News Briefs

Water and Sewer Discount for Seniors Expands for 2019

Mayor Brian M. Arrigo announced an expansion in the City’s Water and Sewer Senior Discount program that begins Feb. 15.

Under the new discount qualifications, eligible property owner/occupants who use 30,000 gallons of water or less over a 12 month period will earn a 30 per cent discount in the form of a credit toward their next billing period.

“This is an entirely new discount category that encourages water conservation and increases the value of the discount at the same time,” said Mayor Arrigo.

Other features of the discount program remain intact.  Those who use between 30,001 and 70,000 gallons earn a 20 per cent discount, and those who use over 70,000 gallons earn a 10 per cent discount.

“Our objective is both to help seniors with their water bills, but also to help people realize the real benefits of water conservation,” said Mayor Arrigo.  “There are many simple ways that people can use less water in their everyday routines.”  Most common among these are simple steps such turning off water faucets while brushing one’s teeth or collecting rainwater to water gardens and flower beds.

“People should also make sure they are not wasting water through undetected leaks,” said the Mayor.  “Residents who suspect that their water bills are higher than they would expect should contact the City’s water department to help determine whether there might be a leak issue.”

The discount will be applied to one billing period per year.  To qualify for the Senior Discount program, an applicant must be the owner of record and occupy the property in question.  The applicant or spouse must turn 65 during the calendar year to which the discount will be applied.  An applicant will be required to provide a valid Massachusetts drivers’ license or other official form of identification that includes the date of birth and property address, or additional documentation.

Applications will be available at the Water Department or can be obtained online through the City’s website beginning Feb. 15.  Applications must be completed and returned no later than June 30 of the calendar year the discount is in effect.

The discount percentage is determined based upon the total consumption at the applicant property during the previous year.  That percentage amount is then multiplied by the current Water/Sewer rate and produces a credit toward the applicant’s subsequent water bill.


The Massachusetts State 911 Department is pleased to announce that Text to 911 is now available throughout the Commonwealth. All Massachusetts 911 call centers now have ability to receive a text message through their 911 system. The Baker-Polito Administration has supported making these system enhancements since 2015. 

Text to 911 allows those in need of emergency services to use their cellular device to contact 911 when they are unable to place a voice call. 

“This is a significant improvement to our 911 system that will save lives,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Tom Turco. “By giving those requiring emergency services this option we are greatly expanding the ability of first responders to provide critical assistance to those in need.” 

To contact emergency services by text message, simply enter 911 in the “To” field of your mobile device and then type your message into the message field. It is the same process that is used for sending a regular text message from your mobile device. It is important to make every effort to begin the text message indicating the town you are in and provide the best location information that you can. 

“Having the ability to contact a 911 call center by text could help those being held against their will or victims of domestic violence unable to make a voice call,” said Frank Pozniak, Executive Director of the State 911 Department. “Text to 911 also provides direct access to 911 emergency services for the deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired, which is a service that these communities did not have access to until now.”

It is important to note that the 911 call center may not always have your exact location when they receive your text. For this reason, when sending a Text to 911 it is important to make every effort to begin the text message indicating the town you are in and provide the best location information that you can.  

The State 911 Department encourages citizens to Text to 911 only when a voice call is not possible. 

Remember: “Call if you can, text if you can’t.”

Massachusetts Department of Public Health to Mark its 150th Year

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) will celebrate its 150th anniversary, or “sesquicentennial,” with a series of events and has unveiled a new logo that will be used throughout the year to mark the occasion.

The year-long recognition will include commemorations during National Public Health Week in April, activities at the state’s Public Health Museum in Tewksbury this summer, speaking presentations, and other events. The activities will be promoted using the anniversary logo that reads, “150 Years of Advancing Public Health” in addition to the traditional department seal.

America’s first board of health was established by an act of the Massachusetts Legislature in Boston in 1799, with Paul Revere as president. Later, in September of 1869, the Massachusetts State Board of Health, now DPH, was established by Dr. Henry I. Bowditch, its first chairman. It later merged with what was called the “Board of Health, Lunacy, and Charity” and went on to publish the first manual of public health laws, require mandatory reporting of dangerous diseases, establish the nation’s first Food and Drug Laboratory and state public health microbiology lab, among other landmark achievements.

“We’re proud to celebrate our first 150 years,” said DPH Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “Marking this year enables us to acknowledge our many “firsts” and our continuing accomplishments. It also encourages us to think about how we are working now to improve public health today and for the next 150 years.”

To learn more about the history of public health in the Commonwealth, view the list of public health milestones or visit The state’s Public Health Museum, the nation’s first such museum, features artifacts and records of U.S. public health history, serves as a public education resource, and promotes initiatives addressing current health issues.

Revere’s Olivia Ferrante named to Who’s Who

When you go to the public library ask to see Marquis’ Who’s Who and look up Olivia Ferrante. The Reservior Avenue resident recently received a lifetime achievement award from Who’s Who based on her career longevity, philanthropic endeavors and lasting contributions to society.

Her mother was only five months along in the pregnancy when Ferrante was born prematurely. Weighing only two pounds, she fought for life in an oxygenated incubator. While saving her life, the oxygen in the incubator led to her visual impairment. This disability has posed no limitations to Ferrante, who has used her disability has been a positive influence on her career choices, and she has gone on to help many others with similar circumstances.

Ferrante, 70, earned her master’s degree in education from Boston College. She’s a member of Revere High School class of 1966. She was hired in 1974 as a traveling teacher in several school districts in Revere, Chelsea, Everett, Malden and Saugus, working with students who had vision disabilities like herself.

“I traveled from school to school (with the help of her father Guy) and taught each child individually,” Ferrante said. “He said I will drive you and that’s what he did for 14 years before he died in 1987. No salary. After a few years we did get some gas money.”

She also earned tenure and the ability to have a pension and medical benefits like all the other teachers. She retired in 1991 after the school district stopped providing a driver.

As an advocate, Ms. Ferrante has pushed for several proposals which were accepted in her local government, including brighter lights the streets, audio pedestrian signals in front of the city hall, a police substation in her neighborhood, and accessibility for individuals with special needs at the local movie theater

She has been a lectern at Immaculate Conception for 20 years. She was also on the Revere Commission for on Disabilities for 30 years and served on a board of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.

Out of 1.5 million biographies in Marquis Who’s Who, Ferrante was one of nine recently selected to represent Marquis in the Wall Street Journal. She is also featured in Who’s Who in American Women, and Who’s Who in America.

Michael Ferrante, her nephew, and her brother, the late Manny Ferrante have also both served on the Revere School Committee.

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