Select Board August 3: East Milton Square working group update, FY21 water and sewer rate changes and more
East Milton Square working group update
Judi Barrett, from Barrett Planning Group, joined with a presentation and discussion regarding future planning for East Milton Square. Together with working groups, Judi and her team put together a comprehensive presentation which included data collected during their outreach efforts and also their recommendations. They found in talking with Milton residents and business owners that parking and traffic continued to be top primary concerns. They also brought up the importance of discovering what the tolerance level for larger buildings in the square will be. This is to be determined as an in depth discussion would need to take place to reach a determination. The final concept they presented would focus on the heart of the square and would include their zoning and parking recommendations.
FY21 water and sewer rates
Chase Berkely, Director of DPW, joined to discuss the present annual water and sewer rate changes. The town saw a significant 10% increase in water sold to residents during the pandemic. Toby Fedder, of Woodard and Curran, said it is the first time that he has seen such a big increase in water consumption. While water charges are based on annual consumption, sewer charges are based on average consumption over the span of three years. The Select Board moved to approve the 2.5 percent water rate increase. The town’s sewer rates will remain unchanged. The new rates will go into effect with the July billing cycle.
Equity and Justice for All Advisory Committee update
To view the committees’ Charge please click here.
Members of the Equity and Justice for All Committee joined with an update and presentation regarding the status of the committees’ work to date. Their presentation covered three main areas, 1) a survey to be distributed to community members, 2) FY22 budget and 3) next steps for town staff to become more involved. The survey to be distributed electronically to Milton residents will focus on three main areas, 1) to better understand the attitudes, and experiences of Milton residents regarding issues of equity and diversity, 2) to provide better visibility to Milton regarding the work and concerns of the Equity and Justice for All Committee, 3) to determine their focus the remainder of their time as a committee. The survey is scheduled to be distributed electronically in Google Forms shortly after Labor Day. The survey should take under 30 minutes to complete, and the goal is to gain as many responses as possible. It will be available for 2-3 weeks. The Select Board moved to approve 5k in funding to support the committees goals and objectives through the remainder of their tenure. They also discussed hiring an outside consultant to start the conversation regarding facilitating town leadership in the discussion.
Health Director, Caroline Kinsella, joined to provide an update on the latest Covid-19 news in the town and state. To learn more about the July 30 state wide advisory, please click here. Covid-19 cases have slightly increased, last month, Milton was seeing 0-2 cases per day, they are now seeing 2-4 cases per day. About half of the cases have been vaccinated, which are known as break through cases. Over 65% of the population 12 and over are vaccinated in Milton. For more information and to find out the latest Covid-19 news, please visit the Health Department website by clicking here.
Additional items of discussion
Milton Rotary sponsored an “Art Against Hunger” contest to raise money to support the Milton Food Pantry and Rotary International’s supported initiative “Rise Against Hunger”.
On Sunday, August 29th, the Town will host a free, drive-through COVID testing day, from 10am to 3pm, at the Department of Public Works (DPW) yard at 629 Randolph Avenue. Please click here for additional information.
A blood drive to be held on Sept. 9 in honor of the Sept. 11 observance is scheduled to take place with more details to follow. Details for a Sept. 11 memorial vigil will also be soon forthcoming.
The Select Board authorized Chairwoman, Katie Conlan, to form a response to a recent letter to the editor regarding Town Council services and fees.
Future meeting dates, August 6 and August 11.