The operators working the vertical lift on
the Chelsea Street Bridge Feb. 7 have been suspended at the behest of MassDOT
after a couple in a vehicle got trapped on the bridge and lifted all the way to
On Feb. 7, MassDOT said, a vehicle got
caught between the safety gates on the deck of the bridge. Due to apparently
not following procedures, the lift operators then lifted the bridge all the way
to the top with the couple still on the deck in their car.
On Friday, Feb. 8, after learning of this
incident, MassDOT directed the contractor responsible for operating
the Chelsea Street Bridge to suspend until further notice the
operators who were on duty on Thursday evening, Feb. 7.
“While fortunately no one was injured in
this incident, the failure of operators to act according to safety procedures
warranted their immediate suspension,” said a MassDOT spokesman.
MassDOT said it is unaware of any other
instance of a vehicle being between the safety gates when
the Chelsea Street Bridge has been raised and is continuing to
investigate how this could have occurred on February 7.
Dr. Fatima Maarouf is approaching the second
anniversary of her growing dental practice, Harborside Dental, 313 Main Street.
Two years ago Dr. Maarouf made a major
decision in her career to acquire the practice of long-time Winthrop dentist,
Dr. Richard Schwartz, who had served the community for four decades.
“Dr. Schwartz retired and I took over the
practice,” said Dr. Maarouf proudly.
One of the first orders of business was
selecting a name for her new practice. As a homage to the town’s status as a
seaside treasure, Dr. Maarouf chose, “Harborside.”
think of Winthrop as a beach town and I love the beach and being around
Winthrop, so we decided Harborside is a good, calming name,” she revealed.
Dr. Maarouf has made an investment in the
town and its future. She and her husband, Hugo Solis, who works as an attorney
for the BPDA and as a real estate agent for the Winthrop office of Coldwell
Banker, moved from East Boston to Winthrop a year ago. Harborside Dental is a
member of the Chamber of Commerce and she and her husband are members of the
Cottage Park Yacht Club.
Harborside’s dental assistant, Mirjeta
Gjinovici, and treatment coordinator, Lindsey Robinson, also call Winthrop
There have been some noticeable changes made
in the dental office in the past two years. Dr. Maarouf renovated the entire
office, installing new dental chairs, computers, software and other
Dr. Maarouf, 33, grew up in Lebanon where
she attended American University of Beirut and received her degree in Biology
in 2007. She graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of
Dentistry in Richmond in 2011. She moved to Boston in 2012 and completed her
residency program at Tufts University, performing adult special needs dental
care and hospital-based dental care.
“I ended up loving Boston and staying in the
area,” said Dr. Maarouf.
became an associate dentist at offices in the Boston area, but had dreamed of
having her own practice.
“I realized that eventually I wanted to be a
business owner,” said Dr. Maarouf. “When this practice came up, it was in a
really cute town and excellent location with ample parking and T accessibility,
so I felt it was a great opportunity. My husband and I really love it here. My
team also lives here. We’re all invested in the town.”
Dr. Maarouf performs dentistry for patients
of all ages, as early as age one to those in their senior years.
“We do a variety of fillings, crowns,
fluoride treatments (for children), cleanings, extensive veneer and bridgework,
implants, extractions, and teeth whitening,” said Dr. Maarouf. “We also work
closely with specialists for certain procedures such as extensive root canals
and implant placement.”
Dr. Maarouf recommends preventative care for
all patients and suggests regular checkups every six months.
She has begun a series of educational visits
to local pre-schools where she talks about the importance of dental care.
“Prevention is really important, especially when kids are young,” she said. “I
try to teach them that it’s fun to be at the dentist.”
Dr. Maarouf tries to accommodate her many
patients’ work and activity schedules with expanded office hours (8 a.m.- 7
p.m. on some days and is open one Saturday a month).
And she is also expanding her knowledge,
keeping abreast of the latest technological advances in the dentistry. “I do a
lot of continuing education courses and attend workshops and seminars
throughout the country.”
Dr. Maarouf said the decision to open her
own practice was a tough one, but she is pleased with the reception in Winthrop
and excited about her future here.
“There are challenges that you don’t
anticipate and you’re responsible for everything, good and bad, so there’s a
lot that is put on your shoulders – but when you’re trying to create something
that you love, it makes it all worth it at the end of the day,” Dr. Maarouf
For the first time,
Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop are combining forces to conduct a comprehensive
regional Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and design a Community Health
Implementation Plan (CHIP). Major hospitals, along with health centers, human
services providers and non-profits that serve area residents, are working with
municipal leaders, health departments and the boards of health of each
community to develop the plan. Residents of the three communities are being
urged to go online and fill out a survey that asks about local health issues
and other aspects of community life.
The effort is being
co-coordinated by the North Suffolk Public Health Collaborative and the Mass
General Hospital Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) with the
ultimate goal of identifying, prioritizing and addressing the most urgent
health needs faced by each community and the region. Such assessments are often
used to apply for targeted funding to help address community needs.
Every three years, most
hospitals conduct a community health needs assessment to meet requirements set
by the Affordable Care Act. The Massachusetts Attorney General also requires
such a report and is encouraging regional collaboration among stakeholders,
including among healthcare systems who share the same service areas. “This is
one of the first regional assessments of its type in Massachusetts,” said Jeff
Stone, Director of the North Suffolk Public Health Collaborative. “Mayor
Arrigo, Chelsea City Manager Tom Ambrosino and Winthrop Town Manager Austin
Faison realize that public health conditions don’t respect borders, and,
working together we can solve some of our health challenges more effectively.”
“The North Suffolk
Community Health Needs Assessment is critical for the City of Chelsea,” said
City Manager Ambrosino. “Not only will it provide the information necessary for
Chelsea to better understand our residents’ public health needs, but it will
also enable us to properly prioritize resources to better address those needs.
We encourage all of our residents to participate in upcoming surveys, forums
The collaborators have
set an ambitious timeline. The CHNA and CHIP will be completed by Sept. 30,
2019, and will result in a guide for a three-year community health improvement
plan that all providers can use. The process includes intensive data
collection–hundreds of resident surveys, interviews and focus groups as well
as collecting data from other agencies such as the MA Department of Public
Health and the US Census.
A website has been created, www.northsuffolkassessment.org, to
provide information to anyone who may be interested. People who live or work in
Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop are encouraged to complete a survey. It is
available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic, reflecting the languages
most frequently spoken in the communities.
Bunker Hill Community College
(BHCC) appointed Kristen P. McKenna as Dean of Workforce and Economic
Development. In this role, McKenna will oversee corporate learning and
development and community education programs at the College. The
renamed Division of Workforce and Economic Development supports area
businesses and community based agencies with career pathway building,
customized training and individualized support to grow workforce and economic
development for the greater Boston metro area.
McKenna possesses over 20
years of professional implementation, management and policy development
experience in higher education, workforce development, nonprofit and government
funded programs. She has held senior leadership positions focused on program
improvement, enrollment and the development of industry supported training for
workforce development at River Valley Community College in Lebanon, New
Hampshire, and Bristol Community College in Fall River, Massachusetts.
Working with the Rhode
Island Governor’s Workforce Board and the Institute for Labor Studies and
Research, McKenna has also implemented a number of projects designed to
accelerate credential attainment with technology-based solutions. She’ll bring
expertise to the College’s workforce development initiatives and the development
of non-credit to credit career pathways.
The Greater Boston
community has come to rely on BHCC’s community education programs for English
language instruction, test preparation, continuing education and international
learning programs. In the 2018 academic year, over 2500 students enrolled in
customized training, community education and adult basic education at the
College. With a focused commitment on workforce and economic development, BHCC
will expand access and equity with additional course development and innovative
pathways development so all community members have options and flexibility in a
The division is working
with partners like Facebook to offer future opportunities that will support
local entrepreneurs with workshops on social media marketing and more.
McKenna holds a Masters of Education in Adult Learning and Higher
Education Administration from Eastern Nazarene College, a Masters of Education
in Educational Leadership from Bridgewater State University and a Bachelor of
Fine Arts from Rhode Island College. To learn more about BHCC’s Workforce and
Economic Development program and to view the courses that are offered visit
The deadline to apply for the pilot round of
grant funding for Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds is fast approaching,
with eligibility forms for potential projects due to City Hall by Wednesday,
On Thursday, Jan. 31, the Community
Preservation Committee held the first in a series of public informational
sessions and application workshops centered around the draft Community
Preservation Plan and the pilot round of funding. A public hearing on the plan
itself is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Chelsea Senior Center at 7
For the pilot round only, applications will
be limited to $50,000.
“We are doing this pilot program so we can
get a better understanding of how the process will work and not having the
committee approve huge amounts of money until we streamline the process,” said
Karl Allen of the city’s Planning and Development Office.
Chelsea voters approved the adoption of the
CPA in November 2016. It will provide hundreds of thousands of dollars
each year to be used for the creation and acquisition of affordable housing,
historic preservation, open space and recreation. The CPA trust fund currently
has a balance of just over $2.2 million.
“Part of our mission is to build our
capacity in the community and to build the funds,” said Allen. “We have a low
bar of entry for anyone who wants to apply.”
Last week’s workshop was geared toward
helping pave the way for individuals or groups who want to apply for CPA funds,
or who simply are interested in seeing what types of projects are eligible for
“We want to use the taxpayer’s money in a
thoughtful way,” said Anna Callahan, a community planner at JM Goldson, the
City’s consultant for the Community Preservation Plan.
In addition to limiting the grants to
$50,000 in the pilot program, Callahan said the CPC is looking for projects
that are shovel ready by the summer or fall of this year.
The first step for anyone interested in the
pilot program is to complete a one-page project eligibility form by Feb. 13.
Those eligibility forms will help determine if the proposed projects could be
allowed under the CPA.
The next step is a more involved application
due to Allen by Wednesday, April 3.
The CPA prioritizes projects where the
applicant has control over the property or land for a proposal, Callahan said.
The best tactic with those with potential
project ideas is to work with Allen and the CPC, Allen said.
“Ideally, if you have an idea, you can write
it up quickly on the eligibility form and you can bring it to a workshop,”
The last informational CPA information
session before the eligibility forms are due is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9
at the Chelsea Senior Center at 1 p.m.
There are also application workshops for the
longer process scheduled to take place at the Chelsea Public Library on
Wednesday, March 13 at 6 p.m. and on Saturday, March 23 at 1 p.m.
CPA funds can be used for community housing,
historic preservation, or open space and recreation needs.
The CPC is broadly recommending that 40
percent of the funds be allocated to community housing, 15 percent to historic
preservation, 25 percent to open space and recreation and 15 percent as
undesignated and available for any type of project, according to CPC Chairman
The remaining 5 percent is reserved for
In addition to groups and individuals, the
City is also eligible to apply for CPA funding.
The CPC must present any and all ideas
before City Council for approval after creating a Community Development Plan.
The City Council retains the power to approve, deny or lower the allotted funds
for project ideas.
Callahan said the CPC favors projects where
there is site control, demonstrated community support, an ability to implement
the project, and a focus on public accessibility.
“The CPA really reflects the community’s
needs,” she said.
City Councillor-At-Large Roy Avellaneda
pushed for placing the CPA on the city ballot in 2016 and said he has been
closely following the CPC’s progress.
“I’m thrilled that we are where we are right
now,” he said.
Chelsea city councillors are looking at ways
in which they can legally find a way to reserve some of the recreation
marijuana licenses for Chelsea residents.
Councillor Roy Avellaneda forwarded an order
recently to reserve at least two of the four recreational licenses for Chelsea
residents, as so many residents have been impacted by the War on Drugs and the
prosecution of marijuana possession crimes.
Avellaneda said his order is to amend the
current retail marijuana ordinance in similar fashion to Somerville and Boston.
At the state level, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) signaled early on
that it would approve licenses quicker in communities like Chelsea that
historically have been heavily impacted by drug prosecution.
However, Avellaneda and other councillors
said they have only seen well-heeled investors from out of town turning up to
take advantage of that designation in Chelsea.
“The recent rush we have seen by well-funded
and politically connected individuals and groups to apply for the available
licenses puts those living in communities like Chelsea at a serious
disadvantage,” he said. “The goal of the legislation I have introduced is to
provide a two-year window for two of the four licenses just for Chelsea
residents or a business entity comprised of 60 percent Chelsea residents…I
think we would have better host agreements and community benefits
offered by an individual or group based from Chelsea than from someone with no
connections to this city. Should we allow the money made from these lucrative
licenses leave the city? Or should we try to keep that revenue here?”
The Council held a Committee of the Whole
meeting on Monday night, Feb. 4, to discuss the matter and try to find a
Council President Damali Vidot said she and
Avellaneda and the rest of the Council seem to be on the same page with the
idea, but may differ on how to accomplish it.
“My concern at Monday’s meeting and a
couopld of other councillor’s concerns were that we could be interfering with a
business’s right ot commerce,” she said. “If I own an adult-use shop and want
to sell it, I don’t know if we can limit who you sell it to. We don’t want to
cut people off at the knees. That will effect investors because they may not
want to enter into a place where there are so many limits on their
investment…Also, we’re only allowing the rich to get richer. If you live in
Chelsea and have the money to buy one of these, you’re obviously already rich.”
She said the marijuana licenses mimic the
regulations for liquor stores, and there are no such limits on liquor licenses.
That said, she agreed that Avellaneda has a
good idea that needs to be explored and hopefully implemented in some fashion
to help Chelsea residents – to empower those economically who have been
affected in the past.
Avellaneda said the idea is consistent with
the recent 100 percent residency requirement for all new police and fire hires,
as well as the affordable housing requirement for Chelsea residents.
“It asks that any new jobs created in
Chelsea have a priority for Chelsea residents,” he said. “I doubt Chelsea would
lose any opportunities or see a delay in applications because any outsider
looking to open in Chelsea would look to partner with a Chelsea resident rather
than risk losing a chance at a license by waiting two years.”
Western Front Moving
Quickly on Webster
The Economic Empowerment marijuana proposal
on Webster Avenue is moving quickly through the local process for a marijuana
dispensary at 121 Webster Ave.
Western Front is a minority-owned firm that
received the Economic Empowerment designation from the state last spring, and
had its community meeting shortly after. The firm plans to open a dispensary
and also employ those who have been adversely affected by the War on Drugs –
particularly people from the Chelsea. The ownership of the company comes from
Boston and Cambridge though.
Western Front is scheduled to go before the
Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. It is the first ZBA hearing
in Chelsea for a marijuana proposal.
Gov. Charlie Baker
brought a short smile to the face of many when he unveiled an increase in
education funding in his State Budget proposal two weeks ago, but this week
Supt. Mary Bourque said the proposal needs to go further for cities like
“Although a step in the
right direction for public education and in particular gateway cities, the
Governor’s FY20 budget does not go nearly far enough,” she wrote in a letter on
Bourque said the Chelsea
Public Schools are facing another year where they will likely – as it stands
now – have to cut another $2 million from their budget. That falls upon
multiple years of cuts that have weighed cumulatively on the schools and taken
away core services from students.
One of the problems is
that salaries, health insurance and special education costs are rising so
quickly. This year, she said, they are looking at increases in those areas of
Gov. Baker’s budget
proposal steers an increase of $3.2 million to Chelsea over last year, but in
the face of rising costs, that still leaves the schools in the red.
It’s yet another year of
advocacy for the schools to fix the Foundation Formula – an exercise that has
seemingly played out without any success for at least five years.
“Once again we are facing
another year of painful budget cuts because the foundation formula used to
calculate aid to our schools is broken,” she wrote. “The formula from 1993 has
not kept up with inflation, changing demographics or increased student
needs. I am however, encouraged this year that all leaders at the State
level have acknowledged that the formula is broken, including for the first
time the Governor.”
Bourque also spelled out
the complex nature of the Chelsea Schools, including numerous factors that are
contributing to the reduction in funding.
One of the most startling
situations is that there are fewer kids, and with education funding based on
numbers of kids, that translates to even less money for the schools.
Bourque said this year
they have begun to identify a downward trend in enrollment for the first time
in years. She said fewer kids are coming in from outside the U.S. and families
are leaving Chelsea for areas with lower rents and costs of living.
“In addition to the
foundation formula undercounting critical costs, a significant portion of this
year’s $2 million dollar gap is due to student demographic shifts taking place
in our schools,” she wrote. “We are seeing a downward trend in student
enrollment…This year we have noted fewer students entering our schools from
outside the United States as well as a number of students and families moving
from Chelsea due to the high cost of living in the Boston area.”
The Chelsea Public Schools
under the City Charter have until April 1 to submit their balanced budget.
Bourque said they plan to lobby members of the House of Representatives and the
Senate in the meantime to fix the funding gaps that now exist.
Environmentalists, activists, residents and
elected officials on both sides of the Chelsea Creek are standing in solidarity
with one another in firm opposition to Eversources plan to place a substation
at the City Yards in East Boston along the Chelsea Creek.
On Tuesday night in Eastie the the state’s
Energy Facility Siting Board (EFSB) held a public meeting to discuss
Eversource’s Notice of Project Change that moves the proposed substation from
the eastern corner of the City Yards in East Eagle Square to the western
corner. The original location on the eastern portion of the city-owned parcel
was approved by the EFSB last year.
In its Notice of Project Change
Eversource seeks approval to move the
Substation 190 feet to the western side of the City Yards lot. The scope of the
upcoming meeting is limited to Eversource’s
proposed relocation of the substation from its current site on the
eastern side of the city parcel to its new proposed location.
Eversource said the two 115-kV transmission
lines that would connect to the substation would no longer be routed along
Condor and East Eagle Streets if the substation is placed in the western
portion of the parcel.
Local environmentalists from Eastie and
Chelsea have called on the EFSB explore alternatives to placing Eversource’s
proposed substation along the Chelsea Creek.
For two years local environmentalists on the
Eastie and Chelsea sides of the Creek have launched a visual, media and talking
campaign against Eversource’s plans to place the substation at the City Yards
in Eagle Square.
At Tuesday night’s meeting Chelsea City
Council President Damali Vidot attended the meeting and gave testimony in
opposition to the substation.
“I’m here tonight to express my opposition,”
said Vidot. “Although I represent Chelsea, a community of 40,000 low income,
hardworking immigrants and people of color who are always the afterthoughts of
corporate greed and irresponsible planning, I am here today as an ally with my
brothers and sisters of the Eagle Hill East Boston neighborhood whose
demographics are reminiscent of home. Planes, a salt bile, fuel and now a high
voltage electrical substation–I am tired of communities like Chelsea and East
Boston forced to bear the burden of environmental injustice at the hands of
greedy corporations. We are environmental justice communities and the civic
engagement in this neighborhood, or lack thereof, is a blatant disregard and
inconsideration of the densely populated areas of hardworking men and women
forced to bear the environmental ignorance of others for the sake of protecting
Vidot called for an independent study to see
whether or not a substation is even needed in the area and, if so, does it need
to be placed an area susceptible to future climate change issues and sea level
U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who
represents both East Boston and Chelsea, sent a video testimony from her office
in Washington D.C.
“I’m your sister in solidarity,” said
Pressley. “This at its best is boor urban planning and at its worst and
injustice. It is unconscionable that a community already overburdened with
environmental injustices would be put in harm’s way and have those existing
health hazards exacerbated. The community should be a part of planning and I
know when we organize we win and this is a fight like so many others we are
taking on and I stand with you.”
Last year the EFSB ruled in favor of placing
the substation at the City Yards. However, the final ruling came with some
provisos. According to the state board the EFSB vote to approve the substations
and 115 kV underground cables in Eastie, Chelsea and Everett came with some
conditions. The EFSB directed Eversource to enter into discussions with the
City of Boston regarding the possible relocation of the new substation and the
related cable on the Chelsea Creek site.
Local activist John Walkey, who lives in
Eastie and works with Greenroots Chelsea argues that the project represents an
increased risk in both communities already bearing a huge environmental burden
in the region by playing host to Logan International Airport, highways and jet
fuel storage tanks along the Chelsea Creek.
Walkey made a push for the EFSB to see a
more logical place to site the substation.
“If only there was a place in East Boston
with restricted access that would a more appropriate location. Maybe a place
that already had millions of dollars invested in raising the ground level so it
is more flood resilient. Maybe a place that already much more secure with state
police oversight and very limited access. Maybe a place that takes up over a
third of the land mass in East Boston. And just maybe a place that is going to
be a consumer of over half the electricity that goes through the substation
anyway. Obviously the (Logan) Airport is a far more logical place,” said
As part of its decision the EFSB directed
Eversource to provide an update to the board on the status of discussions
between the community and city before construction on the substation commences.
This has given additional time for Eversource, the City of Boston, and
residents to iron out the alternative locations for the substation.
The substation was initially slated to be built
on an Eversource-owned parcel on Bremen Street. However, under the former late
Mayor Thomas Menino Boston executed a land swap with Eversource. Eversource
have the City of Boston the Bremen Street parcel so the city could build the
new East Boston Branch Library in return for a city-owned parcel in East Eagle
A Chelsea firefighter fighting the stunning blaze created by Pollo Campero in Park Square on Sunday night. The popular restaurant was a total loss, but owners said they intend to re-build.
Heavy smoke poured from the popular Pollo Campero restaurant in Park Square on Sunday night, with firefighters facing treacherous conditions that forced their evacuation numerous times as they tried to put out the stunning fire.
In the end, crews battled and made quick
work of it – getting it out within an hour.
Chief Len Albanese said it is still under
investigation this week, and that it was a total loss.
“The fire is still under investigation;
however, I can report at this time that it appears that the fire started in a
concealed space within a wall, then traveled to the loft space above the
ceiling where the fire was allowed to burn for some time before breaking out
and activating the Fire Alarm system,” he said. “This would account for the
major fire condition on arrival even though the building had a working fire
alarm system. Also, there were no sprinklers within the structure. The fire
remains under investigation for a definitive cause that will be reported upon
There were no civilian injuries, but one
firefighter was injured.
On Sunday evening, at 11:40 p.m. Chelsea
Fire Alarm received an alarm of fire from Box 1134 for the Pollo Campero
restaurant located at 115 Park St. First arriving companies from Chelsea E2 and
L1 under the command of Capt. Phil Rogers reported heavy smoke showing on
arrival from the rear of the building. C4 Deputy Wayne Ulwick arrived
on scene assuming command and immediately ordered the Working
Fire. Due to the heavy smoke and reports of heavy fire within the interior
of the building, a Second Alarm was requested bringing companies from Revere,
Everett, Boston and MassPort to the scene. Crews were ordered out of the
building several times due to conditions rapidly deteriorating from
heavy fire conditions within the structure forcing firefighters to attack the
fire with defensive operations using blitz guns, hand lines
and ladder pipes
The fire was brought under control within an
The Boston Sparks Club under the command of
President Paul Boudreau responded to the scene supplying Re-Hab and
refreshments for the firefighters. Chelsea Police also provided traffic and
crowd control during fire. Crews from Medford and Boston provided mutual aid
during the fire.
Chief Albanese said it was a defensive fight
for firefighters because the structure was too far along to be saved.
Nevertheless, owners are determined to rebuild.
“It was determined that the fire was well
involved within the structure, and crews were ordered out of the building and
proceeded with a defensive fire attack,” he said. “Given the time of day, a
closed business and no reports of occupants, this was the safest course of
action given that very early on it was apparent that this building could not be
saved. Members of Fire Prevention are working with the ownership, who reported
to us that they intend to rebuild as soon as possible.”
Rather than Russell Disposal, the trash and
recycling trucks rumbling down city streets could one day say City of Chelsea.
While that possibility is a slight one at
the moment, the City Council is asking City Manager Thomas Ambrosino to look
into the costs of the City owning its own trash trucks and picking up its own
trash. Currently, the City has a contract with Russell Disposal, Inc. of
More than half the sitting councilors had
their name attached to the order that was introduced at Monday night’s meeting:
President Damali Vidot, District 6 Councilor Giovanni Recupero, District 1
Councilor Robert Bishop, District 4 Councilor Enio Lopez, District 3 Councilor
Joe Perlatonda, and District 2 Councilor Luis Tejada.
Lopez said he does not believe Russell is
doing a good enough job with trash removal, sometimes leaving trash behind and
picking up recycling on a haphazard schedule.
“They are being paid big bucks and they are
not doing it,” Lopez said. “For the amount of money we are paying, we can get a
few trucks and hire people from the city of Chelsea.”
Bishop said he has heard no complaints from
his district about trash collection, but did support having Ambrosino look at
“If this saves money, I’m interested in what
(the city manager) has to say,” said Bishop. “The whole idea is to see if we
can save money.”
In some procedural wrangling,
Councilor-at-Large Leo Robinson made a motion to move the issue into conference
“I feel like we keep putting things out
there and we have no idea what the costs will be,” said Robinson. The
councilor, who said his family has a long history in the waste management
business, said a single trash truck could cost over a quarter of a million
dollars, along with additional costs to retrofit the trucks to collect trash
barrels in Chelsea.
“If we make the move to go pick up our own
trash, there is a lot involved,” Robinson said. “I don’t have a number in front
of me, but it could cost $3 million to $3.5 million per year.”
Recupero said there was no need to put the
issue into council committee at this time, since the request was to have
Ambrosino get more information and numbers on municipal waste collection.
“If he tells us it’s not feasible, then it
can’t be done,” he said. “If it is feasible, then we can send it to committee.”
Perlatonda estimated that the costs could be
even higher than those estimated by Robinson.
While Cambridge has more than double the
population of Chelsea, he said annual costs of municipal collection there are
about $12 million.
“I don’t think it is going to be feasible to
find (an option) cheaper than Russell,” he said.
The vote to move the issue to committee failed,
with Robinson, Perlatonda, and District 7 Councilor Yamir Rodriguez on the
short end of the vote. The request will now go to Ambrosino for his review.