The city council is set to approve a major cooperative agreement with Eastern Minerals, ending years of battling over zoning and turf rights and ending with major public improvements along the waterfront extending about 1000 feet from the Meridian Street Bridge eastward.
A resolution known as the Marginal Street Corridor Improvement Project itemizing the complex requirements to be met by Eastern Minerals is set to be approved at the next meeting of the city council on March 1.
The agreement is multi-faceted, however provides for the removal of a series of aging oil tanks used to store asphalt and the environmental remediation of contamination on the site which abuts the Eastern Minerals property on Marginal Street.
This will allow Eastern Minerals to expand its storage of salt on a seasonal basis on an additional 56,000 square feet of waterfront property it owns.
An additional 31,000 square feet of contaminated land abutting the expanded storage space will also be remediated of contamination. This area will become a year round waterfront public park with trees and ground cover plantings. Lighting, an irrigation system, a waterfront railing, park benches and a large number of infrastructure improvements to include public parking and designated recreational areas will be added.
In essence, Eastern Minerals is donating a waterfront park to the city at a cost of $125,000.
The company will donate an additional $25,000 to be used as matching funding for public events to be held at the public park. These funds can be used as well for matching grants and neighborhood improvements. In addition, this fund will be augmented by payments made into it by Eastern Minerals on a tiered basis relating to its use of the additional 56,000 square feet of storage area it will be creating.
Also, the project provides for Eastern Minerals to ante up $500,000 in order fund the complete renovation of Highland Park. The city will contribute $500,000 more and Highland Park will be re-made with an all weather surface soccer field.
The agreement is far reaching and provides for an end to all litigation against Eastern Minerals by the city so long as it conforms to the exact requirements set forth in the agreement.
Marginal Street stands to be a big winner aesthetically.
When the project is completed, more than 1000 feet of Marginal Street – from the Meridien Street Bridge to the eastern edge of the public park – described in the agreement as the Marginal Street Prominade – will be more conducive to pedestrian use than in the past 80 years.
With plantings and gates, period street lighting and decorative grasses – all of which Eastern Minerals is responsible for up keeping – this portion of Marginal Street will be transformed.