News from the Town of Needham
Good afternoon, Needham!
There is a lot happening in Town this month, and you’ll find this newsletter a little longer than most as there will be no newsletter next week. The News You Need(ham) will return Thursday, March 17th, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!
The Needham Board of Health meets Friday evening to discuss the current state of COVID-19 in Needham and whether to revise the Town’s current mask guidance, including the requirement that masks be worn at the Library, Center at the Heights and Rosemary Recreation Complex. The BOH meeting will be held at 6 pm via Zoom.
COVID Information to Transition to Public Health Site Next Week
As COVID cases continue to decline and we move towards what will hopefully become the “new normal,” the Town next Monday will transition the current COVID site to the Town’s Public Health website. Residents will still be able to access the COVID dashboard and important information and updates by visiting the Public Health website.
Schools to Go Mask-Friendly Beginning Monday, March 7th
The Needham Public Schools will transition to a mask-friendly learning environment next Monday, following the state’s decision to lift the statewide school mask mandate effective this past Monday. Masks will still be required at the preschool level. Anyone wishing to continue to wear a mask in school may do so. Masks will also be optional on all Needham school vans and buses.
Town Awards $250,000 in Grants to Small Businesses Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Select Board this week awarded grants to 27 local small businesses totaling $250,000 as the businesses continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grants range from $5,000 to $10,000 each and were awarded to businesses including restaurants, retailers, health clubs/fitness studios, and service businesses (tailors, printing services, health/wellness). The grants are being funded through a portion of the Town’s American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
To be eligible for an award, businesses must have met certain criteria including being a Needham business with a brick-and mortar location; have fewer than 35 employees; earn less than $1.5 million in annual revenue and be in good standing with the Town.
The funds provided will help small businesses address issues such as staffing challenges, COVID safety measures, digital adaptation and general operating costs.
Congratulations to Select Board Member Marcus Nelson on State House Honor
Congratulations to Select Board Member Marcus Nelson who was honored this week during The Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus’s Black Excellence on the Hill awards ceremony. Marcus was nominated by Senator Becca Raush.
Marcus is the first Black person elected to Needham’s Select Board in its 310 years. . His work has been built on the foundation of building shared understandings across diverse local groups to address community challenges.
CPC Invites Public to Provide Input on Proposed Projects
The Needham Community Preservation Committee (CPC) welcomes and encourages community input concerning the applications for funding community housing, historic preservation, and open space and recreation projects. The CPC will host a public hearing on the projects currently under consideration Wednesday, March 16th at 7 pm in the Charles River Room at the Public Services Administration Building (PSAB), 500 Dedham Ave. The meeting will also be available via Zoom (Webinar ID: 826 3312 6746)
To view the current applications and find more information about the current proposals, visit the CPC’s website.
Needham Business Alliance Seeking Award Nominations
The Charles River Regional Chamber’s Needham Business Alliance committee is seeking nominations for the Needham-based businesses and individuals who've had a special impact in Town in 2021. Nominations will be forwarded to the awards committee for consideration at the Chamber’s annual Needham Night later this spring.
The Chamber is seeking nominations for the following categories:
To find out more about the awards or nominate a business or individual check out the application. Nominations are due Tuesday, March 15th.
SPAN Hosts Former NH Justice Broderick to Talk Mental Health and Substance Use
The Substance Prevention Alliance of Needham (SPAN) will host a virtual event on Monday, March 14 at 7pm to bring awareness to the intersection of substance use and mental health challenges through the moving story of former N.H. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick. Justice Broderick’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A that will include Sara Shine, Director of Needham Youth and Family Services and Elizabeth (Crew) MacDonald, Area Program Director of Emergency Services for Riverside Community Care.
Housing Plan Working Group to Host Community Workshop March 24th
The Housing Plan Working Group will host a community workshop on Thursday, March 24th at 7 pm via Zoom. This workshop is part of the Housing Plan Working Group’s continued conversation with the community about the future of housing in Needham, which began with an initial public forum in January to hear local perspectives on housing needs and priorities.
The workshop will begin with a presentation of the key takeaways from a recently prepared Housing Needs Assessment, a major component of the Housing Plan. The Needs Assessment provides information on affordable housing in Needham, updated demographic and housing characteristics and trends, as well as indicators and other considerations regarding unmet housing needs in the community.
The presentation will be followed by small breakout group discussions. Participants will provide important input on future Town priorities with respect to housing goals and strategies to address identified needs.
To participate, please register using the button below. Registration is required for purposes of breakout sessions and follow-up.
CALENDAR OF MEETINGS & EVENTS
***Meetings are linked to the relevant agenda***
Friday, March 5, 2022
Needham Board of Health, 6 pm via Zoom
Monday, March 7, 2022
Board of Assessors, 8 am via Zoom
Local Emergency Planning Committee, 9 am, Rosemary Recreation Complex, Multipurpose Room
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Select Board Meeting, 6 pm, Town Hall, Powers Hall and via Zoom (agenda to be posted Friday)
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Sunita Williams School Council, 3:15 pm, Sunita Williams School, Library
Subcommittee of the School Committee for Negotiations, 3:30 pm, School Administration Building, Second Flr. Conference Room
Sunita Williams Health and Safety Advisory Committee, 4:15 pm via Zoom
Needham Youth and Family Services, 5:30 pm, Town Hall, Highland Room
Events shown as listed on the Town calendar as of 3/3/22. Don't forget to check out the Needham Meeting and Events calendar for updated information.
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Town of Needham
1471 Highland Ave.
Needham, MA 02492