City Council Approves DeMaria’s Request for Funds for Street Safety

The Everett City Council agreed with Mayor Carlo DeMaria to address the issue of excessive speeding on the city’s streets.

Last week, the administration of Mayor Carlo DeMaria put forth a request to the Everett City Council to allocate $1.5M in Capital Improvement funds to address speeding on neighborhood streets.

$1.3M of the funds are allocated for the installation of up to 15 raised crosswalks and intersections around the city in areas that have been documented to have speeding concerns.

Additionally, $100,000 is allocated for up to 20 removable speed bumps, and an additional $100,000 for speed read-back signage around the city.

DeMaria said the city will look to implement these projects in the spring and summer.

Jay Monty from the City Transportation Department told the councillors of the details of the spending that was being sought by DeMaria.

Monty noted that for raised crosswalks, the problems always lie in the drainage of water on the roadways. Councillor John Hanlon noted that “the pitch of the road is important” to prevent water from pooling.

Ward 1 Councillor Fred Capone said that he “liked a steep incline on the raised crosswalks, because if they are too flat, they are ineffective.”

Ward 3 Councillor Anthony DiPierro told of a speeding incident on Fuller St. where a car was clocked going 98 miles per hour.  He also mentioned that in a 20-day period, there were more than 60,000 enforceable violations that could have been issued.

“I thank the City Council for passing this important piece of legislation,” said DeMaria.

The representative from National Grid got an earful from the several councillors at their meeting.  The request to excavate from the power pole to the house at 76-78 Union Street through the sidewalk had councilors speaking about rodents and the conditions for backfilling of the trench once the conduits are laid.

Ward 5 Councillor Rosa DiFlorio noted that the city has a rodent problem and this digging could cause the rodents to move into other neighborhoods.  Councilor Michael McLaughlin noted that “the contractor knows the rodent control law.”

Councilor-at-Large John Hanlon questioned the method to backfill the ditch. Hanlon wanted to make sure that the filling and repairs to the sidewalk be “done according to the way that the city says that it should be done.”

The councillors voted unanimously to allow the permit for not only Union Street, but also for Beach Street, with the proviso that the condition of the sidewalks and streets be returned to the same or better condition.

After postponing the appointment of Monica Ford as City Treasurer from the last meeting, the council unanimously approved the appointment.  At their September meeting, the councillors had wanted to see a resume and chance to meet with the candidate before approving Ford for the position that will expire in March, 2024.

The Councilors thought the new Ordinances for Motor Vehicle Dealer Licensing and Motor Vehicle Repair Licensing were not quite ready to be enacted. Hanlon had questioned and sought more precise language in the ordinances.

According to David Flood, a consultant at the City Clerk’s office, the ordinances need to be put into standard format that would make it easier for both the applicant and the city personnel dealing with requests.

Flood noted that there are still several ordinances in the Legislative Affairs Committee and these were the first two to come out of that committee.

DiFlorio noted that the intent to give the city “more teeth to do our job,” would be the right outcome.  The councilors voted to send the ordinances back to Legislative Affairs.

A motion to have the Redevelopment Authority appear at the next meeting to explain the status of redevelopment in Everett Square caused some voices to be raised.

Council President Wayne Matewsky took offense at the notion that he had been accused of singling out the Bouvier Building in Everett Square.

“I single out no one, but we have to start somewhere,” said Matewsky. “This building is an eyesore and I thank city officials for having scaffolding erected around the building.”

Councillors Stephanie Martins and Michael McLaughlin want a community forum for possible projects for the spending of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. City Financial Officer Eric Demas said that the city has received more than $47 million in funds.  He noted that the state has guidelines of acceptable projects for which the funds can be used and that the city has hired a consultant to make sure that the projects qualify.

Several councillors voiced their wish list for how to spend the money. Councillor-at-Large Michael Marchese said he wanted some of the money to be used for new schools, such as the former Pope John site, which Marchese said he would like to see remain as a school, as opposed to a proposal to tear down the school for housing.

The next meeting of the City Council will be Monday, October 25.

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