and Weston Public Schools so Town Officials can quickly communicate with residents during emergencies. WestonAlerts was implemented over the summer and replaces the former emergency notification system. Information from the former system has been transferred over to the new system, including all residential and business landline phones; however, to ensure that residents are able to get all emergency alerts we highly recommend all residents log into their accounts to update information and select preferred devices.
For existing accounts, please log in at www.weston.org/WestonAlertsLogin and enter your email address as your username and click "forgot password" to reset your account. For new residents, of if you are unsure of your account status, you can also register at the above login link.
Learn more about WestonAlerts at www.weston.org/WestonAlerts
4 - 2016 Paving
Much of the paving work was scheduled to occur over the summer months, but with state funds being issued late and the contractor's schedule changing, we endured a lot of road construction headaches that bled well into the fall.
However, it was a positive step in the town’s increased commitment to the pavement management program. The fiscal year 2017 operating budget came with a $250,000 increase for roadway maintenance and because of that, 8.3 miles of roadway in Weston were updated and repaved in 2016, including Silver Hill, Westland and Blueberry Hill roads, Buttonwood Lane, Ware Street, and portions of Wellesley Street and North Ave! And Weston’s DPW was busy taking care of other projects, as well, including the first completed section in the Sidewalk Master Plan (Brown Street), and continued Water Main Replacements. At the same time, the state was undertaking the signal improvement project at Wellesley Street/Route 30, as well as paving portions of Park, Recreation, River and Norumbega roads, South Ave. and Rte 20.
As always, we appreciate resident patience as these improvements were made. To follow DPW weekly progress, subscribe to receive the department's weekly update
. In looking ahead, 2017 is shaping up to have a busy road construction season, too.
5 - Annual Town Census
Watch your mail for the annual census form, which is mailed to all Weston households at the start of January. Be sure to return it in the envelope provided, or drop it off at the Town Clerk’s Office. Did you know state law requires all municipalities to collect this information? It is used, in part, by the School Department, which must meet its state-mandated reporting requirements to receive funding and also to make more accurate class size projections. And not submitting the annual census can affect your voting status and prevent you from utilizing certain Town services. We greatly appreciate your attention and response no later than January 31st.
All Dog Licenses expire on December 31st and must be renewed before April 30th. State law requires all dogs over 6 months of age to be licensed and tagged. License renewals can be done through the mail, in person, or online. Proof of rabies vaccination is required. Please visit www.weston.org/DogLicense
for more information.
Run for Elected Office - Town Caucus in March
Weston's Town Government is supported by many volunteer boards and committees, a number of which are elected by Weston voters. The Town Caucus is where Weston residents who wish to run for an elected office are nominated to be placed on the ballot for the Annual Town Election in May. Offices with membership up for election are (parentheses indicate number of seats): Moderator, Board of Selectmen (1), Board of Assessors (2), School Committee (1), Recreation Commission (3), Planning Board (1), Board of Library Trustees (2), Board of Health (1), Commissioners of Trust Funds (1), and Measurers of Lumber (3). Visit the “Your Government” section on the Town's website for more information on the duties and responsibilities of each elected office.
We're Still in a Drought?!?
The state’s Drought Management Task Force, which is co-chaired by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), recently reviewed current drought conditions and to assess precipitation amounts and impacts for the past month. As a result, a severe to extreme drought warning remains in effect for all of the state with the exception of the Cape and Islands.
Although there were periods of heavy rainfall in November, total rainfall for the month was below normal and not enough to raise the water table to normal levels. It is imperative that the public continue to conserve water through the winter months by focusing on indoor water conservation methods. The Baker-Polito Administration urges the public to reduce indoor water usage, fix any indoor leaks, and conduct water audits in order to reduce the overall demand on our water sources.
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Subscribe to receive Latest Town News and follow project progress by following committee agendas and minutes. Projects to watch are being worked on by the Rail Trail Advisory Committee, the Town Center Planning Committee, and the School Committee (Proctor Field). Also it's always good to follow the Board of Selectmen (133 Boston Post Road, among others).