Sunday, June 16, 2024

These are just some of the municipal meetings and civic events for the coming week. More are on the City of Somerville website.


A loading dock on Washington Street in Somerville on Dec. 28, 2021. (Photo: Chris Rycroft via Flickr)

Final spring community meeting

All Ward Virtual Community Meeting, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday. To complete the semi-annual City Hall Community Meetings series, Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and city councilors meet the public online to discuss issues and concerns. After providing updates on citywide initiatives and activities, officials listen to comments, answer questions and collect ideas for how to spend $1 million through the city’s new participatory budgeting process. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing with interpretation into Spanish and Portuguese as well as other languages by request.

Rats revisited

Rodent Issues Special Committee, 6 p.m. Tuesday. This committee chaired by councilor Charlotte Kelly hears an update on a spring rodent mitigation programs, including the use of “Smart Boxes,” high-tech traps that catch rodents without toxic bait, kill them with an electrical current, deposit the bodies into a plastic bag in a closed container and automatically reset. The boxes also monitor and record rodent activity. Boxes were installed this year in several high-traffic areas. The committee also plans to ask the director of Inspectional Services to install Smart Boxes throughout East Somerville to address long-standing rodent issues there. Watchable by videoconferencing.

Water, sewer, salaries to rise

City Council Finance Committee, 7 p.m. Tuesday. This committee run by councilor Jake Wilson discusses proposed water and sewer rates for next year, which were presented to the public this month: a 12.6 percent increase in water volumetric charges and an 18.8 percent increase in sewer volumetric charges. The committee also considers a pay raise for council and School Committee members. Council salaries would increase to $54,700 from $40,000. School board salaries would increase to $24,000 from $15,000. The mayor’s salary would remain unchanged at $180,000. Watchable by videoconferencing.

Charter to be approved

Charter Review Special Committee, 6 p.m. Wednesday. The City Council wraps up its work on a new charter for the city. In its 13th and final planned meeting, councilors expect to finalize changes to the draft charter produced last summer by a committee of community members. Councilors wanted the new charter to give them more powers, including more influence over budget allocations, but determined that some changes will require voter approval after the new charter is approved by the mayor and state Legislature. Members of the public can give their final comments in person at City Hall, 93 Highland Ave., Central Hill, or send written comments to [email protected]. Watchable by videoconferencing.

Overseeing biosafety

Biosafety Committee, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. This committee, which regulates businesses that research and use biological agents and rDNA, reviews applications from Bristol Myers Squibb and Ultragenyx and renewal applications from four other institutions. It also considers potential changes to the Somerville Biosafety Ordinance. Watchable by videoconferencing.

Washington Street changes coming

Walk on West Washington Street, 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Somerville Pedestrian and Transit Advisory Committee and Somerville Bicycle Advisory Committee lead a walk on Washington Street between Union Square and the Cambridge border, starting at Perry Park, 355 Washington St. Mobility Division staff will explain upcoming street design changes, including upgrades to sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes and bus stops.

Development priorities

Annual Action Plan Public Hearing, 6 p.m. Thursday. The city holds a virtual public hearing on a 2023-2024 plan to prioritize the community’s needs related to affordable housing, community development and homelessness for grants funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Watchable by videoconferencing.

City Council convenes

City Council, 7 p.m. Thursday. The council meets at City Hall, 93 Highland Ave., Central Hill; televised and watchable by videoconferencing, and posted online after the meeting. The agenda was not posted at press time.