Green Communities update

Here I am with Martha Grover and members of the Energy Commission at the recent Bike to the T event.

Recently, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), which administers the Green Communities Designation and Grant program, asked us to submit a photo and fill out a brief questionnaire about Melrose. It included some questions about the energy challenges that Melrose faces, and I thought the answers might be interesting to you.

Biggest Energy Challenges/Opportunities
Energy challenges in Melrose include some municipal buildings that are well over 100 years old and schools built in the 1920s and 1950s. Retrofitting these buildings with energy efficient systems is expensive and difficult. However, Melrose has a Mayor and Board of Aldermen who are committed to doing what they can to save energy and taxpayer dollars. With seed money from our Green Community grant Melrose was able to hire a part-time Energy Efficiency Manager who is able to take advantage of a variety of funding opportunities to tackle energy savings and renewable energy projects throughout the City.

Motivating factor(s) for your municipality to become a Green Community
Following on the work of the Melrose Energy Commission, the time was right to create a city-wide energy reduction plan and to act on it. We expect to meet our goal to reduce energy usage by 20% or more by 2015.


Storm Update: Power to the People!

  • At the height of the storm, National Grid reported 384 households had lost electricity. Today that number is down to 134, so power has been restored to 250 homes.
  • National Grid has two crews in place in Melrose today and they have an action plan to restore electricity to 105 households. The other outages are single homes that have an issue with a private tree or private electric service and require coordination with the homeowner.
  • We expect to have all big trees cleared away by the end of the work day tomorrow.
  • As previously announced, yard waste will be picked up this week and the following two weeks, and the City Yard will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, in addition to regular weekend hours.

The Mayor’s Morning Briefing: Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween! With Hurricane Sandy behind us and fair weather in the forecast, we have decided that traditional, house-to-house trick or treating should go on tonight as planned. However, the downtown trick or treating, sponsored by the Melrose Chamber of Commerce, has been rescheduled to Friday, November 2, from 3:30-5 p.m.

This is a green recycling week.
Trash and recycling are on a regular schedule.
Yard waste will be picked up curbside this week.
Tree and park crews are cleaning up broken tree limbs and downed branches.
Sewer crews are cleaning catch basins and grates, and pumping out the City Hall parking lot.
The cemetery crew is cleaning up after the storm.

Tomorrow is an early release day for the elementary schools. Lunch will be served, and school will get out at 12:30 p.m.
Share your thoughts on the next principal of Melrose High School with Superintendent of Schools Cyndy Taymore in a meeting tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. in the Resource Center of Melrose High School.
Starting next week, all five of the city’s elementary schools will hold Kindergarten Open Houses that will include a tour of the school by the principal. Tours begin at 6:30 and 7:30 and will take place at the Horace Mann School on November 5, the Hoover and Winthrop schools on November 7, and the Roosevelt and Lincoln schools on November 15.

Upcoming Events
October 31, 1-3 p.m, Halloween Party, Milano Senior Center
November 2, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Toddler Time Drop-In Program, Melrose Public Library Meeting Room
November 2, 3:30-5 p.m., Halloween Trick or Treating, Main Street, sponsored by the Melrose Chamber of Commerce
November 2, 7-10 p.m., Common Ground Teen Center, Melrose YMCA on Main St., open to grades 6-8, free
November 5, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Yoga with Joy, for babies 0-18 months and their caregivers, Melrose Public Library
November 7, 7-8 p.m., Flu Clinic, Knights of Columbus, 23 West Foster St., Melrose
November 8, 6:30-8 p.m., International Welcome Reception, sponsored by the Melrose Human Rights Commission, Lincoln School
November 9, 10-11 a.m. Mayor’s Kids Club, Memorial Hall
November 9, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Common Ground Teen Center’s Teen Trip Night to Monster Mini Golf in Danvers; open to grades 6-8. Buses load at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School at 6:30 p.m., return 9-9:30. $10 per person.

Upcoming Meetings
November 1, 10:38 a.m., Park Commission, Mount Hood Club House
November 1, 7:45 p.m., Board of Aldermen, Aldermanic Chamber
November 5, 7 p.m., Human Rights Commission, Mayor’s Conference Room
November 8, 8 p.m., Board of Aldermen, Public Hearing, Classification of Property, Aldermanic Chamber
November 8, 8:15 p.m., Board of Aldermen, Public Hearing, Verizon – Vine St., Aldermanic Chamber
November 14, 7:45 p.m., Board of Appeals, Aldermanic Chamber

Storm update: Trees and power

I met with DPW Supervisor John Scenna, Chief Lyle, Chief Leary, and a representative from National Grid today at noon, and I wanted to share with you some of the information about the impact of Hurricane Sandy and what to expect in the next few days.


  • There are 311 National Grid accounts (3% of households) without power in Melrose, including ten isolated areas.
  • National Grid has a crew in Melrose, and it is prioritizing the larger outages but is aware of all residential outages.
  • Anyone with a medical necessity (dialysis machine, Lifeline) will be given priority. Anyone in that situation should call the Fire Department, 781-665-0500, and they will relay the information to National Grid.
  • Patrol officers are checking every street for downed power lines and calling them in.
  • National Grid has responsibility for downed power lines; they are relieving our police and fire details with their own crews. If their people aren’t available, the mayor has requested that they pay for the detail.
  • Today, National Grid will see to it that all downed power lines have a crew watching them at 2 p.m., when school gets out. They fully anticipate that there will be no more downed wires by tonight.
  • Residents who are without power can call 1-800-322-3223 for information.


  • Director of Public Works John Scenna anticipates that all city trees will be cleared by the end of the week.
  • DPW has 3-5 crews working at all times.
  • A number of city trees are down. Five cannot be removed without assistance from National Grid. Operations Director Peter Pietrantonio from DPW will touch base with the involved homeowners at least once a day to update them.
  • Trees on private property are the homeowner’s responsibility.
  • Street sweeping will resume tomorrow.
  • DPW will pick up yard waste next week and the following week, so homeowners will have three weeks to dispose of branches and other debris.
  • The City Yard will be open Saturday and Sunday for yard waste disposal from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Storm Update: Trick or treating

I would like to inform you that the Chamber of Commerce downtown trick or treating event that was scheduled for Wednesday, October 31, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. has been moved to Friday, November 2, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Evening trick or treating throughout the community remains, at this time, on Wednesday, October 31. If there are any changes, we will inform you through our usual channels.

Thank you, and please remain safe during this storm.