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Thursday, March 26, 2020

Town braces as COVID-19 cases rise

With the number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts increasing at an unsettling rate, both the state and the town implemented further restrictions over the past week in an attempt to stop the spread. As of March 24, the number of cases in Massachusetts had grown to 1159, a 50% increase from the previous day; 73 of those cases were in Worcester County. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Offers abound to ‘adopt a senior,’ but await protocol to keep everyone safe

Council on Aging Director Debbie Thompson said in a Monday phone conversation that she has had lots of calls from people wanting to “adopt a senior” and deliver groceries and other necessities to homebound seniors and disabled residents. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

School Committee gives hourly workers paid leave, delays decision on bus contract

The School Committee voted unanimously Monday to place the school district’s hourly, non-unionized staff on paid leave during the school shutdown, following the recommendation of the state education commissioner.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

State and local elections delayed until June, caucus until May

Harvard voters have an extra two months to make up their minds about which candidate to support in the contest between Cathy Clark and Dan Sena to represent the 37th Middlesex District in the state Legislature.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Select Board declares emergency, postpones caucus and Town Election, seeks delay of special state election

In a low-key meeting that was surely one for the history books, the Select Board Tuesday night declared a state of emergency, voted to move Town Caucus and Town Election to late spring, and voted to join the other five towns of the 37th Middlesex District in asking the Superior Court to order a delay in the March 31 special election to replace former state Rep. Jennifer Benson.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Schools prepare for three-week shutdown; home learning continues

With nationwide reports of COVID-19 cases increasing with every news cycle, Gov. Charlie Baker on Sunday ordered all public and private schools in the commonwealth closed for three weeks, from Tuesday this week until a tentative return date of Tuesday, April 7.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Closing time: Town does its part to slow the spread of COVID-19

The town has responded to Governor Baker’s orders by closing town buildings to the public effective March 17 and moving all public meetings to virtual meetings starting March 23. The Public Safety Building will remain open and keep its regular hours. Staff at all public buildings, including Hildreth House, will be available by phone and email. The town has posted directions for conducting various types of business with departments at Town Hall on its website

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Board approves 2020 warrant and FY2021 budget: override, dump sticker price increase, and old library roof repair

In addition to the measures approved Tuesday night to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Select Board completed work on two items—the 2020 town warrant and fiscal 2021 budget—that in a normal year would have headlined this week’s paper.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

New Vicksburg Square redevelopment plan lacks provision to protect historic buildings

The Massachusetts Development Finance Agency has proposed a new plan for redeveloping Vicksburg Square, Devens, for residential use. MassDevelopment Director of Land and Permitting Ed Starzec and Vice President Jessica Strunkin presented the plan to the Harvard Select Board at the board’s Feb. 25 meeting.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Town bans public attendance at committee and board meetings

In an effort to protect the public as well as elected and appointed officials from potential exposure to the coronavirus and to slow its spread, residents will be prohibited from attending public meetings in person until further notice.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Schools prepare for three-week shutdown; learning will go on at home

On Sunday, with nationwide reports of COVID-19 cases increasing with every news cycle, Gov. Charlie Baker ordered all public and private schools in the commonwealth closed for three weeks, from Tuesday this week until at least Tuesday, April 7.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Local schools close for three days; state sets rules for dealing with virus

With nationwide reports of COVID-19 cases increasing with every news cycle, School Superintendent Linda Dwight sent an email to the Harvard school community Thursday afternoon announcing that schools would be closed Friday, March 13, and remain so at least through Tuesday, March 17.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Déjà vu? Five ways to view the deficit

Last week the Finance Committee delivered an unbalanced fiscal 2021 budget to the Select Board and recommended a tax override—the first in a dozen years—to balance the shortfall.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Town wants to hear feedback on proposed Ayer Road repaving project

Corrected and updated March 20, 2020

At an upcoming March 25 public discussion meeting, citizens will be asked to express their opinions on three different designs for a proposed renovation of Ayer Road, and to provide further feedback.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Town institutes COVID-19 safeguards as cases rise statewide

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts climbed to 92 on March 10, Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency. As of that date, there were no diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Harvard, but the town has issued a list of safeguards to protect the public and its employees.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Ninth-grade trip to Washington postponed until fall

For Bromfield ninth-graders, the spring trip to Washington, D.C., is a tradition, a rite of passage, a bonding experience, and an inspiration for further study in American government. But this year it is instead a victim of the new coronavirus.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Ann Lees field will soon be ready for softball practice

Despite numerous setbacks and considerable confusion over who was responsible for what, the Ann Lees softball field will be ready for the middle school team to start practicing next week.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

New policy sets ceiling for town debt

In a move to preserve the town’s AAA bond rating in the face of rising debt, the Select Board has approved a 10-point debt policy to guide future borrowing in support of town projects.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Finance Committee recommends tax override, first in a decade

Higher taxes, increases in user fees, and a pruning of budget requests from town departments and boards have not been enough to balance next fiscal year’s $33 million budget. Town officials say that without additional income, expenses will outpace revenues by $319,269 and the Finance Committee has recommended a tax override to make up the difference.

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