Town Services

A YES vote on Question 2 approves an override so the town can continue to adequately fund critical services.

Community Safety

The town is responsible for providing the following services to ensure the safety of our community:

  • Police Department - responsible for several divisions and work units including: Support Services Division (IT and records, Enhanced 9-1-1, facilities and fleet),  Community Services Division (Patrol), Criminal Investigation Bureau, Traffic and Parking Unit, and Animal Control Officer/Animal Inspector. In 2017, the Arlington Police Department gained national recognition as a Law Enforcement Mental Health Learning Site.

  • Fire Department - responsible for the prevention of fire, preservation of life and property, and the overall wellness of the community, achieved through emergency response and enforcement of the State Fire Code.

  • Inspectional Services - responsible for enforcement of Building, Electrical, and Plumbing and Gas Codes, as well as all related regulations, standards, and Town Bylaws.

The FY2020 budget proposes a level services budget that maintains these core municipal services at current levels. For more information see the FY2020 Town Manager’s Annual Budget & Financial Plan - Section IV Community Safety.

Senior Services

Providing needed services and support for senior citizens is a priority in the town of Arlington. The operating override will allow continued and increased support for seniors in several crucial areas.

Arlington is a committed municipality in the AARP (American Association of Retired People) Age-Friendly Community initiative. Funding provided by this override ($250,000) will advance the town’s progress on these goals, which aim to secure safety, provide resources, and reduce the isolation of older residents. These priorities include:

  • Specialized and voluntary transportation services for seniors, including services for medical appointments, errand-running, and visits with friends and family.

  • Pedestrian and public transportation safety measures such as well-maintained pavements, pavements wide enough for wheelchairs, and crossing areas with visual/audio cues and adequate crossing times.

Arlington’s Department of Health and Human Services oversees several bureaus focused on the needs of senior citizens, including the Council on Aging, Veterans Services, Disability Commision, the Widows Trust, and the Heating Assistance Program. Arlington’s Council on Aging in particular provides a plethora of crucial services for the town’s senior residents. The social work staff assists hundreds of senior households in Arlington with medical issues, dementia, food and nutrition support, and mental health concerns. The Council holds health clinics, runs educational programming, hosts social events for seniors, and works to enroll residents in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The override will secure the continued funding for these critical programs and allow the Council on Aging to fulfill their commitment to developing new programs in the years ahead.

For more information see the FY2020 Town Manager’s Annual Budget & Financial Plan - Section IV Health and Human Services.

Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services, acting through the Health Department, is the Town’s critical public health agency. In this capacity it:  

  • Permits and inspects everything that may pose a threat to public health — from restaurants and food trucks to swimming pools and beaches.  

  • Responds to residents’ complaints about unsafe or unhealthy conditions.

  • Implements the Town’s rodent control program.

  • Fights communicable and other diseases through vaccination and education.

The Department also helps vulnerable Arlington residents access services that they need.  

  • The Council on Aging supports seniors in a many ways.

  • Veterans’ Services helps local veterans and their families apply for and receive all sorts of Federal VA benefits. It also administers the state’s program providing direct assistance to veterans and helps veterans find other resources to meet their basic needs.

  • HHS supports two critical programs for Arlington’s youth. The Arlington Youth Counseling Center (AYCC) is a community-based, licensed mental health center.  The mission of the Arlington Youth Health & Safety Coalition (AYHSC) is to prevent substance abuse and other risky behaviors.

This year’s proposed HHS budget provides continued funding of rodent control, which has made it possible for HHS to respond effectively to rodent complaints, treat infestations, and provide education to residents.

For more information see the FY2020 Town Manager’s Annual Budget & Financial Plan - Section IV Health and Human Services.

Public Works

Arlington's Department of Public Works (DPW) is responsible for 100 miles of public roadways, 250 miles of water and sewer pipes, 75 miles of storm drains including 3,500 catch basins, numerous parks, playgrounds, athletic fields and open lands, and approximately 19,000 public trees.

The DPW comprises several divisions, including:

  • Engineering - responsible for technical designs and engineering plans for municipal infrastructure improvements; reports on, and regulates the impact of private developments on our water/sewer, and storm water utilities, roadways, sidewalks, and other Town assets.

  • Cemeteries -  responsible for the care and maintenance of the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery which is an active 62-acre cemetery, and the Old Burying Ground which was designated in 1724 and is now an inactive, historical community cemetery.

  • Natural Resources (Parks and Trees) - manages and maintains the Town’s open space lands, 19 athletic fields, 26 playgrounds, more than 19,000 public trees, and parks including Reservoir Beach, North Union Spray Pool, Menotomy Rocks Park, McClennen Park, Town Hall Gardens, Minuteman Bike Path, Broadway Plaza, and the Whittemore Robbins grounds

  • Highway - responsible for Town streets, parking lots, traffic and parking signs, and street sweeping services.

  • Snow and Ice -  responsible for clearing snow and ice during and after winter storms.

  • Solid Waste - responsible for trash/recycling collections, waste fill disposal, and hazardous waste programs.

For more information, see the FY2020 Town Manager’s Annual Budget & Financial Plan - Section IV Public Works.


The Robbins Library and the Fox Branch Library are vital community centers for all. Library staff, trustees, and dedicated volunteers create opportunities for lifelong learning, personal fulfillment, and enjoyment. The library responds to citizens’ needs with services and activities in a welcoming setting built on a history of free and equal access for all Arlington residents. Library staff select, purchase, and process a wide range of library materials including books, periodicals, audio-visual, and downloadable materials. Reference assistance and reader’s advisory services are offered in person and via email, chat, and phone. Access is provided to multiple electronic resources and innovative, engaging programs are offered for all age groups.

Library staff maintain efficient recordkeeping for over 200,000 items in the physical collection and access to over 90,000 titles in the digital library through shared resources of the Minuteman Library Network and resources purchased exclusively for Arlington cardholders. The Library promotes curiosity and the love of reading in children, teens, and adults and provides materials and services which support formal learning as well as the desire for entertainment and personal growth.

(from FY2020 Town Manager’s Annual Budget & Financial Plan - Section IV Libraries)