Feb 12 2015 mtg
Members in Attendance: Rena Getz, Chris Pitts, Sallee Lipshutz, Barbara Bower, Joe Corkery, Kathy Winters, Matt Gardella, Andreae Downs
City officials: none
Other attendees: Dina David, Nelson Lipshutz, Marilyn Broyles
Members Absent: Maureen Reilly Meagher
1. Meeting called to order at 7:35 PM
2. Secretary’s Report – KW moves to approve minutes from January meeting. BB seconds. Unanimously approved.
3. Treasurer’s Report – RG presented financial report. RG reminds council to keep in mind that current balance includes a balance of $299.70 on behalf of FOTQ. AD move to approve. KW seconds. Unanimously approved.
4. Burning Issues
· AD reports that storm water planning meeting happened last night. One takeaway is that there will be a study by the city of flooding along the Quinobequin. There is a draft plan being developed to assess risk of damage of flooding to property along river. Money has been put aside for study of this area by FY 2017. DD asked for email address to communicate information to. AD suggests that she contacts Alderman Deb Crossley. Remaining questions that need to be worked out are how to raise storm water fees to get to $2.4m. Whether to pay for work out of cash or bond it. Currently planning to spend half for operations and maintenance. Next steps are to figure out how fast to pay for the plan and how to spread burden of increased rates.
· DD – when snow starts to melt, Quinobequin is going to be under water. Is there anyway that preventative work can be done now? Can city come and remove snow? SL asked to whom we can speak with this about it. AD suggests calling 311 and asking to speak to someone in DPW, but need to wait until they are all no longer all out plowing. RG – is there a way that we can flag this? AD – can’t draft a letter now because it’s not on the agenda and because of OML would need to be posted 48 hours in advance. CP asks whether we can take the issue up as an emergency issue. General discussion about historical problems with storm water overflow and resulting flooding. RG – suggests that somebody on the council speaks to Deb Crossley that people are concerned that all water in Waban now is going to end up on Quinobequin. CP – suggests that we all call Deb and ask for a meeting with DCR to discuss. SL – says no to meeting because relationship with DCR is still being built. Important task is to raise issue to aldermen about concerns. AD – states that point of WAC is that we hammer out issues at local level and can then bring to city or DCR with one voice. AD proposes that we encourage individuals to speak with alderman and DCR as individuals about concern where snow will go and its flow into the low-lying areas.
5. Councilor Goals – MG discussed his goals around being involved with future activities similar to work he did on 40B meeting and St. Philip Neri coordination last year.
6. Angier School / Beacon St / Collins Rd – SL states Bill Paille sent presentation from previous meeting. No further updates from that meeting. MB raised concern about current plan because some people have trouble parallel parking on their right. AD acknowledged that not all people can park well and stated that the plan will be discussed at next public facilities meeting next Wednesday the 18th.
7. Zervas School Site Plan – SL asked to confirm time for meeting because there is some confusion about the time. AD states that start time was voluntarily changed to 7:30 to accommodate another group. SL will update flyers. AD announces that meeting will be cosponsored with NHAC. Hope is to talk about actual school sites and how we plan for kids to get there. DD stated that she ran into she ran into Diane (the crossing guard) and that she has not been invited to discussions about traffic. AD will connect with her to bring her into the loop. KW – will this be focused on Zervas or more general? AD – it will be much more generalized, but they will have Zervas plan for people to look at. RG – suggests having Angier plans up as well as that is still in flux. AD – agreed to bring that plan up as well. States that she has already presented plan to WalkBoston who came up with a number of questions which she has delivered to Bill Paille already and who has addressed many of those issues. Angier plan is going out to bid next month and there is not much opportunity for impact. Both Zervas and Cabot plans are still open for comment. RG – confused by the fact that we were initially told to hold off on discussion at Zervas, but now we’re being encouraged to comment. AD – Zervas hasn’t been designed yet, so still can comment. Idea is can we take the 30,000 ft view and can we think about what can be done. Street flow hasn’t been designed yet. RG – which community is this designed to flag? Angier v Zervas. AD – both because this is also covering policy issues as well as structural issues. Notes that Angier parents aren’t allowed to drive. CP – is concern around Zervas related to traffic as he remembers that most Zervas parents drive as compared to Angier population. Is the point here to change behavior or design? AD – have invited Angier, Zervas, and Cabot communities as well as all the aldermen. RG – would be good to make sure we communicate in detail what the meeting is about as well as provide a suggestion box for people to raise concerns. Suggests that we need to invite staffers from the schools. AD – invited all the principals but Principle Lamberti can’t make it. RG – we need to make sure we update reminders to ensure right people come and they have the right expectations.
8. Waban Future Vision Report – CP – says that there were close to 20 people at last meeting. Had Robert Garrity (now Ex-Director of Sustainability) at meeting. Discussed opportunities that are available now. Lots of options around solar panels. Between credits and incentives now there are great options to install solar panels affordably. Village Bank has a good loan plan for people who are interested. Potentially 10% of homes in Newton could accommodate solar panels. CP – making a video now about this now for another project. Other topics discussed include a land trust to invest in local areas. City of Newton is looking at broader areas in Newton that could accommodate solar panel technologies such as parking lots, etc. Talked about looking at green spaces and how they are off-limits and counterproductive for solar installations. Some discussion about other home energy improvement options. Decided that having a guest expert at the meeting is very good. Going to have next meeting on 23rd focus on traffic and Bill Paille will be in attendance. Next meeting after that will be on housing topic. Four main topics have emerged. Working on a living document as a wiki that is available from WAC webpage. Encouraging people to deep dive into categories by adding information and participating in discussions on the page if not contributing to page content. CP thinks it might be interesting to have non-Wabanites there to talk about experiences in their communities as well.
9. Angier Construction Progress – BB reports that steel continues to go up. They are 6 days delayed but are confident that it won’t make an impact on finish date. Will work 10-hour days and weekends as necessary to complete the building. “Failure is not an option”. Will have solar panels on school. Geothermal was determined not to be an option due to archaeological exploration requirements. RG, SL, BB comment that school looks much bigger and closer to street than expected. CP has questioned about geothermal. JC explained that in order to do geothermal they would have to assess entire parkland because of potential burial grounds on the site.
10. Zoning Issues – RG nothing to report.
11. St. Philip Neri – SL reports that planning department has no new information about this project.
12. Add-A-Lane – SL states that the same contacts as last meeting. We need to discuss what we want as mitigation recompense for traffic problems as result. AD suggests that we put down suggestions that go out with agenda so that folks can come to meeting with things that they want to comment on. SL let’s consider them for this month. AD – make sure those ideas appear on agenda. CP – encourages people to think out of the box. AD – remember this is MassDOT, so could ask for roads to be safer (e.g. Quinobequin or Chestnut) if cut through traffic becomes a problem. CP – is mitigation limited to areas that they have control over? AD – yes, for instance we could ask for sidewalks along Rte. 9 or ask for them to plow sidewalks or ask for pedestrian bypasses.
13. Council Boundaries Update – SL reports that still working on the boundaries. There was a presentation at a meeting where NHAC asked to expand their boundaries. Request was denied. John Rice will be convening meeting between two area councils to resolve issue and that will be resolved amicably.
14. Evaluation of Snow Ordinance – SL states that very concerned that neither city nor residents have done a good job of snow removal. Asked to read minutes from last meeting to remind people of John Rice commenting on lack of snow in January.
15. Waban pre-paving community input on Annawan and Varick – AD DWP is aware of Agawam puddle. They tried to deal with it last year. It is beyond what they can do easily. Going to study it because it involves going into people’s properties. It requires a lot of planning and will be expensive. So it won’t be done this year. MB wanted to know where it is on their list. AD explains that it is several steps away but it is on their radar. SL – asking on behalf of MRM – how many people were contacted? AD – emailed people. MB reports that she used neighborhood emails and contacted lots of people along adjoining streets. AD states that she contacted a lot of people along Annawan. WAC should forward link to people about paving planning. SL (via MRM) – Can we get Annawan on Varick at TAG pilot meeting in March? AD – Annawan and Varick are not included in upcoming meeting. Point of meeting is to get thorny issues out and that Annawan and Varick aren’t that complicated. AD states that Annawan and Varick are not on CIP for major improvements. Proposes that we take letter that we have been drafting and send it to DPW ASAP with a copy to Bill Paille. RG wants to know if anybody is requesting any trees or sidewalks. AD sidewalks are part of proposal for how to get kids to school. BB states that where Varick intersects with Beacon and now all of the sudden there are stop signs there now that are unclear. There are too many signs and makes the intersection very ugly. Can we take signs down? AD – yes talk to Bill Paille. AD moves to send letter Dave Tirosi (DPW) and Bill Paille on behalf of WAC. KW seconds. Unanimously approved.
16. Update on trash removal at Richardson Field – nothing to report because of snow. Will address at next month’s meeting.
17. Communications Committee – CP was hoping that we would be more engaged with updating the website. Concerned that we might have missed window to engage community. Still a good place to provide updates and upload documents. All councilors are administrators of WAC Google calendar. We also have WAC page of Facebook with 115 followers. All councilors are admins for Facebook page, if not for some reason already, CP will make you an admin. Still have Google group still. Also have NextDoor Waban that people should check out. AD – CP could you put together a SOP document on how to edit the WAC website. KW – she has that email and will resend it to everyone. RG – do we want to ask WIS if they want to sponsor the mailing. JC – says that we can use VistaPrint to send the postcard cheaper than sending it directly. RG – Joe could you get a formal quote from Vista. CP – will get a PDF together of document. SL shares wording with councilors who will provide feedback on it. Not going to be put logo on it until after logo issue had been discussed. Edits to be sent in off line. Will bring final version to approve at next meeting. CP emphasizes that he wants design to appear professional and wants to have logo on card.
18. Silent Auction – SL has asked two people who cannot help lead the auction. Needs somebody to take it on as an organizer. Wants a co-chair. RG – is NHAC going to do it this year? SL – they may or may not. We don’t need NHAC involved to do it, but it will require a lot of work. BB willing to help out but won’t be there that day (Village Day). RG proposes that we make a list of all the jobs and divy it up amongst all the councilors. SL,RG,BB will put together a task list that people can select. AD happy to help but can’t be there that day. JC willing to help on the day but doesn’t have a lot of availability in weeks before. RG – NHAC auction didn’t have a lot of traffic. Should we look at other options. JC – need to be mindful of Angier parents being exhausted from fundraising ask.
19. New Business – none
Next meeting will take place on March 12, 2015.
Adjourn. 9:13 pm.