Mark your calendar! We will have an Open House for the public to view the new Science Wing at Melrose High School from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, September 7. Come on down and see our new state-of-the-art facility!
Today was a great day: We cut the ribbon on the new Science Wing at Melrose High School. This was a project that came together incredibly quickly and the end result is superb. I want to commend our City Planner, Denise Gaffey, for seeing this project through from beginning to end, as well as our School Committee, our Board of Aldermen, and our state legislative delegation, Rep. Paul Brodeur and Sen. Katherine Clark, for their support.
I was honored to be invited to Alice Consalvo’s 100th birthday party. Alice has been a part of our community’s life for as long as I can remember, participating in the Veterans Day observances at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School as well as the Memorial Day parade every year. She is a wonderful person, and I was delighted to be able to share her happy day.
The Free Press has written a great article about Alice and another Melrose centenarian, Frank Waterhouse. Check it out!
We had our Neighborhood Night Out in Gooch Park last night, and a good time was had by all. Here are a few pictures.
Melrose Friends of the Aging, Inc. is now conducting its annual fundraising drive with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the Milano Senior Center. Raffle chances are $10.00 each or 5 chances for $40 with a prize of 150, $5.00 Mass Lottery Scratch Tickets!
Tickets are available at the Milano Senior Center every weekday between 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Drawing will take place at The Victorian Fair on Sept. 8 at 5:00PM, but you don’t have to be present to win. Your support helps finance our countless efforts to provide a multitude of services and programs for Melrose seniors. Don’t delay! Tickets will only be on sale until Sept 8.
I am happy to pass along the news that our Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Dello Russo, ahs been re-elected to a second term as President of the Eastern Massachusetts Municipal Auditors and Accountants Association. The Association has 86 members from 53 cities and towns in the region. As President, Dello Russo will continue to be responsible for managing the association’s meetings.
This is a well deserved acknowledgement of Patrick’s talents and professional skill. He has guided the finances of the City of Melrose through good times and bad with a steady hand, and I congratulate him on this recognition by his peers.
Summer isn’t quite over yet! Come to the Movie Night at Memorial Hall and see “Madagascar 3 – Europe’s Most Wanted” tonight at 6 p.m. Admission is free, and families are encouraged to bring their own snacks. These movie viewings are made possible by the generosity of the Victoria McLaughlin Foundation. Visit http://www.melrosememorialhall.com for more information.
Tomorrow night is our Gooch Park Neighborhood Night Out. Come down to Gooch Park from 6-8 p.m. for children’s activities, face painting, a bouncy house, and free slush. All are welcome.
The Melrose Cultural Council (MCC) is holding a Community Input Meeting at 7:30 PM on Wednesday August 21, 2013 at the Milano Senior Center located at 201 West Foster Street, Melrose, MA. Members of the public are invited to share their ideas about funding cultural activities in Melrose and to find out more about the Melrose Cultural Council.
The MCC is part of a grassroots network of 329 local councils that serve every city and town in the state. The program is the largest, most decentralized one of its kind in the United States. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which then allocates funds to each local council. This year, the MCC will distribute about $7,000 in grants.
Grant applications to the MCC must have a postmark no later than October 15, 2013 to be considered for the next round of funding. Organizations, schools, and individuals are encouraged to apply for grants that support cultural activities in the community. These grants can support a variety of artistic projects and activities in Melrose – including exhibits, festivals, short-term artist residencies or performances in schools, workshops and lectures. The Melrose Cultural Council will also entertain funding proposals from schools and youth groups through the PASS Program, a ticket subsidy program for school-aged children.
Last year the MCC gave grants for the following projects: The Creative Sampler, Irish Traditional Music Concert and Workshop, Delvena Theater Company’s All the President’s Women, Hoover School fifth grade field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts, Horace Mann School’s Math Amazing, Monet’s Mirror How to Pastel Paint Water Lilies, Musical Portraits at Opening Night of the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, July 4th Concert at Mt Hood, MMVMS Flicks Night Movie Series, Music and Movement with Kidz Fun, Polymnia Choral Society’s Celtic Christmas, CommuniTree Recycled Material Art Project, and Cafe Jazz at Temple Beth Shalom.
Application forms and more information about the Melrose Cultural Council Program are available in the Reference Room at the Melrose Public Library, at Melrose City Hall outside the second floor Mayor’s office, on the MCC website or by contacting Jim Wilson, Chairperson, at 781-662-0380 or MelroseCultural@gmail.com.
The Melrose Police Department’s next generation of police patrol vehicles has arrived. These new vehicles will be replacing the traditional sedan patrol vehicles.
The new police utility police interceptor vehicle boasts a fuel-efficient 3.5-liter V-6 up that yields up to 25 % cost savings over the traditional standard V-8 currently in the Melrose fleet. The new vehicles have front wheel drive with rear wheel assist when needed and utilize LED lighting that reduces wear and tear on the electrical system.
The new vehicles are replacing 40 % of the department’s existing fleet. “This will move the Melrose Police Department forward with improved technology and fuel efficiency,” said Police Chief Michael Lyle. “These cruisers are the latest Ford designs. It’s an all-wheel drive package, front wheel drive with rear wheel assist, so in January or February, when we have a big snowstorm this will help the police department respond to calls for service.”
In addition, Lyle said, all the cars will have new laptops with up-to-date software. “With the Melrose Alert program, if someone is missing and their information has been registered with the Melrose Police Department or the Council on Aging, the officer will be able to pull up the missing person’s photo and information on their screen,” Lyle said. “They will also be able to access our records management system and file a very short police report from the road. The radio system is superior to what we had in the previous vehicle, and the lights are LED lights so they aren’t as much of a drain on the electrical system.”
“I think that providing our public safety officers with up to date equipment is an important way for the community to support them and the important work that they do,” said Mayor Rob Dolan. “These new vehicles will give our police officers an important tool for maintaining public safety while holding the line on fuel costs and emissions.”
The City of Melrose is moving forward with major road work during the summer and fall construction season, but the extent of that work depends in part on whether the state will release all the funds it has pledged for roads this fiscal year.
Phase 1 of the Fiscal 2013 road program will involve work on the following streets:
Sidewalks on West Foster Street from Myrtle to Willow
North and South Cedar Park
Glendower Road at the Hoover School
Intersection of Foster, Vinton, and Maple
Upham Street sidewalks from Altamont to Ridgewood
These roads were chosen after a study that was presented to the Board of Aldermen. The study was done by an independent contractor who rated all the roads in the City based on condition, usage, and accessibility. Every road was ranked on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the best, and all the roads on this year’s list got a ranking of 5 and are among the worst in the City.
This year’s road program is also focused on pedestrian accessibility improvements, specifically, the West Foster Street sidewalks that provide access to downtown and elderly facilities, the Upham Street sidewalks, and the Glendower-Hoover transportation safety upgrades.
“This is an aggressive program that will provide real benefits to the City,” said City Engineer Andrew Street. “I look forward to working with the residents of these areas to not only improve the condition of the roads, but also the pedestrian accommodations within these project areas.”
For the past ten years, the City’s roads program has focused on major arteries, and after several years of infrastructure work it can now shift to smaller streets. The Board of Aldermen has dedicated a new three-year bond for $1.5 million, or $500,000 per year, for road work, but a real concern remains in terms of the state’s commitment to Chapter 90 funds. The legislature had passed a $300 million statewide program through tax and fee increases, which would have resulted in a $800,000 Chapter 90 allocation to Melrose. However, that was reduced by the governor to be level funded. That is a concern for all cities and towns in Massachusetts who rely on this money for larger road programs.
In addition, Melrose recently put a three-year road contract out to bid, and the winner of the bid is DNR of Melrose.
By having a full analysis of road conditions in the city, coupled with a three-year investment by the Board of Aldermen and state assistance, we are now in a position to continue and enhance the road infrastructure program we have been working on for the past decade. We have improved more roads in the past ten years than had been done in the previous 20. We are also making major investments in water and sewer infrastructure to improve water flow for firefighting and reduce inflow and infiltration, as well as addressing small pockets of flooding issues that affect people’s homes.