Council Committee to Take on Salt Storage, Contractor Delays

One Council committee will be taking on at least two big issues at its meeting this Thursday, Oct. 18, including a new ordinance that looks at the safe storage of salt and other piled-up items.

Councilor Fred Capone, chair of the Committee on Legislative Affairs and Elections, said they will take a last look at the ordinance he has offered regarding salt storage, as well as other items that could be piled up like soil or rocks.

Capone said he began to realize that there was nothing on the books to protect the City and residents from such uses earlier this year when Eastern Salt moved in to locate salt storage on the waterfront near Lower Broadway. While the conversation on that matter was very focused on truck maintenance, the big worry was about the salt storage – a new use in Everett.

“That kind of came in and surprised us,” he said. “That night, we were only able to vote on their storage of petroleum in trucks and working on their trucks, but the concerns were about the salt. That really made me realize we had nothing on the books to regulate salt. It was a wake-up call because we also had nothing on the books about soil, rocks, piles of debris or anything else that can be piled up.”

Capone said the idea was further cemented when the new self-storage on the Parkway had a huge pile of debris and soil on their site. This was very close to residential homes, he said.

One of the pieces of protection, he said, would be to require any salt, soil, rock or debris pile be placed on a non-permeable surface to protect the environment and the water supply.

Also, any items piled up that aren’t being transported should be covered.

“Not only could you have the contamination in the soil, but also it’s a further protection to neighbors to have it covered,” he said. “Some people are good neighbors who don’t need to be cajoled, but others need to have this kind of prompting…When you have a large pile of whatever product, you need to take steps to cover it and contain it.”

Already, that has been referred to the City Solicitor for input, and it is now back to the Committee.

A second big item on the agenda for Thursday is the idea of punishing contractors who don’t do a good job on City projects.

This is an idea that Mayor Carlo DeMaria’s administration has said is not necessary, but Capone said he believes a City ordinance is needed.

The ordinance, which still needs to go to the City Solicitor for review, would penalize contractors who do not finish City work on time or don’t do a good job on their work.

He said the Florence Street Park project is a perfect example.

“You do need to put something out there,” he said. “The example is the Florence Street Park that took 4.5 years. That should never happen again…At the end of the day, if you bid on the job, you need to get it done.”

Both matters will have to eventually be forwarded to the full City Council for a vote on whether or not to enact them.

The meeting will take place at City Hall on Oct. 18, at 6 p.m.

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