Good Afternoon Fitchburg,
It’s a bird, its plane, no – it’s a Jet! On Wednesday morning, a 2016 Cessna Citation Jet, landed at the Fitchburg Airport arriving from Midtown, Pennsylvania. The second jet to land since the opening of the new runway. Both jets collectively purchased 410 gallons of jet fuel. I am very excited about the positive impacts this airport will have on our local economy, and am thankful to the FAA and MassDOT Aeronautics division for their support.
Starting on Monday, the Fitchburg playgrounds, basketball courts, ball fields and the Dog Park will open for resident use. Organized sports leagues can now submit a permit request with our Parks and Recreation Department, to gain approvals. We ask that all sports leagues comply with the Massachusetts Executive office of Energy Affairs and Environment Guidelines for Providing Outdoor Adult Sports and Supervised Youth Sports Leagues, as well as CDC guidelines. Also, the Parkhill Park Splash Park and the Crocker Playground Spray Pad will be opening this summer. The Parks Department is reviewing all requirements for operating and will be announcing an opening date in the near future. This season the city will not be opening the J. Robert Crowley Swimming Complex. However, the Johnson State Pool will be opening for residents to use throughout the summer. Guidance on using the parks, courts, and fields will be posted and can be found on the city website.
The annual Summer Playground Program will not be operating in parks this year. In lieu of the playground program the City is pleased to announce we are in the process of planning a Summer Online Program which will feature arts and crafts, fitness activities and nutritional demonstrations. Registration information should be available shortly!
As of 1pm today, there have been a total of 773 positive COVID-19 cases in Fitchburg, of which 596 are now recovered. Furthermore, there are 63 deaths attributed to COVID-19. It must be noted that this represents those individuals who have died and were positive for the virus, but official death record numbers may vary as COVID-19 may not be the official cause of death.
Thursday’s second Reopening Task Force meeting included important updates from Health Director Steve Curry, who shared best practices regarding employee health and workplace sanitation. Building Commissioner Mark Barbadoro shared the new outdoor seating application process, and the group brainstormed ways for more applicants to take advantage of the process, which will encourage safe and socially-distance commerce outside, where the threat to public health is recognized to be considerably lower.
The Task Force also launched two important subcommittees. One will focus on activating our public spaces—streets, parking lots, parks, and other outdoor areas—to encourage more outdoor commerce. The other will begin to look into Phase Three of the Governor’s reopening, so we can begin to craft proactive solutions to meet the needs of those businesses. This Task Force will play a critical role moving forward, in encouraging proactive dialogue with the business community that will allow us to better predict and tackle new challenges as they come.
In closing I want to inform everyone that the 2020 Census response has been extended from July 31 to October 31. Getting every resident of Fitchburg counted in the Census has taken on a fresh urgency in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recession it has triggered. Now more than ever, it’s important to complete your census. It is safe, easy and takes less than 10 minutes.
If you have not completed it, please do so now over the phone at 844-330-2020 or online at 2020census.gov.
As we move forward into the weekend, take some time and stop by one of our outdoor dining options – something we all have been waiting for! Go out, celebrate, and participate in our local economy!
Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale