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CITY COUNCIL ROUNDUP: Malden Arts unveils plan to erect lasting COVID-19 victim memorial

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Councillor DeMaria initiated proposal, which is now coming to life beside Bike Park at Franklin Street

  The idea emanated from the tragic losses suffered by Malden families and those across the world at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in May of 2020. “We must memorialize those we have lost,” Councillor-at- Large Debbie DeMaria told her colleagues at one of the first resumed, virtual Council meetings in late spring of 2020.

  This past Tuesday, at the last City Council meeting of the 2021 year, it was impressive to see that Councillor DeMaria’s heartfelt seed planted 18 months ago has grown to a full-fledged, funded project. Representatives of Malden Arts’ ARTLine group appeared at Tuesday night’s meeting and delivered a detailed update of a plan to erect a permanent COVID-19 memorial alongside the Malden Bike Park in just about the exact geographic center of the community, on Franklin Street. Funding has been secured in the form of a grant which will result in creation and erection of a sculpture and stone bench at the site.

  All facets of the project will be coordinated by ARTLine, explained Malden Arts Vice President Candance Julyan. “We are very excited about this project,” Julyan said. “It is one of a very successful series of permanent art projects located all around the city, on both the eastern and western ends and now, with this project, in the heart of the city.”

  Plans call for an artist to create a five to six foot sculpture of a fish to be placed at the site. A permanent stone bench will also be placed at the site, “where people can rest and reflect,” Julyan said. Julyan said that five “pocket parks” are already in place around the city and that this one at Franklin Street would be the sixth.

  Both Julyan and Councillor DeMaria said that not only would the COVID-19 memorial be to acknowledge local victims of the pandemic, but also the heroes, like first responders, hospital workers and school personnel, who worked through the height of last year’s pandemic.

City Council votes to have telecommunications device removed from utility pole next to home

  Councillor-at-Large Craig Spadafora basically said “enough is enough” at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting with his motion for a City Council order to have a 5G Antenna removed from a utility pole next to 37-39 Willard St. in the city’s Maplewood/Forestdale section.

  A man who said he is the father of a young daughter said, “The device is located 14 feet from my daughter’s head” when she is sleeping.

  Councillor Spadafora said it was “an easy call” to order the removal of the antenna device. The Councillor said the company that installed it, Verizon Wireless, was never issued a permit by the City Council to install it.

Malden Parking Enforcement employees’ three-year contract approved; Councillor Winslow makes it an early holiday gift

  The city’s Parking Enforcement employees have Councillor-at-Large Steve Winslow to thank for what will turn out to be an early “holiday gift.” On the docket of Tuesday’s City Council meeting was a Finance Committee report outlining the details of a new, three-year contract for these employees. The Parking employees have been without a contract since the FY20 Fiscal Year.

  The new contract put their hourly wages at $20.25 per hour. The second year of the contract sets an hourly wage of $20.75 per hour, a salary increase of 2.5 percent. The third year of the contract sets their hourly wage at $21.27 per hour, another 2.5 percent increase.

  Councillor Winslow successfully motioned to have docket rules suspended and to have the contract voted on that night. Both the motion to suspend the rules and a secondary motion to approve the contract were unanimously approved.

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