On the Board of Selectmen's agenda for last night, several items were announcements. It also listed an in-progress agreement with Boston Developent Group about the Circle Cinema site in Cleveland Circle, as well as an item entitled "Sensible Development."
The sensible development agenda item featured four speakers from the Brookline Neighborhood Alliance. Some offered constructive criticism, while others expressed frustration and confusion at the process. Check back later today for more about sensible development.
Boston Development Group (BDG) has volunteered to enter into a Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOT agreement with the town for the old circle cinema site, the zoning for which is among . The site straddles Boston's border with Brookline, so development of the site could be exclusively in Boston if nothing is done.
The agreement, detailed in a memo from Kara Brewton, Economic Development Director, is a 75-year agreement which includes a number of stipulations designed to prevent BDG from "building around Brookline," cutting the town out of tax revenues from the site. Some of these stipulations include, "concurrent construction," meaning that any permits filed in Boston must also be filed in Brookline, preventing more than 90 day stays (as in college dorms), and an agreement to continue whatever the equivalent of hotel room taxes would be if the hotel is no longer used as such.
This initial presentation will be followed up with further discussion at next week's Selectman's meeting. The first community meeting for this site is being held by the Boston Redevelopment Authority on May 17.
The Bicycle Advisory Committee announced its fourth annual Bicycle Parade, starting at Amory Playground on Sunday, May 15.
"You [The Board] are the target population. You strike me as people who probably enjoyed bicycling when you were younger, but gave it up after college." Said Bicycle Advisory Committee member John Dempsey. “We're encouraging your age group to come back to bicycles... We already have the racers, we already have the young children, we have the families. We've got the bicycle commuters, the errand-doers around town. We want you.”
Also announced, May 15 -21 is National Public Works Week, which Brookline will celebrate with a couple of different events. Department of Public Works (DPW) Commissioner Andrew Pappasturgion's proclamation that the men and women who work in Public Works be honored was unanimously approved by Selectmen.
Pappasturgion said there will be an open house, May 17 at the Municipal Service Facility, where kids and adults can stop by and explore the equipment and tools the DPW uses to keep the town's water, sewers, roads and parks functional. He added that the event is a lot of fun to put together, and especially fun for the kids who visit in the morning.
“The people who have the most fun are the DPW employees," noted Pappasturgion.
He also hinted that RecycleMan may appear in a costume, updated to match the town's single-stream recycling toters.
“[Recycle Man] Will have some kind of appearance," confirmed John Dempsey who has an inside line on the planet-conscious superhero.
On May 18, in room 103 at Town Hall, the DPW will host an Evening with the Commissioner. Pappasturgion and other DPW staff will be on hand to answer any questions residents may have about the DPW.
Commissioner Pappasturgion also asked that the Board of Selectmen award contracts to Lorusso Corporation for reconstruction of a section of Dummer Street, part of Lancaster Terrace, and Martha's Lane. Sunshine Paving was also awarded contracts for landscape improvements in Winthrop Square and the Riverway Path Construction Project. Both companies offered the lowest of the bids. The DPW is also searching for a Civil Engineer III to replace a recently promoted engineer.
The Selectmen also welcomed back a familiar face for the position of Interim Fire Chief, after Chief Peter Skerry retired last month. Filling in is a former Brookline Fire Chief, John Green.
Said Green, "It’s nice to be back, believe it or not. I was kind of surprised how quickly the competitive juices got flowing. The transition has been tremendous, both from my fellow town employees and from my department. I think we’re going to get something done here."
Town Administrator Mel Kleckner said that the purpose of re-hiring a former Fire Chief instead of temporarily promoting an existing member of the Fire Department has two effects: having someone who is already familiar with the job in place, and allowing other candidates for the position a chance to interview with a clean slate.
Selectman Kenneth Goldstein recalled asking Green early on why firemen wore red suspenders. Green answered, then and now, "to keep their pants up."
Ray Masak, Project Director for the Heath and Runkle Schools had a few amendment requests for his projects. The Board approved an increase of $21,333 for the Heath School, and for Runkle, an administrative increase of $12,700 and $40,780 for professional services.
In the name of efficiency, the Board then grouped together and approved a collection of Common Victualler licenses for Outdoor Seating at Cafe Fixe, The Fireplace and Golden Temple. They also voted on a handful of temporary alcohol licenses for weddings and events at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum, as well as receptions and graduation functions at Boston University and Pine Manor College.