Councilor-at-Large Katy Rogers said at Monday night’s Council meeting that National Grid “has failed to fulfill its legally mandated obligation to the City entitling residents to 24-hour access along the waterfront.”
Rogers, who had clearly done her homework on the issue, delivered a scathing message to National Grid officials at Monday night’s Council meeting, admonishing “one of the largest utility companies in the world with a net income of more than $50 billion” to put the best interests of the people first.
Following is the text of Councilor Rogers’ remarks:
“Everett residents deserve the same opportunities as all communities in the State of Massachusetts. National Grid is doing a disservice to the people of Everett, and it is imperative Everett residents are aware of this injustice.
“National Grid has failed to fulfill its legally mandated obligation to the City of Everett under Chapter 91, in which residents are entitled to twenty-four hour public access along our waterfront. For decades, the vast majority of Everett residents have been barred from entry to our riverfront property which we are warranted to under Massachusetts law. Without National Grid’s compliance, an existing multi-million dollar pathway connecting Everett, Malden, and Medford remains incomplete.
“Residents of Everett should know that all other waterfront partners, including Encore Boston Harbor and Gateway Mall have complied with the city to do their fair share of responsibility in public access. For several years, National Grid has dodged their commitment. For context, Chapter 91 is triggered by certain activities, such as building and altering structures, filling, dredging, and demolition. National Grid has made at least three modifications to their property in Everett, instigating Chapter 91. National Grid is one of the largest utility companies in the world with a net income of more than 50 billion dollars. They are fully aware of their obligation and are the only entity standing in the way of a multi-municipality plan, which would ultimately connect Everett all the way to Marblehead. Eighty per cent of the pathway exists in Everett, but as it stands, National Grid currently has ‘No Trespassing’ signs on the land Everett residents are entitled to.
“It is time for National Grid to put the best interests of the people first. We need not only to protect our environment but celebrate it as well by preserving green spaces and ensuring our waterfront is accessible to all. As a partner to Everett, National Grid must be held to the standards they are obliged to under state legislation. Everett can and should be a leading example, and as City Councilors it is our responsibility to hold National Grid accountable for the Rivergreen Walkway which is long overdue to our constituents.”