City council ruling a fait accompli

And so it has finally been done.

An agreement between the city and Eastern Minerals that began with negotiations in 2007, has been successfully concluded.

The city council votes Monday evening at city hall puts into force a memorandum between the city and Eastern Minerals and a loan provision as well.

Taken together as one, these provisions provide for a major public park to come into existence along the Chelsea River; for aging and leaking asphalt storage tanks to come down; for road and sidewalk improvements of an extraordinary fashion to be made (and all of this paid for by Eastern Minerals) and for an artificial playing field similar to the one installed at Chelsea High School about seven years ago to be installed at Highland Park.

In return, Eastern Minerals shaves down the height of the salt it stores but has the right to expand the area of storage and from this time on, the city halts its efforts to remove the company from its 30 year home on the waterfront.

If this memorandum were being scored like a football game, it would be Chelsea 60 – Eastern Minerals 25.

The money cost to Eastern Minerals is well over $1 million when all is said and done and a full $500,000 of that sum is given to the city to install the artificial surface at Highland Park.

The advantages that will come to thousands of this city’s youth because of that field alone are manifold. The city’s usable space for soccer, football and track will double overnight.

Salt storage will inevitably expand as part of the memorandum. So too will open space along the waterfront accessible to the public.

That will go up by approximately 31,000 square feet.

The Chelsea waterfront, east of the Meridian Street Bridge, will be open to the public for the first time since the early 1930’s when there was a beach used for swimming in what was then, a contaminated waterway.

The memorandum and loan agreement between the city and Eastern Minerals is a win for Eastern Minerals and a win for the city.

We applaud the city council for making this happen.

We thank City Manager Jay Ash for giving the memorandum shape and form.

And we thank as well Eastern Minerals and the Mahoney Family for their vision and for their generosity to the city’s youth.

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