Faison Talks Infrastructure at Spring Forum

On April 20, Town Manager Austin Faison delivered his annual Spring Forum presentation to the Town Council, in which he provided updates on projects overseen by his office.

This year, Faison focused his presentation on four key areas: the solid waste program, the middle school site, the Center Business District project, and town departments.

Solid Waste Program

The Winthrop Zero Waste Committee (WZWC) is tasked with meeting regularly to discuss solid waste issues in the community. Winthrop will seek to reduce its solid waste by 70 percent by 2030 by diversifying solid waste removal options and paying an increased contract price.
The Town signed a five-year contract with Capitol Waste, which was more expensive due to the Town absorbing disposal fees. The WZWC reviewed the Solid Waste Program in 2020 and made recommendations.

Looking ahead, the Town will continue to monitor the program and adjust it accordingly. The WZWC will review the Town’s ordinances and make recommendations to the Board of Health. New trash bins and overflow bags will be distributed to the community, and the Town will increase waste disposal enforcement. Informational campaigns will begin in early summer. A Solid Waste Fee would begin in FY22 if approved by the Town Council.

Middle School Site

The Joint Committee held numerous public meetings to solicit input and the Planning Board passed language regarding the site’s zoning. The actual building remains mostly empty, despite the Town paying insurance on it. There will be a joint meeting of the Planning Board and Town Council on April 22.

Center Business District Project

Construction continues in the Center Business District and is scheduled to be completed by the end of this calendar year. Work on the water and sewer infrastructure is again underway. For the most up-to-date information about the project, visit the Town’s website.

Town Departments

There is a new process for accessing waterways stickers. All documentation and fees will be mailed to the Treasurer’s Office, which will process payments before sending to the Assessing Dept. The Assessor reviews the information for excise tax purposes before forwarding to the Harbormaster Dept. Stickers will be delivered once the Town has verified the information in its harbor management software. The Treasurer’s Office reports that this is a smoother, more streamlined process.

Faison highlighted the many social services available to Winthrop residents. HarborCOV, Community Action Programs Inter-City (CAPIC), and the Crisis Intervention Team work to assist survivors of domestic violence. Winthrop CASA and Winthrop Public Schools specialize in youth services. Crisis Intervention Team and North Suffolk Mental Health Assoc. provide mental health services. The C.L.E.A.R. Program combats substance abuse. CAPIC and the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition Program helps with housing instability. Finally, Mi-Amore and the Winthrop Food Pantry offer food assistance.

The Winthrop Public Library will soon be kicking off its Summer Reading Program, which runs from July 9 to Aug. 20. With the goal of encouraging students to read during the summer holiday, the initiative will offer weekly prizes, a scavenger hunt and more. Children age 18 and under are invited to participate.

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