Setting Sights on September

August 14, 2023

On the town municipal calendar, there are many New Years. Perhaps the least notable is the one that begins in January. In April, boards reset after the spring elections. July first marks the begin of the New Fiscal Year–arguably the most important. But come September, things kick into high gear after the slower summer period. Boards and committees often don’t meet over the summer, and those that do use the time for workshops, check in on ongoing issues, or to set the table for the year ahead. This week, two boards will be meeting on Tuesday to do just that. On August 15th, both the Planning Board and the Select Board will hold public meetings, clearing away old business and making room for the new.

The Needham Planning Board has a largely aspirational session planned. On their agenda is a review of appointments to the Climate Action Plan Committee and the Design Review Board, but a large part of their meeting will be dedicated to continuing a discussion of goals and priorities for the upcoming year. They have a lot facing them, with planned work continuing adapting zoning to comply with the MBTA Communites Action Plan, leading to the first meeting of the new Housing Needham Advisory Group. They also anticipate working with the Needham Housing Authority on their plan to redevelop the Linden/Chambers Development, and anticipate holding a special community meeting with them sometime in September. Later this fall they plan on addressing bylaws to aid in the development of Needham’s commercial properties, all targeting action at next May’s Town Meeting. Bylaws aiming to affect Climate Action will also be a priority, as is examining changes that affect Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

At the Select Board, discussion will be geared more on the day to day requirements of the town. Their agenda includes several requests for work from Eversource, and an anticipated vote raising the commercial gate fees at the Recycling and Transfer Station. They will also prepare for a public hearing, scheduled for their September 12th meeting, which would set rates for charging individuals who recharge their electric vehicles at Town EV Stations. But perhaps most timely will be an update from Carys Lustig, Director of the Needham DPW, on Stormwater Management in the wake of the August 8th storm.

Both meetings will be covered by the Needham Channel, although the Planning Board meeting will be reliant on the Zoom feed at the Public Services Administration Building. The Select Board meeting will be shown on the Needham Community Channel, as well as on the HD Channel, and will stream online and through the Needham Channel Roku App. The Planning Board meeting will be carried live on the Needham Channel Municipal Channel.

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