By Betsy Levinson, Globe Correspondent
Town Manager Chris Whelan reported that Concord Light has completed its installation of approximately 500 street lights per the April 2011 Town Meeting vote.
In other news from the Town House, Whelan said the Finance Committee has issued its budget guidelines for FY2013 (the budget year that will start July 1, 2012). The guidelines are issued to the School Committee, Board of Selectmen, School Superintendent and Town Manager as required by a Town bylaw. They call for an overall 3 percent increase in next year’s operating budgets and a corresponding 3 percent projected property tax increase. The full document is available on the Finance Committee’s page on the Town website at www.concordma.gov. School and Town proposed budgets will be submitted to the Finance Committee in January, with Public Hearings set for February 27 (Town budget) and February 29 (education budgets).
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue on Nov. 30 gave final certification and approval of the Town’s proposed FY2012 property tax rate of $13.58 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation. Third quarter tax bills will be mailed on or before Dec. 30 and will be payable without penalty no later than Wednesday Feb. 1. Property valuations on which the FY2012 tax bills will be based are available ahead of receipt of the bill by referring to the assessing data on the Town website.
The Concord Friends of the Aging invite Concord seniors to a Christmas Luncheon and Party on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at noon at the Concord Elks Hall on Baker Avenue. All guests will be treated to a catered meal and holiday entertainment. Kindly call the COA to sign up for the party and indicate if you need transportation. There is a limit of 200 people, so please sign up early to avoid disappointment. Our deadline for ordering food is Friday, Dec. 16, so we need to hear from you before this date. Maybe even Santa will come!
Seminar on Dementia Friday, Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. at the Council on Aging. Dr. Christine Beck will present a broad overview on the topic of dementia. Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior. Dr. Beck will discuss the symptoms and diagnosis of dementia and treatment options. She will also provide information about community resources for individuals with dementia and for their caregivers. Please call 978 318 3020 to sign-up.
The South Middlesex Opportunity Council Program (SMOC) continues this month (and right through the winter) to accept applications for their Fuel Assistance Program. SMOC provides financial assistance to low income households to help with heating bills throughout the winter season. The COA is an intake site for low-income seniors living in Concord. As such, we will help you to complete your application. Once we have your name and address, an application packet will be put in the mail to you. The instructions specify what supporting documents must be submitted with your application (i.e. utility bills, social security benefit letter, homeowner’s insurance form, copy of signed lease, etc.). Please complete all forms as fully as possible, and be sure to gather all the required supporting documents to bring with you to your appointment. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the COA at 978-318-3020.
Create your own holiday boxwood tree. Join the Council on Aging on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 10:30 a.m. to decorate your own boxwood tree. With staying power that lasts through the holidays and beyond, boxwood cuttings will make a beautiful table tree for the holidays. Let your imagination fly and you'll come up with great ideas to decorate your boxwood tree. Bring your own plate on which to place your tree and small clippers for trimming. The fee for supplies is $10 per tree. Please call to sign up.
Little Women Christmas at Louisa May Alcott‟s Orchard House: Saturday, Dec. 17 and Sunday Dec.18. Please call 978-369-4118 for times and prices.
In high school sports, winter season begins. On Tuesday, Dec. 13, the varsity swim and dive team takes on A-B at 4 p.m. in Acton and the boys varsity fencing team faces St. John’s Prep away. On Wednesday, Dec. 14, the boys and girls track teams have a DCL meet vs Bedford and the girls varsity ice hockey team faces A-B at 8 p.m. On Thursday, Dec. 15, the boys varsity ice hockey team plays Shawsheen Valley Vocational Tech at 8 p.m. at Shawsheen.
It’s the holiday season on full display at the Concord Museum. On Dec. 15, go to “An Evening with Local Authors and Illustrators whose books are the subject of decorated trees. You will see Brian Lies, author of “Bats at the Ballgame and other books; Rose Lewis, author of “Orange Peel’s Pocket; and Melissa Stewart, author of “Under the Snow.” Stroll through the galleries, munch on a cookie and visit with authors in Brooke Hall as they sign your books. Free with “Family Trees” admission. Classic Picture Book characters on parade at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. on weekend days.
Betsy Levinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.