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CITY COUNCIL ROUNDUP: Ward 2 Councillor Condon say outside vending outlet a nuisance in neighborhood

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Dilemma discussed between rodent problem, poisons used to combat it and potential danger to domestic animals, birds’ prey

  It has been around for many years, tucked away at the back of the parking lot on Highland Avenue.

   “Water… 25 cents a gallon,” the sign read for most of that time.

     They are familiar sites in most communities, where, for a small fee, water identified as “purified” can be dispensed into containers

    An uptick in what they call inappropriate use has spurred two City Councillors to begin a process which could lead to the eventual regulation of these outlets.

    “There has been an increasing problem in the neighborhood with the use of this machine,” said Ward 2 Councillor Paul Condon. “People come to fill up their containers at all hours of the night now. They bang on the machines and vehicles pulling in and out late.

    “People should not get woken up at night just so someone can get a gallon of water,” Councillor Condon said. “Something must be done about this. It is a real problem.”

    Condon said he would like Councillor-at-Large Craig Spadafora’s resolution on Tuesday’s docket, “Be it hereby ordained by the Malden City Council that the Code of the City of Malden (MCC) be amended by adding Title 6, Chapter .20, Section .040 PERMIT FOR

EXTERIOR VENDING MACHINES” referred to the Council’s Ordinance Committee.  “Councillor Spadafora is on the right track,” he said.

    “There’s a sign that says open 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. That’s not being followed,” Condon said. “We have to have those who operate it explain why. Maybe they have to lock it up after the stated hours or put a fence around it.

    “It’s time to dig into this,” the Ward 2 Councillor. said.

   A motion unanimously passed to refer Councillor Spadafora’s resolution to the Ordinance Committee.

Council resolution to support pending legislation calling for study of rodent control poison is tabled

     Malden has a major rat problem, as several City Councillors attested at Tuesday night’s meeting.

    They also agreed there is a dilemma over how to combat the problem, particularly the use of, “Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides (SGARs)” which is effective, but some supporters of wildlife believe it is dangerous to birds of prey.

    It is also a threat to domestic animals and at times the general public.

    A resolution co-sponsored by Ward 4 Councillor Ryan O’Malley and Councillor-at-Large Karen Colon Hayes asking that the Malden City Council support state legislation already passed by the Mass. House of Representatives and being considered by the State Senate calling for a study of the use and potential effects of the use of these rodent pesticides.

     O’Malley related a personal story of how his own dog was sickened after ingesting a rodent pesticide and several other Councillors related similar stories, including Colon Hayes, Ward 3 Councillor Amanda Linehan and Council President Barbara Murphy.

     The same Councillors, all of whom live near wooded areas, also pointed to the influx of more birds of prey to Malden, like eagles and hawks.

    Before the discussion began on O’Malley’s paper, a local business owner, Galvin Murphy of Yankee Pest Control asked that the Council consider waiting on a formal show of support until all the facts were in on the use of the rodent pesticides.

     “I have 40 years of experience and many certifications on the use of rodents and other pesticides. This legislation is aimed at stopping those who are not professionals from purchasing and using pesticides,” Murphy said.

    Murphy said the outright banning of the use of the “SGAs” pesticides could potentially quadruple the costs of battling rodents in Malden or anywhere.

    O’Malley stressed: “This bill is to study the use of the pesticide, and to restrict residential consumers of the product.”

    When Councillors Condon and Ward 6 Councillor Steve Winslow indicated they would prefer to table proceeding this resolution to a Council committee discussion, pending getting more information regarding the wording and status of the state legislation, Councillor O’Malley said he was satisfied with that move.

    A unanimous, 8-0 vote tabled action on the resolution.

 Councillors vote to approve new, three-year Library Employees contract

     The Malden Public Library employees have a new, three-year contract due to a unanimous vote of the Malden City Council at Tuesday’s meeting.

     The Council, on a motion by Ward 1 Councillor Peg Crowe to suspend docket rules, ordained the new stipulations in the contract.

     On a motion by Councillor-at-Large Carey McDonald the Councillors also approved a funds transfer to cover the salary scale increases as well as provide retroactive pay.

    The library employees have been without a contract for 18 months and the new contract will carry through to June 30, 2024.

Ward 2 City Councillor Paul Condon and Councillor-at-Large Craig Spadafora are calling for the institution of an ordinance requiring permits and regulation of Exterior Vending Machines, such as water vending machines. (Courtesy Photo)
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Ward 2 City Councillor Paul Condon discussed problems with a water vending machine in Edgeworth neighborhood at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. (Advocate Photo)

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