What’s Up In Newton This Week? COVID-19 Cases continue to rise, Newton Begins Re-Opening Process; Housing Relief Program approved, Schools May Vote to Withdraw from EDCO, City Council Votes Increase in Water and Sewer rates, Budget Review of Fire, Police, and DPW, and more…

COVID-19: According to the Newton Patch: ” Newton has one of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in the state, with the 28th highest number of cases as of Thursday. Officials have attributed the high case count to the availability of testing and the city’s congregant living facilities.” The City’s website has us at 716 confirmed cases as of May 21st with 105 deaths May 19th. You can check out Jack Prior’s app to see how Newton and the rest of the US and the World are doing.

Re-opening: With the announcement from Governor Baker regarding the Re-Opening Plan for Massachusetts, the City of Newton is beginning it’s own re-opening. First to re-open are our tennis courts. According to the Parks, Recreation, and Culture link on the City’s website:

Newton Parks, Recreation & Culture is excited to announce that we are able to begin the opening of tennis courts within the city.  We will be opening the courts on a rolling basis as we get them prepared and ready for play.  The tennis courts at our two high schools, Newton South and Newton North, are ready to go for Memorial Day weekend. 

We are able to open these courts during the Governor’s Phase 1 of re-opening with three important stipulations:

  • Games are restricted to players from the same household.  
  • Masks are required to be worn when physical distancing is not possible.  Players must wear masks, for example, when accessing the courts and waiting for court availability … in essence at all times when people are not playing.  
  • We are limiting play to 1 hour with a turnover on the hour when other payers are waiting.  (Newton’s Parks maintenance crews will work to get other courts open over the next few weeks.)  

Please check www.newtonma.gov/parks for updates on the opening of additional courts. 

The City will also begin re-opening the Resource/Recovery Center at Rumford Avenue. According to the DPW website, drop-off recycling at the Resource Recovery Center will be available by appointment beginning on June 2nd.

Effective June 2: Open BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Call Customer Service at 617-796-1000 Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00 pm to schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, residents without an appointment will not be able to enter the site.  Summer hours (by appointment only): Tuesday-Friday from 7:00am-3:45pm* Closed on Saturdays until further notice, Sundays and Holidays

Located at 115 Rumford Ave, Auburndale, MA 02466 

COVID-19 Emergency Housing Relief Program: Last week, the City Council voted to approve a proposal to appropriate $2,000,000 of CPA funds to create a COVID-19 Housing Rental Assistance Program. In addition, the City will be allocating $500,000 in CDBG funding from the federal CARES Act to emergency housing needs. The application for this program is due on June 3rd.

City Council approves increase in Water/Sewer Rates: Last week, the City Council voted unanimously to increase our Water and Sewer Rates. The Presentation of the Proposed Rates that were approved can be found here.

Budget Review Continues: The City Council Committees will continue their budget review this week: Public Facilities Committee – (See Agenda) will review the DPW Budget and the Public Safety and Transportation Committee – (See Agenda) will review the Fire and Police Department Budgets.

Mayor’s Community Breakfast: The Mayor’s Community Breakfast will be held virtually this year. On Wednesday, May 27, the 46th Annual Theodore D. Mann Memorial Newton Mayor’s Community Breakfast will be held virtually through Zoom, starting at 8:30am. There are 1,000 “virtual seats” available for this event. Register here. Sign up no later than May 25 to reserve your seat. 

All others are welcome to join in by watching the event on NewTV. A livestream will be available on our Government Channel: Comcast 9 • RCN 13, 614 (HD) • Verizon 33 and online through Facebook Live and our Vimeo Channel.

Weekly Road Construction Schedule: The Weekly Road Construction Schedule can be found here.