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2 Mass. Ave. eating options OK'd: Bakehouse to take Bagels By Us space

selectboard 42718Town AAA bond rating reapproved by S&P Global Ratings.
-- Treasurer Phyllis Marshall

UPDATED, Jan. 19: By winter, it will be time to loosen your belt a notch, and enjoy two new Arlington eateries. Both establishments had licenses unanimously approved by the Select Board (4-0, Kevin Greeley absent) on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

* Butternut Bakehouse, 787-789 Mass. Ave. (former site of Bagels By Us). A 14-seat bakery serving salads, pastries, cakes, cookies, coffee, tea and juice, owner Suzana Samad says, “This is my baby.” She told YourArlington on Nov. 17, 2018, that she may open in January. Read details in two reports >>  

A Kickstarter campaign for this business has an $18,000 goal and a deadline of Feb. 11, 2019.

Bagels By Us, a diner since 1996, closed last March. An idea to locate a medical-marijuana shop there was floated last January, but officials were cool to it, and the dispensary opened on Water Street on Oct.  26.

  • Bubble Nation, 456A Mass. Ave. The menu includes bubble tea (iced tea combined with tapioca) and other teas, coffee, yogurt shakes, slushes, sparkling sodas and pastries. Owner Shanshaw (“Kelly”) Yue and her husband decided to open their shop in Arlington because there’s no bubble tea within five miles and says, “I love Arlington.” Read more background >> 

Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24

To further enjoy our town’s offerings, residents are encouraged to shop locally on Saturday, Nov. 24. Joining advocacy groups, as well as public and private organizations, across the country, Arlington endorses the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday.

Arlington “supports our local businesses that create jobs, boost our local economy and preserve our communities,” states the Select Board proclamation.

Spy Pond Park thanked for donation

The Town of Arlington has appropriated $646,900 to stabilize Spy Pond Park’s shoreline and provide ADA-compliance elements, as stated in a Select Board proclamation. The statement thanks the Friends of Spy Pond Park for its $5,000 donation for improving the paths through the park and enabling handicapped access and support for the grander park project, for which construction will begin next year.

According to the proclamation, the Friends of Spy Pond Park, a nonprofit organization, supports the:

  • Preservation, enhancement and enjoyment of Spy Pond Park and Spy Pond as natural and community resources;
  • Park’s ongoing protection, beautification and preservation of open green space and wildlife;
  • Prevention and reduction of pond pollution; and
  • Use of the park as a community and cultural resource.

“We appreciate everything the town does to keep our park beautiful,” said Karen Grossman, Friends of Spy Pond Park president. 

Town finances again receive AAA rating

Arlington’s AAA bond rating was reapproved by S&P Global Ratings, a municipal bond credit-rating agency, affirming the town’s long-term rating of “AAA,” the highest rating attainable, said Treasurer Phyllis Marshall.

The rating agency cited the town’s very strong economy, management with good financial policies and practices, budgetary performance, budgetary flexibility, and liquidity as positive credit factors. The “AAA” rating represents an approximately $71,000 difference per year in the estimated interest rates versus an “AA” rating, said Marshall.

The town also recently received competitive bids from bond and note underwriters for a $5,555,000 20-year general obligation bond issue at a price of $5,949,516.36 and accrued interest, as well as a $3,135,558 358-day bond anticipation note issue at par and accrued interest plus a premium of $24,049.73, said Marshall.

Morgan Stanley & Co. was the winning bidder on the bonds, with an average interest rate of 3.16%, and Eastern Bank was the winning bidder on the notes, with a net interest cost of 2.22%, said Marshall.

The bond and note proceeds will be used to finance various municipal purposes. See this list >>  

Beer garden wrap-up

Aeronaut Brewing Co. held nine beer gardens this past summer (rain canceled several).

About 7,000 people over age 21 attended, with an additional 2,000 minors, and beer consumption was approximately 1½ beers per adult, said Ali Carter, economic-developer coordinator.

In total, 210 survey respondents reported spending more than $12,000 ($55/person) in town, outside of the beer garden, on the day of their visit, said Carter. Read the full report >>

Aeronaut paid Arlington an annual fee of $400 to use Whittemore Park plus other charges totaling about $800. Next year’s fee is still undecided. “We still need more time to work on that,” said Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine. 

Transportation Advisory Committee recommendations OK'd

  • Traffic count at Water Street

The Select Board unanimously approved another traffic count at the intersection of Water Street and the Minuteman Bikeway. This matter will be referred to the DPW and town manager for follow-up. Read details from two reports >>  

“It’s a complicated intersection, and it’s a mess. An alley runs by Winslow Towers, and cut-through traffic uses that alley. The alley is privately owned and should not have traffic routed there, and the town’s Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) is considering a four-way stop,” said resident Scott Smith.

Select Board member Diane Mahon said, “It blows my mind when I see people go down there.” 

  • Establishing 3 school zones

The board also unanimously approved the establishment of three school zones. Read details >> 

“All the public elementary schools have them, and we now need them at Ottoson, St. Agnes and Gibbs,” said Howard Muise, TAC chair.

In addition, “Brackett needs new signage, and Gibbs needs formal zoning, to bring them up to code,” said Muise.

The upgrades will be made by the DPW under the supervision of the police department. 

CDBG subcommittee expansion

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) subcommittee will be expanded, as unanimously approved by the Select Board. Read memo details >> 

“It will provide greater representation for people affected by block grants, and fulfill HUD requirements of increasing citizen participation. This expansion is not unique; other communities also do this, including Cambridge, Brookline and Newton,” said CDBG Administrator Julie Wayman.

Chapdelaine will screen the candidates, and the Select Board will approve them.

“The CDBG subcommittee does great work, and could do better work if it expanded,” said Chapdelaine. 

Special Town Meeting final votes, comment

The board voted, 4-0, to endorse these Dec. 5 Special Town Meeting agenda items:

Article 3: Acceptance/Local Option:  Recreational Marijuana Excise Tax

Article 4: Bylaw Amendment/LGBTQ + Rainbow Commission Membership

Article 5: Bylaw Amendment/Certain Personnel

Article 6: Endorsement/The John J. Bilafer Arlington Citizens' Scholarship Fund - Dollars for Scholars 

Read Town Counsel Doug Heim's memo about these articles >>  

Recent appointments/reappointments

The board unanimously approved the following appointments/reappointments:

Commission for Arts and Culture: Kimberley Harding, artist; term expires 6/30/21. “I’m very excited to join the commission. There’s so much going on in town that we’re working hard to improve,” says Harding.

Envision Arlington Standing Committee: Kelly Lynema, urban planner; term expires 6/30/19. “I’m excited about the work Envision Arlington is doing. I’ve a strong interest in community engagement, and a unique way of reaching out to local residents,” says Lynema.

Zoning Board of Appeals: Roger DuPont and Joseph Moen, attorneys; terms expire 10/31/2021.

Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC):

  • Charles Giroux, technology management professional, term expires 12/31/22. “Transportation is something I enjoy and want to give back to the committee,” says Giroux.
  • Jeff Maxtutis, professional transportation planner, term expires 12/31/21.
  • Howard Muise, TAC chair, term expires 12/31/22.

Contractor certification

The board unanimously approved:

  • Certification for Paul Flynn and David Gera, both full-time Arlington firefighters, as part-time snow-and-ice contractors.
  • Contractor/drainlayer licenses for Joseph P. Cardillo & Sons, Inc., Wakefield and Perdoni Brothers Inc., Wellesley. 

New election workers

The board unanimously approved the following new election workers:

  • Mara Klein Collins, Pct. 11
  • Donna Dolan, Pct. 13
  • Elizabeth Dyer, Pct. 6
  • Maureen Jackson, Pct. 4
  • Ann Jones, Pct. 6
  • Edward Keith, Pct. 20
  • Joseph Lawlor, Pct. 21
  • Lisa Roderick, Pct. 15

One-day special beer-and-wine licenses

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

  • Arlington Masonic Temple, Arlington Catholic High School 50th reunion, Nov. 23
  • Arlington Town Hall, Arlington High School 20th reunion, Nov. 23
  • Arlington Town Hall, Arlington High School 40th reunion, Nov. 24
  • Robbins Library reading room, book launch party, Dec. 1 

Jan. 10, 2018: Selectmen cool to alternative site for medical-marijuana dispensary

This news summary, by YourArlington freelance writer Susan Gilbert, was published Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, and updated Nov. 20, to clarify the Friends of Spy Pond proclamation. It was updated Jan. 19, 2019, to add a link to a Kickstarter campaign. 

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