In Memoriam: Mayor Tom Menino

Thomas_Menino,_Mayor_of_Boston

The City of Melrose mourns the passing of Mayor Tom Menino, the Mayor of the City of Boston. The following is a statement from the Massachusetts Mayors Association and the Massachusetts Municipal Association:

We wish to express our profound sorrow at the passing of Tom Menino, one of America’s great Mayors, who led the City of Boston and all of us through a time of historic transformation, renewal and change. Mayor Menino was a friend and mentor to his colleagues in cities and towns across the Commonwealth, and he leaves a lasting legacy forged by his passion and commitment to helping people and making government work for everyone. The Mayors and local officials of Massachusetts extend our deepest sympathies to Angela and the entire Menino family, and the legion of friends, colleagues and constituents who mourn the loss of a great leader.

Mayor Menino was always very generous to me with his time and advice when I was a new mayor. It was an honor to serve with him as Mayors in the Commonwealth over the past 11 years. He will certainly be missed as a great Mayor of our capital city.

Video Blog: Melrose High School HVAC Update

Today we’re up on the roof of Melrose High School!

Melrose Awarded $500,000 for Essex St. Improvements

Here is a press release sent out by my office this week.

Mayor Rob Dolan announced today that the City of Melrose has received $500,000 through the MassWorks Infrastructure Program for improvements to the Essex Street Corridor.

The proposed scope of work for the estimated $750,000 project will include Essex Street, beginning at Main Street and continuing to the intersection of West Emerson Street at Cedar Park. It will also include Willow Street from Essex to West Foster. The project will provide a new road, sidewalks, trees, ornamental lighting, multiple safety improvements, and other aesthetic improvements.

“As a community, through the hard work of our planning office, legislative delegation, and business community, we have been very successful in creating responsible business and residential development and opportunities along our rail corridors beginning at Oak Grove on the Malden line and continuing throughout the City all the way to the Highlands Business District abutting Wakefield and Stoneham. Essex Street is the critical connection between all these areas,” said Mayor Dolan

Melrose has been described as a model for smart growth principles with its walkable neighborhoods, dense pattern of development, and a variety of transportation options. The Essex Street corridor exemplifies this, providing an important connection between the pedestrian-friendly businesses and bus routes of downtown Main Street to the Cedar Park commuter rail station.

“I’m very pleased to see Melrose receive this funding to enhance its infrastructure and pedestrian safety,” said Senator Jason Lewis. “Investing in safer roads and sidewalks benefits our neighborhood businesses and brings our community closer together.”

Representative Paul Brodeur added, “I am very happy to work in partnership with the City of Melrose, Mayor Dolan, and the Chamber of Commerce to continue the outstanding partnership that the Commonwealth and the City have formed to improve our infrastructure and promote economic development in all the areas of the City.

Through the assistance of MAPC, a Commuter Rail Corridor Plan for the Tremont/Essex area was established and approved unanimously by the Melrose Board of Alderman in 2014 that encompasses land use and zoning, transportation and streetscape improvements.

“Essex Street contains numerous multi-family developments, ample municipal parking, access to City Hall, and a variety of businesses ranging from small, local-owned shops to a large supermarket. It will also soon be the site of a large assisted living facility at the former Deering Lumber site. Our goal is to see the Essex Street corridor become a continuation of our downtown business district, added Dolan.

The MassWorks Infrastructure Program provides a one-stop shop for municipalities and other eligible public entities seeking public infrastructure funding to support responsible economic development. The MassWorks Infrastructure Program is administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development under the leadership of Governor Deval Patrick and Secretary Gregory Bialecki.

“Through the MassWorks program I am seeing firsthand in the Highlands Business District the excitement and economic boost these funds give to smaller business districts that may not currently be thriving to the extent of our downtown. Given the potential economic business development benefit to this small business district, the support and commitment the city has provided this area with other projects abutting these proposed limits and the proximity of this proposed project area to the commuter rail and senior housing, I believe we are just scratching the surface of the potential of this area,” Dolan further explained.

Melrose Regional Veterans Services District Commended as District of the Year

Vets District of the Year

I am very proud to announce that the Melrose-Wakefield-Saugus Veterans District was named yesterday as the Massachusetts Veterans Services District of the Year by the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Affairs. Included in the photo are Secretary of Veteran’s Services Coleman Nee, Saugus-Wakefield Veterans Officer Andrew Biggio, and our own Melrose VSO Ryan McLane.

When our district was formed three years ago, it was a rare collaboration between municipalities in Eastern Massachusetts. It is now a model for service to veterans in our three communities.

All credit goes to Ryan and Andrew as well as their support staff and volunteers, and in particular the Veterans Services Advisory Boards in the three communities and our partners in Wakefield and Saugus for this great success.

Our goal from the beginning was to serve all veterans more completely with responsiveness, compassion, and respect. Congratulations on this statewide recognition of excellence.

Roads Close for Final Paving Thursday

On Thursday, October 30, final paving is scheduled at the following locations:

  • Lincoln Street from Porter Street to Upham Street
  • Cottage Street from Russell Street through West Wyoming Avenue

Both streets will be closed on Thursday, but the good news is that this will be the final course of pavement for both streets.

Melrose Symphony Orchestra Opening Night is Saturday

MSO

The Melrose Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 97th season on Saturday, November 1, with a Halloween “Spooktacular” concert featuring Mussorgy’s Night on Bald Mountain, Berlioz’s March to the Scaffold and Witches Sabbath, and Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the music that inspired Disney’s Fantasia. The show starts at 8 p.m., and conductor Yoichi Udagawa will give a special pre-concert talk at 7:15. Check the website for more information on the show and where you can get tickets.

Tri-Cap Oktoberfest Is Tomorrow

Tri-Cap Oktoberfest

Tri-Cap, which provides many important services for residents of Melrose and the surrounding cities, is having an Oktoberfest tomorrow at the Irish American Club in Malden from 5:30 till 8 p.m. Drop by and have some fun while supporting a worthy cause!

Questions and Answers for October 2014

Some of Melrose’s roads are in pretty poor condition with potholes, uneven pavement, etc. Some of these roads experience heavy traffic. One example is Washington Street, another is parts of Main Street (in the area near the Gazebo), and of course Lebanon Street, which is having work done. Are there plans to repave these roads before winter?

The Lebanon Street Improvement Project that is currently underway is close to an $8 million project in total, including funding by the State, the utilities and the City of Melrose. It includes a new roadway, curbing, concrete sidewalks, ADA ramps, traffic signals, and new electrical conduit, beginning at Robinson’s Funeral Home all the way to Grove Street. It also includes the section of Main Street that you are referring to. Because it is part of the Lebanon project, we have held off repaving that portion of Main Street. Final paving on these roads will occur in the spring, the to allow for any potential settling that may occur after the water and gas work is complete.

The City hired a consultant last year to conduct three separate evaluations of each roadway in Melrose based on the condition of the asphalt, water infrastructure, and sewer infrastructure, in order to help direct our funds in road improvement projects. Washington Street is one that ranks high in terms of needing repair. It will be under strong consideration when our current slate of road projects, funded through our current road bond and Chapter 90 funds is, completed in 2015.

A tip of my hat to the MWRA for completing construction and reopening Ravine Road on schedule and even doing a nice paving job where they excavated the road. Are there plans to plant grass and landscape the area of the Ravine Road/Fellsway intersection where they established the new access to Ravine? If so, what is the target date?

The area was seeded this week, so thankfully, the project is complete.

This MWRA project was very important for Melrose and the region as it created another emergency water supply for the area in case of a crisis. In addition, I was pleased to see DCR reconfigure the intersection of upper Ravine Road and the Fellsway to make it into a T intersection, which will be safer for everyone entering and exiting that busy intersection.

Continue reading →

Video Blog: Road Construction Update

Today I talked to DPW Director John Scenna about the status of the various road construction projects around town.

Farmers Market Moves to Memorial Hall for the Day

The Farmers Market is on from 1 to 6 p.m. today, but due to inclement weather it will take place indoors at Memorial Hall.

This week, On the Edge Knife is coming for the last time—bring your knives to be sharpened to the market before the Thanksgiving rush.

Also at the market this week, 7 ate 9 has made their best selling pumpkin cheesecakes using the pumpkins from Dick’s Market Garden at our market!

Doves and Figs will be at the market bringing their fantastic jams—jams such as Peachy Mean—peaches with a kick of black pepper and hot red pepper flakes.

Dick’s Market Garden will be bringing their late summer, early fall harvest. Cannistraci will bring their fresh baked bread. Shady Pine will bring grass fed meats and eggs. Roberto’s Seafood will bring the fresh catch of the day. Fior d’Italia will bring their pastas. Eventide will bring her wonderful blondies and other fine baked goods.

Sydney Smith and Constance Lafond, artisans, will bring their prints and original paintings, drawings and watercolors, floral photo cards and more—lots of holiday gift ideas.

Our non-profit is Scarlett and Bryce Timm, who are raising money for the Wildlife Conservation Society, specifically for wild elephants. They will be selling bracelets and providing an art and painting table to raise funds for the society.

Kevin Moore will be playing live acoustic guitar starting at 4 p.m.

See you at the market!

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