Councillor questions motor vehicle parking at Wonderland
Councillor-at-large Dan Rizzo has requested the city solicitor to meet with the city council to discuss the current operations taking place at Wonderland.
Rizzo said he received an email saying that could not be discussed at a council meeting because the site is the subject of ongoing litigation. The city acquired the Wonderland site through an eminent domain taking and paid the owner $29 million for the property. However, the owner is not satisfied with that amount and has suggested $100 million is a fair price for the site.
However, Rizzo was not looking for information about that lawsuit. He said there is a lot of parking taking place at Wonderland and he would like to know how much money is being taken in and where those funds are going. Rizzo also felt it was important for the council to understand what’s taking place at Wonderland because of any potential liability. He said there could be accidents with cars parking there, particularly in the winter, and the council should know what’s happening on the site.
Councillors agreed and unanimously supported Rizzo’s request.
Project Manager introduces new design plans for new RHS
Brian Dakin, senior project manager for the Revere High School project, was at the City Council meeting this week with a set of drawings of the new design for the building on the existing site.
Dakin said the design team has been investigating different options for building on the bowtie shaped site. We have been trying to stay away from cost drivers, particularly disrupting a culvert that runs under and diagonally divides the site. Also of concern is the use of fields and parklands which have Chapter 97 Conservation Controls, that would require replacement of the green space.
The goal is to be on the two fields, the baseball diamond and the soccer field next to the highway, said Dakin.
Dakin said pulling the design in and building up to five or six stories would keep the building further way from neighbors. And he stated emphatically there is no eminent domain involved or needed for the project. And a little more good news for the neighborhood came when Dakin said there will not be any construction traffic or parking in the residential area.
“The cost of the project was weighing on all of our minds,” said Councillor-At-Large Steven Morabito who asked Dakin if there were any cost estimates for the new design.
Dakin said if there wasn’t any work involving the culvert and the project didn’t require the use of Erricola Park, the city was probably looking at a share of $300,000 for building with a total cost of something in the low $400,000. The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) is expected to pay the difference.
Dakin said meetings with the MSBA have been positive and the Authority has worked with the city granting extensions for studies and plans.
“They really want to see this school built,” said Dakin.
Council President Pro Tempore Joanne McKenna said Dakin would be back with the city council on a monthly basis to provide updates on the project.
Council seeks illegal fireworks ban enforcement
Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts and the City Council is looking to make them very illegal in Revere.
The city has an ordinance that bans the use of fireworks in the city. But this week, Councillor Richard Serino proposed amending that ordinance to include stiffer penalties and more enforcement.
Serino said fireworks set off in neighborhoods are a problem for veterans suffering from PTSD. He also said it disturbs people with pets who are frightened by the noise. And in the city’s neighborhoods which are densely packed with older wooden homes.
“We’ve seen a very large increase of people lighting off fireworks,” said Serino who focused on a group of people who gathered at St. Mary’s parking lot for fireworks show. Serino said the area was left totally littered with spent fireworks.
Other councillors agreed that streets throughout the city were filled with debris from fireworks.
Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novelselsky said police need to patrol and enforce the ordinance and get out and walk if necessary.
Councillor At Large Dan Rizzo said the police were already stretched thin but added that putting an ordinance forward was a good start.
Council President Pro tempore Joanne McKenna said she stays home on Fourth of July to watch her home, which is an older wooden structure, to ensure no sparks or embers cause a fire. McKenna proposed a reverse 911 call to residents informing them fireworks are illegal.
Councillors voted to send the proposal to a public hearing.