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 April signals new restaurant, Patriots Day activities

UPDATED, Feb. 14: Time to give up that New Year’s resolution to lose weight, and enjoy some delicious food.

Selectboard logo, May 20, 2019

Happy Belly Eats will serve “over-the-top” gourmet hot dogs (beef, chicken or veggie), burgers (beef, turkey or veggie) and chicken sandwiches. Also offered are an assortment of toppings, such as barbecue sauce, fried onions and grilled pineapple, along with shakes and desserts, according to owner Jason Carter, and unanimously approved by the Select Board, 4-0 (Dan Dunn absent).

The 20-seat venue replaces Retro Burger, at 795 Mass. Ave. since May 2013, and is scheduled to open by April. 

 Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“Little renovation is necessary; we’ll just beautify the place,” said Carter.

Celebrate Patriots Day on April 19

Arlington’s Patriots Day festivities are set for Sunday, April 19, as unanimously approved, 4-0, by the Select Board at the Monday, Feb. 10, meeting:

  • 8:45 a.m. – Boys and Girls Club 56th Annual Fun Run, a 2.7-mile run along Mass. Ave. from the Lexington line to the club at Pond Lane.
  • Noon – Menotomy Battle Reenactment, Jason Russell House.
  • 3 p.m. – Parade, Mass. Ave. from Forest Street east to Foster Street/Linwood Street, passing by Town Hall. More details here >>  

Jazz festival banners to be displayed 

This April, be on the lookout for banners announcing Arlington’s annual jazz festival, May 14 through 17, as unanimously approved by the board.

“Our hope is to have the two banners hung on the west side of Route 60 or, if that doesn’t work, on any part of Mass., Ave.," said Dan Fox, jazz festival director.

More details here >>  

3 articles: Lighting, bikeway hours, School Committee stipends

The board discussed three articles that will be included on the 2020 annual Town Meeting warrant: 

Bylaw Amendment/Regulation of Outdoor Lighting–Uplighting 

The board unanimously approved supporting favorable action on amending Title V, Article 14, Section 3D of the town bylaws to include buildings used for religious and commercial purposes among the exemptions to the prohibition of uplighting. 

“This article gives Town Meeting another opportunity to clarify it from last year,” said Precinct 9 meeting member Paul Schlichtman, who requested this amendment.

“This bylaw wouldn’t cover residential proprieties, just buildings impacted by the new bylaw,” explained board member John Hurd.

Bylaw Amendment/Minuteman Bikeway Hours

The board unanimously approved support for amending Title III, Article 1, Section 10 of the town bylaws to extend the Minuteman Bikeway operating hours until 11 p.m., and giving the town manger discretion to administratively adjust the hours.

In Arlington, the bikeway has the same hours as the parks. However, Lexington and Bedford, the other towns of the bike path, do not.

“We want to be in harmony with the other two towns. We’ve had consultations with the Police Department in making this decision, and the Planning Department also supports this,” said Christopher Tonkin, Arlington bicycle committee chair.

Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine concurred: “We’ve had a very good back-and-forth dialogue with the Police Department. This might also spur discussions of lighting the bike path.”

“I fully support the idea of extending the hours,” said board member Joseph Curro Jr.

Board Chair Diane Mahon agreed: “I think it’s a great idea.”

Vote/Appropriation/School Committee Member Stipends

The board voted unanimously to support M.G.L. c. 71, Section 52, to provide all Arlington School Committee members compensation consisting of an annual stipend of $3,000 per member beginning in fiscal 2022.

“Offering compensation upholds the values of respect, value and access. Not everyone can easily take a nonpaid volunteer position and also pay for child care. Currently, 16 local towns offer compensation to school community members, and some provide travel reimbursement and health insurance. The total amount for Arlington would be $21K per year,” said Precinct 5 Town Meeting member Christa Kelleher.

“The School Committee works very hard, and is responsible for the budget,” said School Committee member Jennifer Susse. “We also serve on negotiating committees, some of which are complicated and hold long meetings. $21K is the amount of a teaching assistant.”

Board member Curro, who previously served on the School Committee, said, “I completely support this in principle. Budgeting and negotiations is very real for the School Committee. Members typically have small children, and sometimes they need to bring their children to meetings. A stipend to pay for baby-sitting is appropriate.”

Mahon concurred, “I support this 100 percent. The School Committee works just as hard as the Select Board, perhaps even harder, and the disparity always baffled me.”

Hurd said: “I’ve never been able to wrap my head around why we get a stipend, and the School Committee doesn’t. I’m comfortable with the idea of endorsing it.”

DeCourcey added: “I support this effort, but the Finance Committee should decide the amount of compensation.”

Town Counsel Doug Heim explained, “This article has two facets: vote and appropriation. The Select Board can be responsive only to the idea of a vote. Appropriation must go in front of the Finance Committee. The law says that Town Meeting has to vote on whether to provide compensation, and to say what the compensation amount will be.”

$200,000 sewer bond approved

In accord with Town Meeting’s authorization of Article 61 in 2019, the board unanimously authorized the approval of a $200,000 sewer bond to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

“This interest-free loan, payable over 10 years, is for the design, bid, construction, and post-construction flow evaluation,” explained Town Treasurer Phyllis Marshall.

Gas main to be installed

Eversource Energy will install one hip guy in Mass. Ave. at Elmhurst Road to support pole 847/29, as unanimously approved by the board.

“A hip guy looks like a chin-up bar, so no one will walk into it, which goes on the sidewalk, near the grass,” explained Jacqueline Duffy, rights and permits supervisor.

National Grid will install and maintain approximately 25 feet of a six-inch gas main in Browning Road. It will be installed from the existing gas main just past house No. 25 southwesterly to house No. 21, to provide gas service to houses No. 20 and No. 21, as unanimously approved by the board (3-0, DeCourcey recused himself because his firm work with Eversource).

Reappointments

The board unanimously approved the following reappointments:

  • Board of Youth Services – Lori Pescatore (term expires Jan. 31, 2023)
  • Library Board of Trustees – Heather Calvin (term expires June 30, 2021) and Jonathan Gates (term expires June 30, 2022)
  • Library Board of Trustees, to correct term ending date – Adam Delmolino (was Jan. 31, 2022, should be Jan. 31, 2021) and Amy Hampe (was Jan. 31, 2022, should be Jan. 31, 2021)
Special licenses

The board unanimously approved the following special one-day beer-and-wine licenses:

  • Robbins Memorial Town Hall, private event, March 7; and
  • Lesley Ellis School, private event, March 14.
New election workers

The board unanimously approved four new election workers:

  • Celia Doremus, Precinct 12
  • Beverly Panettiere, Precinct 7
  • Juliet Wolf, Precinct 18
  • Stanley Wolf, Precinct 18 

This news summary, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, and updated Feb. 14.

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