News Briefs

COVID-19 Cases Are on the Uptick

Confirmed positive cases in Chelsea are on the rise for the week Aug. 10-16, with 90 cases reported in that week. That’s up from 40 reported cases in the week prior.

For Aug. 18, there were nine new cases reported, and Chelsea is said to have a higher rate of infection compared to other places.

“Our greatest weapon in this pandemic is to put safety first at all times, through physical distancing, face coverings, frequent hand washing and cleaning, and prompt medical care and self-quarantine when sick,” read a statement from the City. “Stay vigilant, stay informed, and stay safe, and together we will get through this.”

Pop-Up Food Pantries to End on Aug. 29

The City’s pop-up food pantries will conclude operations on Aug. 29, in favor of the new Chelsea Eats food debit card that is open to all qualified Chelsea residents and can be used at stores in the area.

Until then, pop-up pantries will take place 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at:

•Mondays, Quigley Park, 25 Essex St.

•Tuesdays, Bellingham Hill Park, 115 Bellingham St.

•Wednesdays, Washington Park.

•Thursdays, Chelsea Square, 2nd Street.

•Fridays, Mary C. Burke Complex, 300 Crescent Ave.

Mail-In Voting for Sept. 1 Primary

State Primary early voting ballot holders, don’t forget to return ballots to City Hall. Those voting by mail can return them the following ways:

•Mail the ballot to City Clerk’s Office, Chelsea City Hall, 500 Broadway Chelsea, MA

•Drop it off at the City Clerk’s Office,

•Deposit it in the ‘Green Mail Drop’ box at City Hall (Washington Street side). This green mail dropbox receives all payments and all other city business documents, including Vote-by-Mail application (deadline to return 8/26) and 2020 Early Voting Ballots

The deadline to drop off early voting or absentee ballots is 8 p.m. on Sept. 1.

Chelsea Library Adds Museum Passes Back

Reserve a pass for the day it will be used by calling: 617-466-4350. One pass per family per day – You must have a Chelsea Public Library or MBLN library card to borrow passes.

•Boston Harbor Islands: Two-for-one discount ferry pass, each valid for up to 4 people. Available seasonally on weekdays only. ALL TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED ONLINE and are TIMED ENTRY TICKETS – Visit www.bostonharborcruises.com/harbor-islands/ to make your reservations

•Mass Parks Pass: This pass is a vehicle hang tag. Free parking for 1 vehicle at state park facilities that charge a parking fee; pass must be returned within 2 days – Please visit www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-state-parkscovid-19-update for park regulations.

•New England Aquarium: Discounted pass; will let up to 4 people in for 50% off admission. Pass is date specific and must be redeemed over the phone or onsite for a TIMED ENTRY TICKET. Pass may be discarded after being presented to the museum. Please visit www.neaq.org for more information.

•U.S.S. Constitution Museum: Free admission for up to 9 people. Pass must be returned within 2 days. Museum pass MUST BE REDEEMED ONLINE FOR A TIMED ENTRY TICKET prior to visiting. Note: museum is currently open from Thursday – Sunday. Visit https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/tickets/

•Zoo New England (Stone Zoo & Franklin Park Zoo): Discounted pass; $9 per adult and $6 per child up to 6 people. MUST BE REDEEMED ONLINE FOR A TIMED ENTRY TICKET prior to visiting. Ticket must be presented at zoo via mobile or printed. Please visit http://www.zoonewengland.org/franklin-park-zoo/re-opening-faq/ for zoo regulations.

Due to the current public health situation certain museum passes are currently unavailable for use – we strongly suggest that you visit your desired museum’s web page for up to date regulations and requirements prior to your visit.

Updated Paving Schedule

•Hooten Way and Sagamore Avenue: final paving Aug. 20, 7am -noon.

•Second Street from Broadway to Arlington Street: Aug. 27, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

•Chestnut Street from Williams Street to Everett Avenue: Aug. 27, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

Please be advised that there will be time driveways will not be accessible. On-street parking is prohibited during the times and dates posted on the traffic control devices distributed throughout the work zone. Do Not Park in This Area.

Downtown Short Term Parking

The City of Chelsea is implementing short-term parking zones designed to aid restaurants, retailers, and small businesses during the reopening process under COVID-19 restrictions. There are 17 locations across the city now available. Signs marked “Grab & Go Zone” were posted this month. The rules of these zones are as follows: 

•5-minute spaces are distributed throughout the city near local businesses

•May be used customers or delivery vehicles

•Meter payment is not required

•Parking Enforcement will monitor compliance 

Find the map of all the areas on this link: https://tinyurl.com/Chelsea5Minute

For more information, please contact the City of Chelsea Info line by dialing 311 or 617-466-4209.

Pop-Up Testing Site

A pop-up testing site will continue to offer free COVID-19 tests to all Chelsea residents this week. Here is the schedule:

•City Hall (500 Broadway)

Monday to Friday, Aug. 17-21, 2-6 p.m.

Veterans Affairs Food Event

The next Chelsea Veterans Services

monthly food event for veterans will be Sept. 2. Veterans must sign up for this service by calling 617-543-9545 or by emailing [email protected]

Pick-up will be between 10 a.m. and noon at 150 Marginal Street (opposite PORT Park). Deliveries are also available as needed.

Paving Operations and Traffic Impacts

•Tremont Street

The City of Chelsea is about the start work on the following street from July 30th to September 4th.

1. Tremont Street from Williams Street to Ferry Street.

The work scheduled is as follows:

•Sidewalk Replacement 8/13/2020-8/25/2020

•Final Paving  8/26/2020-9/4/2020

*Please be advised that this work is weather sensitive, should rain be forecast during this period of work that work will shift in schedule to the next day. Do Not Park in These Areas. Please be aware of Parking Restrictions 7 AM-3 PM.  For questions or concerns please call me directly at 617-466-4200.

Lynn Street Paving Sidewalk Schedule

The City of Chelsea has started work on Lynn Street from Central Avenue to Chester Avenue. The work scheduled is as follows: 

•Sidewalk Replacement 8/17/2020-8/25/2020

•Final Paving 8/26/2020-9/4/2020*    

Please be advised that this work is weather sensitive, should rain be forecast during this period of work that works will shift in the schedule to the next day. On-street parking is prohibited during the times and dates posted on the traffic control devices distributed throughout the work zone. Do not park in these areas. Please be aware of Parking Restrictions 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. posted by the D&R Contracting of Melrose for Roadway, Cicconi & Sons of Boston for sidewalks. For questions or concerns please call me directly at 617-466-4200.

Annual Sidewalk Work Schedule

The following is a schedule of sidewalk work coming. There is not on-street parking in these areas during these work times.

•Lynn Street – Aug. 13-27

•Cabot/Eastern Ave. – Aug. 20-27

•Beacon Street UTB – Aug. 21-27

Chelsea Funeral Fund

For the dignity of loved ones who have passed, the Chelsea Funeral Fund provides up to $1,700 in financial assistance for cremation or burial. The fund is for Chelsea residents in need, regardless of religious affiliation, and is managed by Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church. To inquire, contact Reverend Edgar Gutiérrez-Duarte at 671-884-3300 or at [email protected]

Raft Program Rental Assistance

If anyone needs help paying rent, they may be eligible for financial assistance through the Massachusetts Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program. RAFT has expanded its eligibility requirements to help people with COVID-19 related job losses or financial hardship. Some things to consider:

•Your immigration status does not matter. 

•You may be eligible for RAFT if you have not been, or will not be, able to pay rent, mortgage payments, or utilities due to COVID-19. 

•You must be in contact with your landlord or property manager (RAFT funds are paid to them). 

•If you are not on the lease, you can provide your landlord’s contact information to confirm that you are a tenant. 

•If you need help to cover your security deposit (for first or last month’s rent), you can specify the unit you plan to move into, even if you have not yet signed the lease. 

•You are not eligible if you are in an Emergency Assistance Shelter.

Households can receive up to $4,000 for a 12-month period. To check eligibility and for help with applications, call the CONNECT Hotline at 617-712-3487.

Diaper Drive for Families in Need

Chelsea Community Connections and the City of Chelsea are working together to distribute diapers to families in need. Because of the tremendous demand, distribution is dependent on donations of both packages of diapers and funds to purchase supply.

Anyone who would like to donate to the Diaper Drive can do so at the Chelsea Community Connections website. This will ensure the youngest Chelsea residents have their basic needs met.

Collaborative Masks for Sale

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chelsea Collaborative was supporting a group of jornaleros (day laborers) to launch a worker-owned tailoring cooperative in Chelsea for entrepreneurial immigrants in search of economic opportunity. They have now come together to support community crisis responders and help undocumented families in Chelsea weather the financial crisis. The jornaleros are sewing proper masks to protect Chelsea’s community response organizations from the spread of the virus. Masks are being sold for $10 each and the proceeds are going to support undocumented families who are not eligible for unemployment benefits. 300 masks have already been sewn and distributed with more on the way. Individuals can purchase masks as well. To purchase any masks, you may place an order via email, please provide your name, phone number, address and number of masks by contacting: [email protected] then via Cash App: $ChelseaCollaborative.

Pandemic-EBT

Pandemic-EBT, or P-EBT, has recently been approved for Massachusetts and things are underway to implement the program in the state. For households with students who would have received free and reduced price schools meals, P-EBT provides extra money to buy food. Eligible households will receive $5.70 per student for each day of school closure, which will be paid in a lump sum of $199.50 to cover the 35 days that schools have already been closed. If you already have an EBT card, then the funds will be added to your card. 

P-EBT benefits can be spent in the same way as SNAP, and they’re available to households regardless of immigration status. However, they do not make you eligible for SNAP and they cannot be used to receive HIP benefits. They also do not replace the existing School Food Program, which continues to serve grab-and-go meals on weekdays for students.

Water Leak Alerts

The City of Chelsea is offering a free service to residents to help efficiently manage water usage and lower monthly bills. The service also notifies residents if usage indicates a possible leak. Register for this service at http://chelma.aquahawk.us or call 617-464-4041 for more information.

Free Water Meter Replacement

The City of Chelsea’s DPW is continuing its water meter replacement program for both residential and commercial customers. As part of this effort, meter service technicians from the DPW may be visiting a property to remove the old meter and replace it with a new meter. All DPW meter service technicians travel in marked City of Chelsea vehicles and have City of Chelsea identification badges. Whenever a water meter technician visits a property, one should ask to see the City issued ID. Installation of a new meter will typically take less than 30 minutes. The new meters will eliminate most estimated bills. Reliable readings will also allow customers to identify leaks that may result in higher than normal bills. There is no charge for the new meter. 

Chelsea Street Bridge App

For those seeking real time information about the Chelsea St. Bridge closures, Massport is operating a Twitter account which alerts drivers whenever the bridge is opening for shipping and closed to traffic. The Twitter account is @LoganToChelsea. This real time information supplements the new vehicular warnings systems now currently active on Broadway and Williams St.

MassPort Noise Complaint Line

Residents who are being disturbed by airplane noise are encouraged to call the MassPort Noise Hotline 24 hours a day. The phone number is (617) 561-3333.

Senior Water and Sewer Discount

Chelsea senior citizens are reminded to sign up for the new Senior Discount for water and sewer charges. Any senior 65 or older who owns and occupies his/her own home may apply.  The discount is 10% off the monthly bill.

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