Thursday, April 12, 2012
Utility customers will receive a $65 refund on their bills this spring; a public hearing on a proposed petition to allow alcohol sales in town is set for April 24.
Don’t have time to watch last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting on local cable? Here are five things you should know about: 1. Money Back All Needham residential customers will receive a refund on their water and sewer utility bills over the next few months—a flat credit of $65 per customer. In addition, both residential and commercial customers will receive a credit based on their usage—50 to 75 cents per 100 cubic feet of usage. Needham Director of Finance David Davison said the average household would save about 5.7 percent on the annual water and sewer bill because of the credits. The credits are made possible through a restructuring of the town’s water and sewer rate system, which took effect in 2005 and established the process of …
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The MBTA faces a budget deficit heading into the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
After all of the talk, public hearings, and protests over the past three months, the MBTA Board voted Wednesday afternoon to boost fares 23 percent and cut back service in an attempt to close a projected $161 million deficit in the next fiscal year. Board members approved a plan in a 4-1 vote that would raise most subway fares by 30 cents, bus fares by 25 cents, and commuter rail fares by at least $1.25. Meanwhile, some cuts in service—mainly involving bus routes, The Ride and the Commuter Rail—were also approved. Locally, weekend Commuter Rail service on the Needham Line will be cut, but Bus 59 will continue to operate on its usual schedule. Many people showed up at Wednesday's hearing on Beacon Hill and were given a chance to talk …
Thursday, March 15, 2012
The board voted on March 13 to send a letter to state officials supporting arguments raised at a Transportation Committee hearing in February
Needham selectmen have joined a host of voices speaking out against the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s proposed service cuts and rate hikes. The board unanimously voted Tuesday, March 13 to send a letter to state Sen. Richard Ross and Sen. Michael Rush and state Rep. Denise Garlick that shares their “collective concern” over the plan, which seeks to close a $161 million budget gap in fiscal year 2013. To address that budget gap, the MBTA and Massachusetts Department of Transportation have put forward two possible scenarios that have received considerable criticism over the past month or so. In the first scenario, overall public transit fares would increase by about 43 percent; in the second, fares would increase by about 35 …
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The results of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council study were set to be released Tuesday, March 13 at the statehouse
Needham residents have already voiced several concerns about the potential impact of proposed MBTA cuts on the town, as have others throughout the greater Boston area. Now the Metropolitan Area Planning Council has added health concerns to the long list of arguments against reducing public transportation options and raising fares. The MAPC on Tuesday, March 13 released a report stating that the proposed changes to MBTA fares and service "would carry significant human and financial costs for the region, resulting in avoidable losses of life and hundreds of millions of dollars in preventable hospitalizations and accidents each year." Tuesday, March 13 is also the deadline for public comments on the proposals to be submitted via e-mail or …
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Commuter Rail and bus service are essential to the town's ability to attract businesses and home buyers, individuals said at a public hearing Monday night
Needham residents and town officials spoke out Monday night against the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s plan to cut service and raise fees, saying access to Boston was one of the things that attracted businesses and homebuyers to Needham. About 35 people attended the Needham Transportation Committee's public hearing on the MBTA proposals, held Feb. 27 at Town Hall. A panel of speakers including NTC members Richard Creem, Duncan Allen, Linda Hoard and Stephen McKnight, State Sen. Richard Ross, State Rep. Denise Garlick and MBTA Advisory Board Executive Director Paul Regan provided background on the issue and answered questions from the community. The MBTA is facing a $161 million deficit in fiscal year 2013, and Massachusetts …
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The town's Transportation Committee has scheduled a public hearing for Monday, Feb. 27 at Town Hall to consider proposed Commuter Rail and bus line reductions.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Needham residents will have the chance to voice their opinions about proposed changes to MBTA service at a public hearing scheduled for Monday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the second-floor Powers Hall at Needham Town Hall. The purpose of this community meeting, which is being organized by the Needham Transportation Committee, is to provide interested Needham residents with the latest information about the fare increases and service reductions proposed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), as well as an opportunity to comment on the specifics of the proposals. This meeting is not sponsored by the MassDOT/MBTA, but is a local meeting for the sole purpose of reviewing …
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
More than 400 people turned out for the a public hearing in Boston on Monday, Feb. 13 to argue against proposals that would eliminate weekend Commuter Rail service, among other changes.
The proposed MBTA fare hikes fall disproportionally on the elderly, disabled, student and low income population, many people said at a packed-to-capacity public hearing Monday night in Boston. Following an Occupy Boston rally at Copley Square hundreds of people—many of them college students—flowed into the Boston Public Library. They filled the 342-seat auditorium and 110-seat overflow room by 6:05 p.m. "Some people got here at 4:30," a library worker said. Officials began turning away at least 100 people lined up inside the foyer and promised to add more public hearings to the already lengthy list. "If we try to raise the fare the way we are now, there won't be more money," said Back Bay resident Elliot Laffer. "There will be a failed…