The next City Council meeting is Monday, August 3 at 6:45pm at TechWorks. The livestream will be available at cityofbelmont.org/livemeetings .

There are only two items on the regular agenda. The first concerns the addition of a position for an Assistant Public Works Director, which is largely to assist with succession planning in our public works department. The second item is a code enforcement case for the property at 603 S Central Avenue, where we will consider a demolition ordinance for the building on that property.

Our consent agenda also includes the acceptance of a Governor’s Highway Safety Grant which will fund a new DWI enforcement officer in our police department. The grant covers 100% of the cost of the officer in the first year and then provides successively smaller amounts over the next three years (covering 50% of the cost in the final year).

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

A quick update from our workshop on Monday and other goings-on:

-The workshop started off with a presentation from Chief Hawkins on Belmont PD’s standards and training. We got a good overview of the work that the department has made to implement the recommendations that came out of the 2014 President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing as well as their efforts to bring their policies and procedures into alignment with the standards required for the national CALEA accreditation. The amount of ongoing training on everything from de-esclation techniques to emotional intelligence for the CALEA accredidation is substantial, and I think that we as a community can see the benefits of that in a Belmont PD that becomes a better “guardian” (per the Presidential task force) of our city every day.

-We had a good conversation about the site plan for the new Belmont Rowing Center. We approved the new alignment of the docks/boathouse, and I anticipate that we will continue to have productive conversations about the operational details of the new park as we move forward.

-Our Community Branding consultant also gave us a preview of the new logo and brand for the city. We will continue to use the existing seal for official purposes and also on things like police and fire department uniforms. The new logo is intended to be used in the city’s marketing efforts – so you would see it on things like the banners hung around town and the external advertising done for things like Friday Night Live. The City is planning a public roll-out of the new brand soon – so keep an eye out for that.

-Council also formally adopted the Vision and Goals that we put together at our retreat earlier this year. We also set some priorities for future workshops and will be taking a look at our Major Development Process (which is used for new neighborhoods, etc.) at our July workshop.

Also – The City’s annual Juneteenth celebration will be this weekend. There will be a parade down Main Street Saturday at 2pm, and a virtual concert (on Facebook Live) at 7pm (also on Saturday). You can find more information on the event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/606605806576491/

We had a very productive meeting on Monday/Wednesday. Here are some of the highlights:

-We received an update from the county health director on COVID-19 response. Overall, we appear to be headed in the right direction, but he stressed the importance of basic safety precautions – washing your hands, avoiding large crowds, etc.

-We also had a very productive conversation around the Trolley project. I raised some concerns that I had about the project in light of the additional complications stemming from the COVID crisis. So, the Council talked through those, and we made some changes to the MOU that I think will better protect the city (and taxpayers) in the event that these complications become insurmountable. Belmont Trolley will also be making annual presentations to Council so that we can check-in on the project and review goals prior to making each annual support payment.

-We concluded the public hearing and passed the 2020-21 Budget on Wednesday. No additional changes were made to the budget, although we did receive some public comment.

-The ordinance closing Centerview Street and Jade Circle in North Belmont also passed. I asked the developer’s attorney about the timeline for the project (as I have received several questions about that), and he indicated that the actual demolition of the road would likely start by the end of the month.

-We also approved a change to the Rail Trail. The new route will now follow Main Street to Woodrow Ave, and then pick up the rail line again at the intersection with Woodrow. You can see a map here: https://cityofbelmont.civicweb.net/document/21705/3760D662CDE24927A7DFC67F59599AB5-.pdf?handle=7CF687D031104674966E2676C867F1DA

-We also approved resolutions supporting a virtual Juneteenth celebration and continued Powell Bill funding from the General Assembly.

-At the end of the meeting, our police chief also spoke to some of the national issues surrounding policing. I remain very confident in the professionalism, integrity, and training of the Belmont PD. I believe that our police department is one that all residents of our city can rightly be proud of.

If you have any questions – feel free to leave a comment below or email me at mseelinger@cityofbelmont.org!