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Arlington's New Year's Resolutions

Four major developments in town government are expected to get underway in 2012. Find out what they are—and let us know if you think the resolutions will come to fruition.

The first few days of January are always full of promises.

Right now, some Arlingtonians are working out more, spending more time with family and trying to quit smoking. Hopefully, these great resolutions will continue throughout the year.

And in town government, things are no different. There are several major developments expected to get underway in 2012. Will they come to fruition? 

Here are Arlington's four New Years' resolution:

1. Symmes Redevelopment to Begin this Year

The  into a mid-rise apartment complex is perhaps Arlington's most classic New Year's resolution. The project has been in the works for a decade but officials are promising it will finally begin in 2012, after developers in December cleared the final steps to begin the much-delayed construction project.

Town Manager Brian Sullivan told the  that developers have reached final agreements and obtained permits necessary to break ground as early as this coming spring.

2. Elementary Schools Redistricting

 officials have already started redistricting the town's six elementary school districts to alleviate overcrowding at some schools. And this year, they are hoping to draw the district boundaries that will affect Arlington families for the next few years.

In December,  safe walking routes to school and a strong sense of community are priorities for them during the process. The schools have finished a , which will continued to be worked on during 2012.

In November, Superintendent Kathleen Bodie apologized for the release of a previous draft map containing approximate address information of special education students, which she said .

Bodie was later  to review the district’s protocols on student confidentiality and report back in January.

3. 

Demolition of  started in December. The resolution is to deliver a new school by fall 2013, with most of the work being done in 2012.

The Thompson rebuild project was  at a cost of $20 million. Parents said the old school had no fire sprinkler or fire safety system, a seriously compromised roof and failing heating. Major buildling systems and windows also needed to be replaced and special education teaching spaces were inadequate, parents said.

In June, students, parents and staff rounded Thompson, sang songs and .

4. U.S. Postal Service to Decide on Closing Two Arlington Branches

This year will be crucial in deciding . In December, a U.S. Postal Service official said the potential closure of two of the three Arlington branches was being delayed after a piece of mail didn’t go out to town residents in a timely fashion.

The  and  branches are on a list of 3,700 branches nationwide , including 43 locations in the Boston area. The list does not include the Postal Service's  in Arlington Center.

Arlington residents will be invited in early 2012 for a public hearing, where they will have a chance to tell U.S. Postal Service officials about the impact the closures would have. After that, there will be a 60-day period for Postal Service officials to make a decision.

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