November 1, 2006 – The Neighborhood Meeting of the SBNA was held at the Susan Bailis Center on Mass Ave. and St. Botolph Street at 7:30.
Vice President Chris Coffin called the meeting to order at 7:45 and thanked the Bailis Center Manager, Jeanne Fuller-Jones, for use of the room and providing refreshments to about 25 in attendance. Jeanne invited SBNA members to contact her for use of the meeting room, which is a neighborhood resource.
Chris introduced our featured topic:
The Significance, Importance and Impact of Groundwater levels on the structural integrity of your home and neighborhood.
Guest Speaker: Elliott Laffer, Executive Director
Boston Groundwater Trust
Elliott Laffer handed out a list of frequently-asked questions and started in with a brief history of the neighborhood being part of the Shawmut Peninsula, filled land with buildings dating from about 1880. About 800 ground-water monitoring wells are now operational after years of neglect since their installation in 1936. The Groundwater Trust was formed in 1986 to revive and monitor these old and renewed wells. Residents and owners can go to groundwater.org for more information.
Elliott then presented charts to show levels of necessary ground water and the SBNA area’s mostly secure foundations. Ground water levels to preserve building foundations are now controlled by zoning, re-charging provisions and monitoring. The Department of Inspectional Services is another source of information about groundwater regulations for homeowners who must have permits for new construction or paving. Elliott urged homeowners to fix cellar leaks rather than use sump pumps which would remove ground water and affect water levels around the buildings. Downspouts should be directed into the front and back yard ground and not into the street or sewer.
A lively discussion marked this interesting and helpful hour-long presentation.
Nancy Restuccia make two brief presentations at 9:00. She reported that the Mass Avenue Project is coming along: stop lights, removal of the median, improved crosswalks, benches and trash cans. The 5-year project going from Cambridge to Boston will also provide a left turn from Mass Avenue onto Huntington, thus reducing traffic on St. Botolph. It should start around June ’08.
Nancy also reported that 99 St. Botolph Street is scheduled to begin work on this B&B by January.
Finally, she reported that plans for the Holiday Party are moving along, with the date of December 4, a Monday, pretty well set. The Board meeting on November 15 will firm up Holiday plans with flyers going out shortly after.
The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Helen Powell, Clerk
Read our current and past meeting minutes here.