In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, ThisWeekinWorcester.com explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.
These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the city and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.
In today’s edition — Wednesday, Nov. 20 — Dropkick Murphys are performing at a fundraiser for Lt. Menard’s family, the highway signs are going to change, it’s the last day to vote for Worcester to get $25,000 for a music series, the Worcester Chamber expresses opinion on small business tax exemption and
Dropkick Murphys to Perform at Lt. Menard Fundraiser
Dropkick Murphys will making a special appearance at a fundraiser on Friday night to support the family of fallen Worcester firefighter Lt. Jason Menard.
The fundraiser will take place at the Worcester Beer Garden in partnership with the Greg Hill Foundation.
Tickets are $20 and 100% of the proceeds will go to Lt. Menard’s family.
Our Highway Numbers Are Changing, and They’ll Make More Sense, But Confuse You
Exit numbers on the highway across Massachusetts are going to change, making it similar to the system for most of the country outside of New England.
MassDOT spokesperson Jacqueline Goddard recently announced that the Bay State would adopt a mileage-based exit numbering system due to a federal mandate. Basically, funds would be taken away from states that don’t comply.
Starting in the western part of the state and moving east, the numbering system will be implemented on a “route-by-route” basis. Construction on the new signs begins next summer, and once they go up, the old exit numbers will remain for two years until the changes are completed.
MassDOT is planning 12 public information meetings before the changes, and the project is paid for through the Federal Highway Safety Improvement Fund.
There’s federal mandate to have states adopt mileage-based exit numbering. @MassDOT Board told MA will do this: 12 public information meetings start soon, existing exit #s will stay up about 2 years alongside new mileage-based signs pic.twitter.com/LH3Ds0FvEV
— Jacquelyn Goddard (@JacqueGoddard) November 18, 2019
Last Day to Vote for Worcester to get $25,000 to Produce a Summer Concert Series
The Worcester Cultural Coalition, in partnership with the city and Green Island Resident Group, Inc., have advanced to the voting round of the Levitt AMP grant application process. Should Worcester be awarded one of 15 available grants, the funds will be used to create a 10-week free, live music concert series during the summer of 2020 at Crompton Park.
If awarded, Worcester will host a new 10-week outdoor summer concert series at Crompton Park in 2020. Supporters are asked to register and vote before Nov. 20 at 8 p.m.
The Levitt AMP Worcester Music Series would incorporate diverse types of music, community participation, food vendors and more.
Holy Cross to Again Host the Worcester Regional Men’s Ice Hockey Championship
Grab your seats at the rink. The NCAA has awarded the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Northeast Regional to Worcester for the 2020 season. The event, hosted by College of the Holy Cross, takes to the ice on March 27 and 28 and marks the sixth time that Holy Cross has hosted the Worcester Regional at the DCU Center, having previously hosted from 2008-2018.
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce Says No Way to Small Business Tax Exemption
“Councilor-at-large Morris A. Bergman’s proposal to have the Worcester City Council consider adopting a Small Commercial Exemption may make a good political sound bite,” said an announcement from the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, “but in practice would further raise the commercial/industrial tax rate on 96 percent of Worcester businesses – a group which has already seen disproportionate increases because of the tax classification votes taken by Councilor Bergman and a majority of his colleagues over the past five years.”
In a statement recently released, the Chamber continued, “Councilor Bergman’s order simply facilitates a counterproductive argument about how to cut up pieces of the shrinking pie that is Worcester’s commercial/industrial tax base.”
There are approximately 9,295 for-profit businesses in the City of Worcester – most of which are small businesses. According to Mayor Joseph M. Petty’s Tax Policy Committee report, only 375 businesses would qualify for this exemption under the clause that they own the property where their business is located.
Rather than pursue gimmicks that benefit 4 percent of Worcester businesses, and further raise taxes on the remaining 96 percent, the Worcester City Council would be well advised to look at the equitable and long-term strategies being pursued by other elected city councils and select boards in the region.
“We urge the city council to reject this proposal and pursue broad-based policies that can equitably assist all of Worcester’s businesses,” concluded the statement.
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Governor Charlie Baker’s office announced the launch of free COVID-19 testing sites in eight communities from July 10 to to August 14.
The Worcester Division of Public Health and the Department of Inspectional Services because of laboratory testing showing high levels of E. Coli.