‘A Big Ask’: Town To Seek $12M-$14M Prop 2 1/2 Override Likely In November

Photo: Tom Caputo, chair of the Financial Task Force 2.

With town finances at the precipice of a financial black hole coming this time next year, the Belmont Select Board will ask voters to pass the largest Proposition 2 1/2 override in the town’s history of between $12 to $14 million.

“It’s a big ask,” said Tom Caputo, Select Board member and chair of the Financial Task Force II Committee on Thursday, June 25 as the town faces the duel impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on state and local revenues while battling a persistent structural deficit that has become the hallmark of Belmont’s fiscal woes.

“It is an incredibly challenging time to contemplate anything of this scale even in a great economy … It is particularly challenging in an environment where we’re looking at an economic recession,” said Caputo.

If the override is successful, the impact the average home assessed at $1.2 million will result in an additional $1,250 to a homeowner’s annual tax bill. If rejected, the town and schools would be required to make crippling levels of cuts in staffing and teachers, limit or cancel programs and cuts in essential services such as police, fire and schools.

“What we hope folks will appreciate is that there is no one silver bullet going to solve this problem,” said Caputo, pointing out that bridging the $12 million deficit with just employee cuts would require a reduction of approximately 120 full time equivalents (FTEs) positions.

“This is not trimming [costs], these are substantial reductions in order to achieve” balanced budgets starting with fiscal year 2022, said Caputo.

Timetable for November override by the Financial Task Force 2.
(Image: Town of Belmont)

While the date of the override remains fluid, the task force’s preferences are to link the vote to the Tuesday, Nov. 3 presidential election as the town can anticipate an 80 percent voter turnout – in 2016 82.4 percent of voters cast a ballot – which will provide a “fair and accurate read” of residents sentiment, according to the Select Board’s Adam Dash.

Others believe the November date doesn’t give the town enough time to “educate” voters on the need for a revenue push of such a historic amount.

The reason for the proposed override is the combination of the town’s structural budget deficit which is the result of the town’s nearly exclusive reliance on residential property taxes coupled with a 2 1/2 increase limit on the town’s property tax levy.

While constrained on the revenue side, town expenses related to skyrocketing school enrollment, a steady need for capital improvements and key cost drivers such as health and pension costs, employment expenses and mandated school services continue to rise yearly by 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent. The structural deficit alone would have required an $8 to $9 million override to close in fiscal 2022. Add the continued impact of the COVID-19 on state and town revenue of $3 to $4 million and the override comes in the $12 million range.

The Board and Task Force have expressed some optimism if the override is approved the funds will last several years more than the current projected three years just like the 2015 override.

The most recent Prop 2 1/2 override occurred in April 2015 when voters passed – 55 percent to 45 percent – a $4.5 million increase in property taxes to fund schools, town services, capital projects, road repair and sidewalks. It was the only override to pass in the past 17 years.

Originally meant to last three years, a combination of thoughtful planning, fiscal prudence and a good state economy allowed the town to stretch the funds through the current fiscal year.

The joint committees also agreed that seeking voters’ approval for an override must be conjoined with a concrete five-year budgetary blueprint to mitigate the structural deficit by seeking new sources of revenue and discovering ways to tame costs associated with employee pensions and health insurance.

Despite a great deal of heavy lifting by Belmont officials, residents and town boards and committees to pass the unprecedented override, Dash stated his confidence the measure will pass voters muster.

“I think we have a compelling case,” he said. “[The override] is not due to bad management … it’s due to just some structural issues we’re trying to address in addition to the COVID which is totally unpredictable.”

“If we put the case out there and we show people what they’ll get with it and what they’ll lose without it, they’ll make a fair decision and we’ll move on,” Dash said.

Evelyn Gomez Selected To Fill Vacant School Committee Seat

Photo: Evelyn Gomez, newly-appointed member of the Belmont School Committee.

Evelyn Garcia Gomez, a relative newcomer to Belmont, was named to the School Committee Thursday, June 25, to fill the final nine months of the term of Susan Burgess-Cox who resigned in April.

An engineer and educator with degrees from MIT, Harvard and UCLA, Gomez – who arrived in Belmont in 2017 – is believed to be the first Person Of Color to serve on the Belmont School Committee.

“I think my being selected for the School Committee represents that Belmont is willing to put in the work to have a truly inclusive and equitable town,” said Gomez in an email to the Belmontonian after she was voted to the board on the third ballot by a joint meeting of the Select Board and School Committee. The other finalists included Meghan Moriarty, Jeffrey Liberty, Seeth Burtner, and Vicki Amalfitano.

Gomez’ background includes teaching math and physics for nearly two years in California and working as an adjunct associate professor at Pasadena City College. She also holds teaching credentials for high school math in California and Massachusetts.

“I want to use this time of COVID-19 to reimagine what education can be because, while this current system of AP classes and standardized testing worked for me, it certainly didn’t work for many of my classmates or my students,” said Gomez, who lives with her two young children who have yet to enter the school system.

(Editor’s note: The complete interview with Gomez is at the bottom of the article)

Gomez arrives as the school district and committee are juggling a pair of daunting issues: opening schools in September during a continued COVID-19 pandemic and a looming budgetary gap that could result in massive layoffs.

“This is like parachuting on the deck of a ship to steer it through a really big storm,” said the Select Board’s Adam Dash. In responding to a question from the joint committee, Gomez said after speaking to School Committee Chair Andrea Prestwich, she has an understanding “about the time commitment and how hard it is to do this job.” While acknowledging she has her hands full with two small children, her flexible schedule allows being on the committee “this would be one of my top priorities and I don’t do anything at 50 percent.”

Gomez spoke poignantly how her inclusion to the committee would bring diversity to the group and how that “would be a blessing, and it makes our town stronger.”

Gomez is currently part of the education staff of the Lemelson-MIT Program which recognizes emerging collegiate inventors whose inventions could impact important sectors of the global economy. Before coming to Boston, Gomez was executive director of LA-based DIY Girls whose mission is to increase women’s and girls’ interest in technology, engineering, and making through innovative educational experiences.

Born and raised in the northeast San Fernando Valley, a predominately Hispanic region of Los Angeles, Gomez was her class valedictorian at San Fernando High School in Los Angeles.

Gomez matriculated at MIT where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. She received a Master of Science in the same degree from UCLA. Gomez also holds a Master of Education in secondary education from Harvard.

Interview with newly-appointed School Committee member Evelyn Gomez.

Belmontonian: You said just after being selected that you were not expecting to be named. Why do you think you were selected?

Gomez: Timing is everything. At this moment, in this country, and in this town, I think we are all realizing that there is a lot of work to do if we truly want to strive for “a more perfect union.” We are at the intersection of so many monumental events: Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, and lacking trust in our public entities. In this particular moment, many white people are starting to examine their privilege and implicit biases, understand what it really means to be a Person of Color in this country, and how our reality is vastly different than theirs. As I said during the meeting, I have a lot of internalized biases and anxieties about being a minority, but I am learning to overcome those anxieties thanks to anti-racist literature by Ibram X. Kendi, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and so many others. They are teaching me how to have the courage to speak openly about my identity and experiences as a woman of color, as a daughter of immigrants, as an English Language Learner, and how these experiences bring value to my community. 

Belmont has a lot of work to do, but I think my being selected for the School Committee represents that Belmont is willing to put in the work to have a truly inclusive and equitable town. 

Belmontonian: The Select Board’s Adam Dash said with all that is happening in education during the COVID-19 pandemic and the budget issues the town and schools are about to face coming onto the committee is like parachuting on the deck of a ship to steer it through a really big storm. What do you see your role in helping to steer this ship?

Gomez: It’s been said that we need to “scrap the blueprint and revolutionize this dangerously broken system.” As an educator, I think we need to use this forced disruption in the education system to stop and reflect on what we truly value in education and what students value. I want to use this time of COVID-19 to reimagine what education can be because, while this current system of AP classes and standardized testing worked for me, it certainly didn’t work for many of my classmates or my students. Belmont can lead to integrating novel and innovative approaches to schooling that work better for teachers, parents, and students than the old system. Let’s not waste this opportunity in the disruption of schooling, let’s use it as a time to strategically think about what we value in education and what we really want our kids to learn. 

Belmontonian: I believe – although I will have to ask the Town Clerk to confirm this – that you are the first Person of Color to be a member of the School Committee. What in your life’s experience and background will you bring to the committee that it may not have currently? 

Gomez: I have over a decade of experience working with students of color and can relate to their experiences and struggles because I once was one. More importantly, my experience as a Person of Color and a teacher to students of color has forced me to be creative in the ways that I reach my students. I have seen firsthand how empowering students to use their lived experiences to solve problems in their own community engages students in a meaningful and authentic way. While this is true for all students, I believe it is especially true for students of color and women. In 2017, Belmont Public Schools presented findings of the Achievement Gap. Back then, there were 205 students that self-identified as Black. Those students had 3-4 times as many Cs, Ds, or Fs as the total student body and were more likely to report negative social-emotional experiences in Belmont Public Schools. This tells me that something is not working in Belmont Public Schools and we need to work together to fix it. I continue to seek an understanding of how to support students of color and raising the next generation of White allies. I bring this lens to the School Committee and to the forefront during decision making.

Belmont Votes: 2020 Town Election With Limited Polling Hours

Photo: Go out and vote

The annual Belmont Town Election takes place on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

Special Hours: Polls are open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

And below is information that will make the process of casting your ballot all that much easier.

Whose running for town wide and Town Meeting 

Click here for the Belmont League of Women 2020 Voters Guide for candidates and their campaign message.

Polling Places

For voting purposes, Belmont is divided into eight voting precincts, located as follows:

  • Precinct 1 – Belmont Memorial Library, Assembly Room, 336 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct 2 – Belmont Town Hall, Selectmen’s Room, 455 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct 3 – Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct 4 – Daniel Butler School, Gymnasium, 90 White St.
  • Precinct 5 – Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct 6 – Belmont Fire Headquarters, 299 Trapelo Rd.
  • Precinct 7 – Burbank School, Gymnasium, 266 School St.
  • Precinct 8 – Winn Brook School, Gymnasium, 97 Waterhouse Rd. (Enter from Cross Street)

Please adhere to the posted parking restrictions and use caution to ensure the safety of pedestrians around the voting precincts.

Are You Registered to Vote in Belmont and Eligible to Vote June 23? 

If you are wondering if you are a registered voter and your voting precinct, go to the Town Clerk’s web page or phone the Town Clerk’s office at 617-993-2600.

Arrive early, consider traffic and limited parking 

Belmont Police will designate some voter parking at each of the polling locations however with a  busy election, parking close to the polling places is often a challenge.

Plan ahead: consider walking, carpooling with a friend or voting “off peak” during the middle of the day. Only voters who arrive at the precinct and are in line for the Voter Check-In before the close of polls at 8 p.m. can be permitted to vote; those who arrive too late will miss out.

Need a ride to the polls? Rides to the Polls will be provided by the Belmont League of Women Voters. If you would like a ride to a Belmont polling place, please contact: rides@BelmontLWV.org, or call 617-771-8500. Please include your name, address, precinct (if you know it), phone number, and what time you would like a ride.

Election Results – How Do I Find Out the Results?

Election results for each precinct are announced by the Warden of each precinct after the close of the polls. The unofficial town-wide results will be announced at Town Hall and posted on the home page of the Town website as soon as they are available Tuesday afternoon or phone the Town Clerk’s office at 617-993-2600 on Wednesday morning. Campaign representatives are welcome to wait at Town Hall for the printed results.

Light Board Names Asst. GM Craig Spinale To Belmont Light’s Top Post

Photo: Craig Spinale, Belmont Light

Craig Spinale will be dropping the “assistant” from his title as he was named the new General Manager at Belmont Light.

The eight-year veteran of Belmont’s independent electric utility was appointed to Belmont Light’s top position by the town’s Light Board – which is made up of the three members fo the Select Board – at a brief meeting on Monday, June 22.

“I really appreciate the confidence you putting me,” said Spinale, who will be the acting general manager on July 14 when Roy leaves until a contract is agreed.

“I’m excited to continue my work at Belmont Light and to lead the organization” in regards to green energy and Energy Saving Motors programming that we go to great pains to put in place, he said.

Negotiations on Spinale’s contract will get underway next week.

Spinale is the director of operations overseeing the day-to-day internal operations including utility line functions, customer service, meter operations, line operations, and engineering operations.

Spinale takes the helm from Chris Roy who accepted the GM’s position in Shrewsbury. Spinale was a finalist for the GM’s position in 2018 but lost out to Roy.

Before coming to Belmont in 2012, Spinale spent 14 years with National Grid as a Lead Design Engineer and a Supervisor of Distribution Design. Spinale holds an associate’s degree and bachelor’s of science from Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Tuesday’s Belmont Annual Election Will Be A 10 And 2 Event

Photo: Belmont Town Election will take place Tuesday, June 23.

The usual combination of heavy sweaters, boots and gloves will be traded in for summer outfits, sandals and shorts as Belmont’s annual town election was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic from its traditional early April date to the first two days of summer.

The Town Election will be held Tuesday, June 23 with new special hours for voting. Poll hours are limited to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Belmont’s eight voting precincts. Only voters will live in Precinct 2 will vote at Town Hall. 

“Voting in person will be different with social distancing protocols and other safety measures in place to protect Belmont’s election workers and voters,” said Town Clerk Ellen O’Brien Cushman. 

“Ideally most people who want to vote in the local election will do so by mail to limit exposure. Voters choosing absentee voting must submit a written signed request to receive ballots by mail,” said Cushman.

This year with expanded voting, approximately 2,000 Belmont voters have received Absentee and Early Voting ballots. All ballots must be received by the Town Clerk by 2 p.m., the close of polls on June 23. To ensure your ballot gets counted, we ask you to deposit your voted ballot in our Town Clerk dropbox, located at the base of the steps to Town Hall at the parking lot level. 

For those who have not yet filed an application to receive an Absentee or Early Voting ballot, time is running out to apply for and receive a ballot. Though the legal deadline to submit an application is Monday, June 22 at noon, per Mass General Laws, the likelihood that a ballot will reach the voter by US Mail on June 23 is slim. 

Leonard Street Altered To One Way Traffic At Behest Of Belmont Center Businesses

Photo: Traffic and parking has returned to Belmont Center.

One week after Leonard Street in Belmont Center was shut down for the summer, drivers today – Thursday, June 18 – discovered the street now allows one-way traffic through Belmont’s business hub after town officials implemented a traffic plan from business owners that they hope will help retail shops as well as restaurants that have been closed for the past three months due to COVID-19.

The change comes four days after businesses expressed their concerns to the Select Board on Monday, June 15.

Starting today, traffic from Pleasant Street can travel through the center to the commuter rail tunnel. Vehicles can also use the parking spaces along Leonard Street. Jersey barriers are used to create bump-outs into the street to allow outside dining and seating for three eateries – rancatore’s ice cream & yogurt, il Casale and El Centro – along the western side of the street.

Vehicles traveling from the tunnel towards the Center will need to detour at Moore Street as the street to Alexander Avenue is closed to accommodate outdoor dining and retail space.

Town officials said the change to the street is an effort to follow through with the concerns of the town’s business leaders.

“The Town was eager to be responsive to the merchants in Belmont Center,” said Patrice Garvin, town administrator.

“We hoped the first plan would be received well, but we quickly realized we needed to give the merchants and patrons more flexibility. We implemented the current plan and will be monitoring its progress,” said Garvin.

Retailers said they were happy that the town took quick action on what they felt was a workable compromise that will assist all businesses in the center.

“I expected that they would move quickly because there were so many people that weren’t happy,” said Lisa Castagno, owner of Revolve who helped generate a response to the initial plan.

Gerry Dickhaut, owner of Champions Sporting Goods and president of the Belmont Center Business Association, said the group used a portion of the $4,600 raised from businesses and landlords to rent the jersey barriers along the street to create a safety border between vehicles and customers and employees. It will use the remaining funds to beautify the barricades and bring in live music to the newly pedestrian street.

“I’ve got to tell you the Select Board, [Garvin], Glenn Clancy [town engineer] and Mike Santoro [director of the DPW’s Highway Department] all have been so helpful to get this going. It took just a week from when we approach them for the compromise to be in place. We all worked together and got it done.”

Town To Take Second Look On Closing Leonard As Stores Seek Compromise

Photo: Lauren Castagno, manager at Revolve Boutiques on Pleasant Street.

Laura Castagno said she had growing hope the first-week Revolve Boutiques in Belmont Center was reopened would get increasingly busy after three months being locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve been open since the first day we were able to open on Monday [June 8]” and customers were coming back to the store, said the manager of the Leonard Street consignment store.

But on Thursday morning, June 10, as she and other retailers were opening their doors, DPW trucks were outside their shops delivering crowd control barriers and earthmovers had placed jersey barriers at either end of the street to block traffic from entering.

By 11:30 a.m., the roadway through Belmont’s largest commercial district was closed to all traffic until Labor Day. The only exceptions: MBTA buses and emergency vehicles.

Since then, Castagno has seen the town’s business center grind to a halt.

“I’ve never seen Belmont Center in the morning as quiet as it has been for the last few days” as the lack of foot traffic had “significantly reduced sales,” she said.

The shutting down of the Center’s main thoroughfare was approved three days earlier by the Belmont Select Board in an effort to assist the town’s restaurants with alfresco dining after Gov. Charlie Baker approved outdoor service as the state slowly begins reopening from the economic standstill caused by the coronavirus.

The only information she and her commercial colleagues received on the closing was “via an email for the Belmont Center Business Association, but that didn’t provide all the details,” said Castagno, daughter of Lisa Castagno who owns Revolve stores in Winchester, Lexington, Newton, two in Belmont and one on Boston’s Newbury Street.

“We were just a little bit disheartened with the decision to close Leonard Street … with minimal consulting of retail businesses,” said Castagno. “We feel that that didn’t really happen in Belmont so we’re a little bit upset about that,” she said.

It was that concern that Castagno and her mother joined several fellow retailers on the Select Board’s Monday, June 15, Zoom meeting as the town was scheduled to review the new setup for Belmont Center.

Deran Muckjian, the owner of The Toy Shop of Belmont on Leonard Street, spoke for the center’s business association members saying many of their customers are unwilling to park in the Claflin Street lot behind the shops and trek around the buildings – there is no direct cut through from the lot to the Center – while seniors with mobility issues require on-street and handicap parking close to the shops they patronize.

“Retail these days is really about the experience, the actual shopping in the store and it’s also about the convenience,” Castagno said.

Castagno said Belmont’s traffic plan is similar to Waltham’s layout for Moody Street that relies on the street being closed. Yet the two locations are quite different as Waltham is “very restaurant heavy center and so that’s why people go there. So I understand a 24/7 closure there [but] I think a modified closure would be what’s best” along Leonard Street, she said.

She points to Winchester, where she managed one of the company’s operations, where all sides appeared to be heard. There, the main business district is closed from 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and all day on Sunday, allowing the restaurants to bring their tables and chairs out for the afternoon and night service. And parking is allowed all day from Monday to Wednesday.

With the Winchester plan in hand, Castagno said the center’s business owners meet on Friday, to layout their own blueprint for the street. The proposal, approved by a 19-7 vote, would make Leonard Street one way going north to south from the fire station to the commuter bridge. Barriers would remain on the eastern side of Leonard where most of the Center’s restaurants are located.

The western side of Leonard would allow on-street parking while the only barriers would be in front of il Casale and El Centro restaurants to allow tables to be placed on the sidewalk and in the street.

After hearing the difficulties store owners are facing, town officials are taking a second look at the layout with an eye on a possible compromise that will allow some parking and traffic to return to Leonard Street.

And while it appears the business association’s proposal is doable, Town Administrator Patrice Garvin said there are two caveats facing any change to the status quo. The first is safety. According to Glenn Clancy, director of Community Development, the inclusion of an active roadway adjacent to diners will require far more stringent barriers to separate the two on Leonard Street.

The second is money. “The cost is going to be directly related to any public safety measures,” said Garvin. After an initial consultation with Belmont Police Chief James MacIsaac, Garvin said it appears the only option to address keeping everyone safe is installing concrete jersey barriers, a far less aesthetic measure, even if you can find them at a reasonable cost.

Garvin noted the town’s fiscal 2021 budget had been cut by $5 million due to COVID-19 reductions in state and local revenue receipts.

“[The town] won’t have the DPW that would have the ability to break down or set up anything during the day and necessarily don’t have the ability to purchase the barriers that we would need to make it so that the public was safe,” said Garvin.

But business leaders such as Lee Gaston, owner of Bessie Blue, a clothing store at the southern end of the center, believe once the plan is fleshed out and presented, the retail and restaurant owners will step up with money already pledged to both make their plan workable, safe and appealing to the public.

The town and business association will be meeting this week to create a plan and present it to public safety for review and to Community Development on the final price tag. It will come before the board at its next meeting in June.

For Castagno, “[t]he businesses in the center of town are like a team. And so what we need to find a decision that’s best for everyone. We feel like the decision that’s made right now doesn’t really strike the best compromise for both the restaurants and the retailers.”

One-Time Cardboard Curbside Pickup Starts June 22 With ‘Blue Monday’

Photo: Waste Management is putting a cardboard only truck on the road for eight weeks.

One of the consequences of the COVID-19 lockdown has been a tsunami of corrugated board spilling out of every nook and cranny of many Belmont homes.

While families are living on deliveries from Amazon, UPS and Federal Express, the pandemic has forced the cancellation of the several town-sponsored “cardboard events” as it has discouraged the gathering of large groups.

“The last three months, I would say with 100 percent certainty the number one phone call that we’ve had at DPW is what do I do with all my cardboard,” Jay Marcotte, director of Department of Public Works told the Belmont Select Board Monday, June 15, as the pandemic has amplified the town’s cardboard ‘situation” (“It’s not an emergency,” said Marcotte.)

Now, the town has come up with a solution to the growing menace of cardboard overload.

Rather than residents bringing the cardboard to the town, the town is coming for the cardboard. Starting next week on Blue (carts) Monday (the resident’s recycling day) June 22, residents will get a one time only “get out of jail” cardboard card as the town’s hauler Waste Management will put a truck on the road dedicated solely for cardboard pickup.

And best yet, there’s not limit of cardboard the truck will carry away. If you can pile it, flattened and neatly stacked, on the curbside, they’ll take it.

Any questions? Contact DPW at 617-993-2680.

Belmont Playgrounds Are Open; But Pickup Games Are Not OK

Photo: The play area at PQ

Swings, slides and jungle gyms are back in business!

Good news for Belmont’s youngest residents: the town’s playgrounds are officially open beginning Monday, June 15, according to the Belmont Health Director Wesley Chin.

Parents will find newly installed signs with five reminders on using the playgrounds during a pandemic. Chin said the most important information is that the town does not have the ability to clean or disinfect the equipment so “it’s sort of users beware.”

There will be times when the play equipment is being overused and guardians will need to make a decision whether their young charges should find another, less crowded play area, said Chin.

As the state doesn’t have any specific rules and regs for playgrounds, residents should follow the standard health and safety precautions including social distancing – six yards separation – and face coverings.

While parks and playgrounds have been open for a week, one activity associated with playing fields is not yet approved: pickup athletic events. Despite what people may witness at these locations, such as young adults at Harris Field playing football, practicing lacrosse or soccer, “the grounds are only for general use,” said Chin.

Slight Rise In COVID Positive Cases; No New Deaths In Past 2 Weeks

Photo: The latest update on COVID-19 in Belmont.

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Belmont has slowed to less than one a day in the past two weeks as the virus continues to trend downward for the past month, according the the Belmont Health Department.

As of Friday, June 12, Belmont had 229 cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19, a slight rise from 220 on May 29. In the past two weeks, the town has not registered a death from the coronavirus as the total remain steady at 60.

Daily updates on COVID-19 and local cases will continue to be posted on the Town of Belmont’s COVID-19 webpage.

Gov. Baker’s reopening plan: Phase 2
On June 6, Governor Baker announced that the first part of Phase 2 of the state’s plan to Reopening Massachusetts businesses and industries would begin on June 8. This update included specific information about which businesses will be allowed to re-open and when under the different phases of the Reopening Plan.

Below is a summary of industries permitted to reopen during the first part of Phase 2:

  • Retail, with occupancy limits;
  • Childcare facilities and day camps, with detailed guidance;
  • Restaurants, outdoor table service only;
  • Hotels and other lodgings, no events, functions or meetings;
  • Warehouses and distribution centers;
  • Personal services without close physical contact, such as home cleaning, photography, window washing, career coaching and education tutoring;
  • Post-secondary, higher education, vocational-tech and occupation schools for the purpose of completing graduation requirements;
  • Youth and adult amateur sports, with detailed guidance;
  • Outdoor recreation facilities
  • Professional sports practices, no games or public admissions;
  • Non-athletic youth instructional classes in arts, education or life skills and in groups of less than 10;
  • Driving and flight schools
  • Outdoor historical spaces, no functions, gatherings or guided tours;
  • Funeral homes, with occupancy limits
  • Non-urgent health care procedures, like routine dental care and in-person check-ups, are also included in the first part of Phase 2.

If you would like more information on the Massachusetts Reopening, visit the Reopening Massachusetts website.