Saturday, June 22, 2024

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


An empty storefront in Somerville’s Davis Square is used for flyering for shows and events. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Safe streets for all

Streets Reconstruction and Traffic Safety meeting, 2 to 3:30 p.m. Monday. The Council on Aging and Somerviva Office of Immigrant Affairs co-host a presentation on proposed changes to Tufts Street and Glen Street in East Somerville and provide some general safe-street education. The event will be held in English, Mandarin and Cantonese at the Ralph and Jenny Senior Center, 9 New Washington St.

Decaying roads and buildings

Public Utilities and Public Works Committee, 6 p.m. Monday. City councilors call on the directors of engineering, infrastructure and public works to report on ongoing deficiencies in City Hall, fire stations and other municipal buildings. Councilors also question staff about the timetable for repairs to Highland Avenue, which has been plagued by potholes that are not scheduled for repaving until next year. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Separating sewers

Spring Hill sewer separation meeting, 6 p.m. Monday. Project managers provide a semi-annual update on the progress of Spring Hill’s storm water infrastructure upgrade. The project aims to reduce water pollution, mitigate flooding and modernize the 19th-century infrastructure by installing storm drains that separate the neighborhood’s storm water from its waste water. The project includes improvements to the streetscape, including 185 new trees to be planted. The construction is scheduled for completion in 2024. The virtual update will include questions and comments from the public. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Culture planning

Cultural capacity forum No. 2, 6 p.m. Monday. Residents weigh in on draft recommendations for a new Cultural Capacity Plan. The policy is intended to strengthen arts and culture in a city with a high concentration of visual artists, musicians, architects and designers. The process of developing the plan began in March with “Community Conversations” focused on various interest groups and identity groups. This second citywide forum reports on recommendations gleaned from those conversations. The meeting will provide an overview of the process to date, with breakout sessions to discuss the recommendations on how to support arts and culture in Somerville. The forum takes place at the Warehouse XI event space at 11 Sanborn Court, Union Square. Refreshments will be provided by Nibble Kitchen’s Nagisa Ikemura.

Overflowing sewers

Combined Sewer Overflow control planning update, 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and the cities of Somerville and Cambridge host their third public meeting to discuss the development of an updated Combined Sewer Overflow Control Plan. Because most of Cambridge and Somerville sewers have combined storm water and waste water systems, storms sometimes cause sewer overflows into local rivers and brooks. The presentation will focus on tools available to control combined sewer overflows and improve waterway quality. The public planning process is scheduled to continue into 2027. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Labs on McGrath

Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m. Wednesday. The board meets with 35 McGrath Highway Realty Trust about its plan to build a nine-story mixed-use office and laboratory building across the highway from Twin City Plaza. Because of the odd shape of the property, the developer is seeking several hardship variances to allow the placement of driveways in the front of the building and to adjust the front setback requirements. The board granted these requested variances last year – but they expired while the developer was pursuing site plan approval for the lab building. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Talking Somernova

Somernova community conversation, 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. The Union Square Neighborhood Council and Ward 2 City Councilor J.T. Scott host another meeting to discuss the 10-year, multibillion-dollar proposal to expand the Somernova campus near Union Square, adding industrial research and development, offices, creative spaces and community gathering places. The hybrid meeting takes place inside Somernova at 29 Properzi Way and via Zoom.

Help with heat

Home heating costs information session, 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday. The Somerville Health and Human Services Department and the Cambridge Fuel Assistance Program invite the public to learn how low-income residents of Cambridge and Somerville can get help with their heating bills between Nov. 1 and April 30. Renters and homeowners may be eligible for the fuel assistance program if they have household incomes before taxes of less than 60 percent of the state median income. Eligible residents can get help preparing their application for the heating assistance program at the event, which takes place at the Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experience, 167 Holland St.   

Cider and street safety

Glen and Otis streets social, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Local urban planning organizations CultureHouse and Neighborways Design are partnering with the city to create “neighborways” on Glen Street between Tufts Street and Broadway in East Somerville, and on Otis Street between McGrath Highway and the East Somerville Community School. With speed limits of 20 mph and below, neighborways are designed to slow traffic, improve visibility at corners and add public art with the goal of creating a safer and more comfortable neighborhood. Residents are invited to learn more about the project and share their ideas over hot cider and doughnuts at the East Somerville Community School Cafeteria, 50 Cross St.