City Councillor Ira Novoselsky’s Public Works Committee met on Monday night with DPW Superintendent Don Goodwin and Mayor Tom Ambrosino to discuss a number of issues on the public works front.
•The city is preparing to come down on homeowners who have sump pumps hooked into the sewer system, a practice that is illegal and most common in the Ward 6 area.
Goodwin and the mayor said that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has presented a mandate to Revere and several surrounding communities to get rid of these illicit connections, or pay the price.
The city will begin conducting smoke tests soon that will reveal what homes have these connections. Once that has been determined, they will request entry into the homes for closer examination and, if confirmed, order homeowners to fix the problem. If homeowners refuse to allow city inspectors in, the city will shut off all utilities to the home.
“One requirement of the EPA order is that we get rid of sump pump hookups into the sewer by whatever means necessary,” said the mayor.
Said Goodwin, “The city, not the homeowner, will be held financially responsible if it doesn’t get rid of all these connections. So, it’s going to be incumbent on us to step up our enforcement efforts.”
The city has set aside $125,000 in the current budget proposal to begin this work.
•The major sewer break that occurred behind Necco under the commuter rail tracks has been completely fixed and at a price of $600,000. It will be paid for through the inflow and infiltration account, which is funded by developers and not taxpayers.
•Operation Clean Sweep ended on Monday, and with that, towing will come to an end. The regular street sweeping schedule will now commence and cars will now be ticketed rather than towed. However, residents are urged to move their cars on street sweeping day in order for the program to be effective.
•Catch basin and line cleaning will begin this summer in the neighborhoods of the Point of Pines, Riverside, Beachmont and Shirley Avenue. Broadway, Park Avenue and Malden Street will also be cleaned, as they need to be done annually.
•Park Avenue will have major work this summer as the city prepares to lay a new water main for the length of the street.
The work is being done in order to prepare for the $3 million complete reconstruction of the street, which is expected to begin either next fall or next summer.
“This year you will see a lot of work being done in advance of the larger project; this is the underground work,” said the mayor. “Once that street is done we don’t expect to dig it up for a long time.”
•The city’s yard waste program has been up and running for one month now and is successful so far. Yard waste is picked up curbside every other week (this week, May 14-18, is a pickup week) on trash day and residents should note that the pickup comes later in the day after the trash and recycling.
•Following the $1.5 million water main laid on the Boulevard this spring as an add-on to the Beach project, several areas of the Pines saw repercussions.
Goodwin said that seven major water breaks occurred in the Pines within 24 hours of the new main going into service. He said he didn’t expect any reimbursements to the city for those breaks.
“My opinion is that never should have happened,” he said, “but we have a very old system and there are a number of weak points.”
On the positive side, residents of the Pines should experience improved water pressure and more capacity.
•Illegal dumping on the city’s side streets is reaching near epic proportion and Goodwin said that the city needs to aggressively go after those who are caught.
As contractors from outside the city use Revere as a dump to save some money in disposal costs, residents are paying the price, as the city has to foot the bill to clean up the mess.
“It’s going to get worse rather than better,” he said. “We need to put up the mini-cameras and we need to prosecute to the fullest. That’s the only way we can send a message that Revere is not a dumping ground.”