MEETING AUG. 7 ON HOUSING CODE PROGRAM
The Chelsea Collaborative and The Neighborhood Developers are hosting an information meeting with the City’s Inspectional Services Department for residents and landlords. The meeting continues the dialogue about the City’s new housing code inspection program that requires each rental unit in the city to be inspected at least once every five years. “We’ve kicked off the program and have completed 17 inspections in the Grove Street area and are finding minimal issues. However, these units were the first to volunteer for the inspections, so we’d expect they’d be in better condition,” reports ISD Director Joe Cooney. Cooney and staff will attend the meeting to again describe the intent of the program and answer any linger questions. The meeting will take place on Thursday, August 7th, at 6p at the Chelsea Senior Center. “We’re grateful that Joe and his staff are coming out to another public meeting, and we certain encourage residents and property owners to continue to participate in the discussions and become even more involved with what is happen in their neighborhoods,” commented Reuben Kantor, the Director of Chelsea Works, the multi-partner initiative that is seeking to produce prosperity, better quality of life and improved physical conditions in the Shurtleff/Bellingham neighborhood as part of the Boston Fed’s Working Cities Challenge initiative.
MATRIX FIRE STUDY MEETING
City Councillor Clifford Cunningham is preparing to host what is a long-awaited (and perhaps contentious) meeting on Aug. 12 concerning the Fire Matrix Study.
The Study was unveiled in April 2013 and many recommendations have been corrected or implemented, but no formal meeting with the Fire Department every transpired with the Council – and a number of the difficult items in the study still need to be addressed.
Fire officials have said they look forward to the meeting and have been calling for it ad nauseum.
“We look forward to meeting with the Council to address the recommendations made in the Matrix report,” said Deputy Chief John Quatieri. “We have completed approx 70 percent of the recommendations but will need to work with the City Manager and Council to address the remainder of the report. Most importantly is the need for an additional station and manpower to handle the high number of ‘High Hazard’ and ‘Special Hazard’ occupancies which make up a large portion of the city, including the proposed FBI facility, as identified in the Matrix report.”
DOUBLE STABBING ON HIGHLAND?
Several sources reported to the Record that a violent double stabbing disrupted the neighborhood on Highland Street and Central Avenue Saturday night just after 11 p.m., where Chelsea Police made their presence known for several hours.
Two men who apparently suffered serious injuries were said to have been stabbed on Highland and Chester and then collapsed in front of the convenience store a few blocks away on Central Avenue.
Police interviewed numerous people in the area and were on scene apparently until nearly 2 a.m.
Other sources reported that following their departure, gang-related gun shots littered the air most of the rest of the night. No injuries were reported as a result of the gunshots reported to the Record, but many residents and even some elected officials said those in the area were petrified.
City Councillor Joe Perlatonda and other councillors on the eastern side of Broadway said they are particularly concerned about hot spots in their districts.
“This is the same old story over there and people are scared – some want to leave Chelsea,” said Perlatonda. “This is a real hot spot and things always seem to be happening here.”
Chelsea Police did not immediately respond to a request for information on the two incidents.
CITY CONTINUES WORK ON NEW FEMA MAPS
City Manager Jay Ash, Councillor Leo Robinson and Planning & Development Director John DePriest are working on an appeal of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new flood plain maps. Those maps determine flood risks and, therefore, the availability and cost of insurance to property owners. “We’re very concerned that the new map will cause a substantial rise in flood insurance premiums for those within the areas of the Mystic Mall and the Chelsea Street Bridge,” confided Ash while describing the two general areas of the city that are most prone to storm surge problems. “It is possible that property owners in those areas are aware of the new maps being proposed and the potential for those increases in premiums. We’re trying to argue that much of what is being included in the new flood plains shouldn’t be, and we’ve been proactive in making that argument,” added Robinson. “Yes, we’ve begun the appeal process, are partnering with some neighboring communities that are also fighting their new maps, and have engaged an expert consultant to bolster our chances of keeping property insurance lower in Chelsea,” stressed DePriest. Ash says the new flood plain maps are a response to global warning that is causing a sea level rise and changing weather patterns that produce episodes like Hurricane Sandy in 2012 that caused billions of dollars of damage to places like New York and New Jersey. “These super storms, and, frankly, lesser ones are creating damage that are costing insurance companies billions in claims, so the new FEMA maps are taking into account changing sea levels and threats in order to allow insurance companies to assign the risk where appropriate,” reports Ash. The City will file an appeal by the August 27th deadline and is encouraging FEMA to hold additional information sessions for those property owners that may be impacted. “Our congressional delegation is fighting for us in Washington, too, so we’ve already won some battles, like grandfathering in existing policies holders at non-flood plain rates. But that is not enough, so we’ll continue collaborating to try to lessen the potential impacts even more,” said Robinson. DePriest says he expects to have a full posting on the FEMA flood plain map change by next week so interested property owners can learn more. “And, they can call their insurance companies, if they haven’t already heard from those companies, to inquire. The most important thing, though, is to not let insurance lapse on existing policies, because the re-writing of the policy could see premiums go through the roof,” advised DePriest. When posted, the information will be found on the City’s website, www.chelseama.gov.
NSTAR, CITY PREPARE FOR BUSINESS ENERGY SAVINGS
City Manager Jay Ash co-signed a letter to the Chelsea business community this month that highlights NSTAR’s newest energy efficiency program for businesses. The NSTAR Direct Install Program provides a free energy analysis, financial incentives and turn-key installation to make energy efficiency affordable and simple for local businesses. Ash wrote that Joe Vinard, Chelsea Bank president, used the service and saw results.
“I immediately saw savings on my electric bill,” Ash reported Vinard saying. “With NSTAR offering to cover up to 70 percent of the total cost for the recommended energy upgrades, this is a great program that can help businesses run more efficiently and profitably,” added Ash.
For those who may not have seen the mailing but would like more information, contact Ash at [email protected]
NEW PARKING STICKERS SHOULD HAVE BEEN RECEIVED
The City’s next cycle in the parking program will begin on August 16th. At that time, purple parking stickers will replace the current blue stickers for valid parking on city streets. Purple parking stickers were mailed to those who have existing accounts with the City and no owed parking fines or taxes due. City Clerk Debbie Clayman advises that those residents who have not received a purple sticker may stop by the City Clerk’s Office during regular business hours to seek a purple parking sticker. Proof of registration of the car in Chelsea is required to receive a sticker. Lines at City Hall have varied from 10 minutes to an hour, so it is advised that those requiring a sticker plan accordingly. City Hall is open on Tuesdays from 8a-7p, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8a-4p and Friday from 8a-noon. Parking stickers are free to those owning passenger vehicles that are registered in Chelsea.
BUSY ZBA MEETING AUG. 12
The City’s Zoning Board of Appeals will meeting in City Hall on Aug. 12 to discuss several interesting proposals.
•First, Mark Clifford has put in a petition to change the use of the old Richie’s Furniture store at 280 Parkway into an auto parts store. Neighbors in the area vocally opposed a check cashing business that wanted to locate there some time ago. Clifford was well known for having run a long-time and successful auto parts business in Revere’s Beachmont section.
•Juan Gallego has put in a petition to build six units of housing atop the former El Dorado Bakery – which burned down and was totalled in a fire last Thanksgiving morning. He proposed to put the new building on top of the existing foundation. However, he needs numerous pieces of relief, including parking relief, open space relief, all setbacks and minimum lot size.
•Attorney Anthony Rossi has petitioned the ZBA to modify an existing special permit that allowed him to use the property at 28 Cherry St. for offices. He now wants to use it for residential units.
•Rich DiGirolamo has petitioned the board for a special permit and variances to increase the number of units at 196 Washington Ave. from two to six. It will require variances for lot size, all setbacks, open space, and parking.
ARTS IN THE PARK AT THE BOX DISTRICT
Every Wednesday night this summer, The Neighborhood Developers (TND) has been sponsoring a live music concert or a family movie in the Box District Park on Gerrish Avenue at 5:30 p.m.
Come see friends, neighbors and family at the weekly celebrations.
•Aug. 13, ‘The Goonies’ movie.
•Aug. 20, ‘Brave’ movie.
•Aug. 27, Live Music by ‘Cruzamente’ Cape Verdean band.
SILVER LINE MEETING LOOKS AT NEXT STEPS
The much-anticipated Silver Line project in Chelsea by the MBTA will be the subject of a public meeting on Monday, Aug. 18, in Chelsea City Hall at 6 p.m.
The previous meeting happened earlier this spring and featured a standing-room only crowd as renderings, plans and construction schedules were unveiled. It is anticipated that detailed construction plans will be discussed with residents – in particular the plan to close off the Washington Avenue Bridge for quite some time in order to replace it.
CHELSEA LEGO CLUB FIELD TRIP
The Chelsea Lego Club (for kids) will take a summer field trip to Einstein’s Workshop in Burlington on Aug. 16.
The cost is $12 for admission and the bus trip. It is only $6 for admission.
Sign up at the Children’s Desk in the Chelsea Public Library.
BACK TO SCHOOL CELEBRATION COMING
The immensely popular and tremendously crowded Chelsea Public Schools’ Back to School Celebration will take place at the Williams School Complex (180 Walnut St.) on Thursday, Aug. 21, from 2-5 p.m.
All public school students and their parents are invited to attend. There will be free food, activities, games and free school supplies.
•Adri’s Legacy will hold a fund-raiser ice cream social on Monday, Aug. 11, at Boston Yogurt in the Mystic Mall. A portion of the bill will go towards the fund.