HomeWeekend Wrap-UpEnd of COVID Policies, Nabnasset Treatment, Water Restrictions: Weekend Wrap-Up

End of COVID Policies, Nabnasset Treatment, Water Restrictions: Weekend Wrap-Up

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WESTFORD — Welcome to the July 17 edition of Weekend Wrap-Up. Here, we highlight the most important news you may have missed this week in Westford.

Health Department urges caution at some Nabnasset beaches

The Health Department is encouraging residents to take caution at Nabnasset Lake at Edward’s Mary Lou and North Beaches from signs of an algae bloom.

Ingesting cyanotoxins can potentially cause gastrointestinal and neurological damage if ingested. If inhaled, toxins can cause asthma-like symptoms. In Massachusetts alone, these blooms have caused 389 cases of human illness between 2016 and 2018, according to Bureau of Environmental Health data.

The Department of Public Health recommends families and their pets wash themselves with tap or bottled water if contact occurs. If water is ingested by a family member or pet, DPH recommends contacting a physician or veterinarian.

The Health Department noted that the lake is scheduled to be treated on Monday, July 18. The department recommends swimmers and their pets to exercise caution. All beaches will be closed during treatment.

Increased water restrictions to take effect in Westford

The Water Department has implemented mandatory water restrictions for public water customers.

Previously, the department required residents to minimize outdoor water usage between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

”Due to continued drought conditions, high demand, and temporary loss of the Country Road well source, the Westford Water Department is upgrading the Outdoor Water Use Restrictions to Stage III – no outdoor watering using sprinklers,” wrote the Water Department in a news release.

Under Stage III restrictions, all outdoor nonessential water use is prohibited. The department clarified that watering with a hand-held hose with automatic shut-off or watering can is allowed. Water of food gardens is also exempt from these restrictions.

Customers with an odd-numbered address may still only water on odd-numbered days from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. Customers with even-numbered addresses may only water on even-numbered days from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. Additionally, the filling of swimming pools is still prohibited.

The department will issue a $50 for the first offense, and $100 fines for subsequent offenses.

Free school meals for all has expired, Westford families urged to apply to continue benefits

Families must now apply for free and reduced meals for their students. The district is encouraging all families, regardless of income, to submit the application.

Families receiving SNAP will be automatically enrolled and notified by mail after a direct certification with the state database, according to Wallace.

WPS is looking to alert families ahead of the school year to enroll all families who are eligible as quick as possible.

“Obviously, this could change. We do not have a definite answer from the state yet,” Wallace told WestfordCAT. “There is legislation pending but we have to move forward with the previous guidelines. We’re not counting on anything changing yet.”

Westford meetings may return in-person with end of COVID-era policy looming

The Westford Police Department has received the first two hybrid vehicles to add to its fleet.

The funding for the vehicles was originally appropriated in an April 26 Select Board meeting, when the board authorized $57,895 in American Rescue Plan Act funding for the police department to purchase electric vehicles.

“I think if lets us retire another older vehicle out of service and pursues our climate goals for the town, I think it sends a message,” said Tom Clay during the meeting.

The department received its first delivery of two new hybrid vehicles on Monday, July 11.

“With the delivery of these first two hybrids, the department took their first steps in helping the town reach their clean energy and sustainability goals, while also reducing the department’s consumption of fuel,” wrote the department on social media.

Westford Police hosts National Night Out this August

National Night Out returns this August at Westford Academy – complete with food trucks and prizes.

“National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community,” Westford Police wrote on social media. “Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.”

The department will be hosting a bounce house, DJ, food trucks as well as a Drug Enforcement Agency helicopter at Westford Academy. The department is also providing prizes to participants and their families.

The even will be held on Tuesday, August 2 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Westford Academy.

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Ben Domaingue, Managing Editor
Ben Domaingue, Managing Editorhttps://www.clippings.me/bendomaingue
Ben Domaingue has previously worked at newspapers in New Hampshire and is the Managing Editor covering Westford. He’s passionate about community journalism, photography and hiking. Email him at bdomaingue@westfordcat.org.