Select Board Sept 22: 360 Tree Initiative updates, additional town positions added, and more
The Select Board met briefly on September 15 with Finance Director, Karen Preval, to discuss the FY2021 budget report. She mentioned that the reserve fund/year end transfers and deficits can be absorbed by balances in other departments. 160k a year is to be allocated for snow and ice and they expect a surplus, not a deficit overall. The Select Board motioned to approve the reserve fund and year end transfers.
Milton Community Electricity Aggregation (CEA) update
John O’Rourke, the representative from Good Energy joined to discuss the enrollment rates. They are at about 90% of op-ins to reach their goal. To learn more about the Community Electricity program in Milton, please visit: Community Electricity | Milton MA (townofmilton.org).
Massport Community Advisory Committee update
A recent MIT study intends to address the problems and provide viable alternatives to the ongoing noise issues. An important meeting was held on September 23rd in hopes of finding a regional solution.
Select Board member Mike Zullas stated that he feels air traffic should not be exclusive to Milton, it should be distributed over other nearby towns like Braintree and Quincy. Overall, the Federal Aviation Administration will determine the final decision.
Some breakthrough cases (when a person tests positive for COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated) are being seen, and the Health Department is working on setting up another Covid testing site date, before the holiday season begins. For the latest up to date information on Covid-19 in Milton, please visit: Health Department | Milton MA (townofmilton.org)
Public Works update
Chase Berkeley, DPW Director provided the report. He says there is no staffing issues and no vacancies at this time.
There will be a Household Hazardous Waste collection event on October 16. Residents can dispose of most household hazardous items (including cleaners, solvents, poisons and oil-based paints) free of charge. For more information on that event click here: Household Hazardous Waste | Milton MA (townofmilton.org).
Paving of the DPW parking lot will take place in 3 phases, and sidewalk construction will be starting in October, with the addition of wheelchair accessible ramps. The sewers and drains contract is taking place currently with ARPA funding work ongoing, which includes updates and upgrades to the water main systems, water service infrastructure and improvements to water quality.
360 Tree Initiative
Committee member John David Corey joined to discuss the plan to plant 360 trees in honor of the town’s anniversary. He says they have received $66,000 in donations from community leaders and grants from local foundations. The largest donation to date has been $50,000 from the Copeland Family Foundation.
Tree planting will begin this fall. The town plans to hire private contractors to assist with the planting. The committee will include a flyer in the town’s water bills with donation information. To learn more about this committee, please click here: Shade Tree Advisory Committee | Milton MA (townofmilton.org)
Finance Committee update
In preparation for the October Town Meeting, the Select Board voted to recommend the hiring of two police officers, and two school employees, as well as a budget increase of $15,430 to cover half of the deficit in the library budget. Money for the hiring and extra spending will come from the $225,000 in additional property taxes the town will collect this budget year.
Conservation Commission update
The federal government has proposed adding the portion of the Neponset River that winds through Milton to the list of the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned contaminated sites. Superfund allocations would deliver protections to people who live in communities near contaminated sites. The Select Board motioned to put together a letter in support of this important issue. There will also be a virtual public meeting scheduled for October 5th. Details about how to join the October 5, 2021 virtual public meeting and other site-specific information about Lower Neponset River will be posted at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/lowerneponset
The next meeting is scheduled to take place on October 13.