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3-month weekend beer garden proposed for Whittemore Park

UPDATED, June 13: On the night that "the dotard" and "Little Rocket Man" tried to achieve world peace, the Select Board discussed a proposed three-month beer garden.

Select board logo, 42718

The former remains hazy, despite positive photo ops. The latter is expected to be much more certain, and of immediate interest, on June 25, when members are expected to vote on the matter. 

Every weekend from July through September, Aeronaut Brewing Co. of Somerville plans to serve its alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks accompanied by music groups at Whittemore Park. Proposed hours are noon to 10 Saturday and noon to 7 Sunday. The park, at Mass. Ave. and Mystic, and the location of the Chamber of Commerce and the Dallin Art Museum, would have restricted access to accommodate 250 people.

In the light of security procedures allowing under-12-year-olds if accompanied by a parent, Board member Joseph Curro Jr. asked on Monday, June 11, whether one corner of park could be sectioned off for all ages.

Questions from Kickstand manager

Emily Shea, manager of Kickstand Cafe, said she supports the effort, but had questions. She said she had bought new bike racks and expressed concern about beer-garden participants using them. She raised the issue that the beer-garden proposal provides for two restrooms for an expected 250 patrons. She expected some might cross Mass. Ave. to use her bathrooms.

The May 31 memo from Ali Carter, town economic-development coordinator, requests five parking spaces, and event will include a food truck.

To address concerns from nearby restaurants about competition, Ron Friedlander, chief science officer of Aeronaut, said the company would work with local vendors to include their fare at the food truck.

He said Aeronaut is holding such an event for a third year in Allston.

Board member John V. Hurd asked whether only beer would be sold, and Friedlander said servings include Bantam Cider.

Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine said the beer garden's dates include Town Day, Sept. 15. If approved, on that day the event would be moved to David Lamson Way.

Susan Chapnick, who said she is the wife of Aeronaut's head brewer, said she backs the effort and called Whittemore Park underused. Curro noted a planning department survey about the location said the chief reason cited by the public was "cutting through."

Aeronaut sponsored a beer garden on Central Street at the 2017 Town Day and plans to be involved in an Oktoberfest this fall at the Old Schwamb Mill.

The board voted, 5-0, to refer the matter for further discussion and vote in two weeks. 

Asked June 12 how much Aeronaut is paying the town, Chapdelaine wrote: "We are working on developing a permit/license fee and will have that as part of the presentation at the 6/25 Board meeting."

Read the full memo >> 

Cycling, treasurer, Greeley

In other business, the board approved two operator licenses for dockless bicycle businesses, discussed posting the job of treasurer and heard an unexpected comment from member Kevin Greeley.

Dockless licenses approved

The Select Board voted, 5-0, to approve licenses for a one-year pilot program for dockless bike-sharing in Arlington. Read an earlier story here >> 

Approved were Neutron Holdings LLC, doing business as Lime, and Skinny Labs Inc., doing business as Spin.

Town Counsel Douglas W. Heim said each is seeking authorize use of 150 bicycles in town.

Chairman Dan Dunn said he "super excited about this one," noting that he does not expect all to go perfectly and that feedback will be welcome.

The deals were reached after the town tried to attract Hubway -- now called Blue Bikes, in Cambridge and Somerville -- but found that a "real struggle," Dunn said.

Curro said having dockless bikes would have been "great during Porchfest."

See applications from both companies >> 

Treasurer/collector job description

The board approved, 5-0, a plan to recruit a new treasurer/collector. Dean Carman has held the job after he was elected to it following the 2017 retirement of Stephen Gilligan. Now that town voters cast ballots this spring agreeing to make the position appointed agreeing to make the position appointed, Carman will be stepping down next year.

The board discussed a job description presented by Chapdelaine. Read it here >>

Read the June 7 memo about the position >>

The salary is to be posted "as entrance to midpoint in the M2 range of the pay plan with potential growth to the maximum; the FY19 full range is $92,737 to $134,010."

Board member Diane Mahon referred to the salary range and recalled the negotiation with the town's new comptroller, who ended up receiving higher pay than advertised. She said she wants to stay within the stated, and concluding at "not 25 percent more."

The vote to support the job description was 5-0.

Next year

In a discussion about when to hold a meeting to set goals for the next year (it will be July 19), Greeley made this comment: "Next year, I'm leaving."

Some members looked at him, surprised. Surely, they expected him not to run for reelection -- he has been on the board since 1989. More likely, it's how early in the season the veteran made this comment.

Asked about whether he expects to run for reelection, Greeley responded June 13 that has has not yet decided. "I was referencing that at last year's goal-setting meeting. I thought we were going to buy a condo in Burlington, so I thought I would be leaving Arlington. However, since we have bought a condo at Russell Place and will be staying."


May 23, 2018: 1-year pilot for dockless bike-sharing rolls closer to reality


This news summary was published Tuesday, June 12, 2018, and updated the next day to include a reference to bathrooms as well as add a Greeley quote.

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