Your Top 5 in Town News
An easy to digest, digest of Town Government news to help Weston residents stay informed more easily.
1 - Annual Town Meeting (& Budget Hearing & Election)
The Budget Hearing is April 30th at 7:00 p.m. in Town Hall. After a thorough review of the Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Budget for the Town and Schools by the Finance Committee, the recommended budget is open to public comment before it is considered at Annual Town Meeting.
The Annual Town Election is May 5th from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Auditorium. Absentee voting is available in the Town Clerk's Office until May 4th at noon. A list of candidates, the ballot questions, and a description of the duties and responsibilities of the elected offices is available at weston.org/TownElection
The Know the Issues web page is up and current at weston.org/TownMeeting. It contains the May 7th Annual Town Meeting warrant and budget book, links to additional project information, links to videos of past information meetings, a user guide for the electronic handsets, and a Town Meeting primer for those new to the process. Town Meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in the High School auditorium. Please give yourself enough time to park and to receive your handset, which takes approximately 10 minutes to sync-up before you can use it.
Haven't been to Town Meeting for a while? It's becoming more streamlined, especially with the use of a Consent Agenda (several articles are taken under one vote) and the electronic handsets that eliminate the need for standing counts. This Town Meeting is anticipated to be finished in one night - something for the history books!
2 - Josiah Smith Tavern: Rumor v Fact & the Costs
A web page fact sheet has been set up to help clarify some misconceptions about this complicated project, particularly with the restoration and reuse, tax impacts, and what it means for the Town. Check it out online, along with the history of this project.
While the Annual Town Meeting vote is for additional design funds and not the actual construction funds, the vote this May is intended to get a sense of residents' desire to move forward with the recommended reuse. The recent news of the higher construction price tag was surprising for many, which is why the Permanent Building Committee has been diligently combing through the construction cost estimates with the former co-chairs of the Josiah Smith Tavern/Old Library Working Group to get a full understanding of the situation. The cost analysis is available online and is worth the time to review before attending Town Meeting on May 7th.
3 - Roadway Construction Projects
DPW anticipates reconstructing the following streets this season, assuming all gas work, water work, and drainage work is completed:
- Fairview Road and Montvale Road intersection, Winter Street (Route 30 to Brown Street), Juniper Road, Aspen Road, Glen Road (Wellesley Street to Oak Street), and Highland Street (Pine Street to Route 30), Gail Road, Pembroke Road, Webster Road, and Arrowhead Road
Roadways currently underway, include:
- Summer Street, Conant Road (Church Street to appx. the old railroad bridge), Perry Lane, and Sutton Place
National Grid is anticipated to continue its gas main replacements on the following roadways:
Water Main and Drainage:
- Wellesley Street (Rockport Road to town line), Conant/Colchester roads, Glen Road (Wellesley St. to Cliff Rd/Oak St.), Gail Road, Pembroke Road, Sherburn Circle, Concord Road, and Newton Street
- Columbine and Dean roads water main replacement and Montvale and Fairview roads have new drainage structure and pipe work
4 - Volunteer Opportunities & Annual Reappointments
For the following Selectmen-appointed positions, please submit a volunteer application or a letter of interest. The application can be filled out and submitted online or it can be downloaded and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters of interest can also be emailed or mailed to Board of Selectmen, Weston Town Hall, PO Box 378. Click on the name of the committee to learn more about its charge and skills that are being sought.
The Moderator is seeking volunteers to serve on the Elderly Housing Committee, which serves the Brook School Apartments. More information is available on the Town's website. Please email the Moderator at email@example.com by May 31st if you are interested in serving or require additional information.
Annual Reappointments - Resident Feedback
The Board of Selectmen has a policy for Selectmen-appointed committees and seeks feedback from residents regarding the committees it appoints and the members it reappoints. Details of the Appointment Policy can be found on the Town's website, as well as information on how to provide feedback or express informal interest in serving on a particular board/committee. The Selectmen will be considering reappointments late May through June.
The following boards and committees will have at least one position up for reappointment: Affordable Housing Trust; Agricultural Commission; Board of the Council on Aging; Board of Registrars of Voters; Cable Advisory Committee; Community Preservation Committee (Parkland Representative); Conservation Commission; Crescent Street Historical District Commission; Historical Commission; Trustees of the Merriam Fund; MBTA Advisory Board; Metro West Regional Transit Authority Advisory Board Representative; Permanent Building Committee; Stormwater Permitting Authority; Traffic & Sidewalk Committee; Tree Advisory Group; Weston Cultural Council; and Zoning Board of Appeals.
Why does Weston have so many committees? Learn more about Weston's Town Government, here.
5 - Step Up Your Recycling: Paper
- Every ton (2,000 pounds) of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, 275 pounds of sulfur, 350 pounds of limestone, 60,000 gallons of water and 225 kilowatt hours of electricity. This equals 64% in energy savings, 58% in water savings and 60 pounds less in air pollution as compared to producing new paper
- According to the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA), paper recycling has been at or above 63% every year since 2009 and 96% of Americans (268 million) have access to community recycling programs
- Paper recovery exceeded 52 million tons in 2016, which is more than twice the amount of paper sent to landfills, by weight
- More paper is recovered for recycling from municipal waste streams than glass, plastic, steel and aluminum combined
- Through paper recycling, AF&PA member companies avoided greenhouse gas emissions of more than 20 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents each year
Consider what you put in the trash. Increasing the amount you recycle, even by a little, can have a positive impact on the environment, our natural resources, and the wallet. In fiscal year 2017, the Transfer Station recycled 418,060 pounds of paper, which equates to 209 tons diverted from the solid waste stream. Along with the benefits to our environment, this saved the Town of Weston $17,867 in disposal fees. Learn more at weston.org/RSW
The 2017 Annual Town Report is available at the Library and Town Hall. It's also online.
Have you seen the other newsletters offered? Conservation Connections, Weston AIC, DPW work updates? All are available for subscription at weston.org/StayInformed
Progress on the Rail Trail construction is "chugging" along. The rough grading and demolition work is nearly complete and the gravel base is anticipated to be installed by the end of May. Once the gravel road is down, the paving will follow. Remember, the railway corridor is an active construction site and as such is restricted to public access. Town conservation land is open, however.
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