While Boston’s decision to end its fight with Wynn was huge news in Charlestown, and money on the table was a huge part of that discussion, a surprise addition touted as a gift to Charlestown was perhaps the icing for the Town and for Everett – eliminating the long-disdained Boston Water & Sewer Commission (BWSC) Sludge Plant sitting right at the Town line.
The sludge plant was a highly-contentious issue in 2006 and 2007 when Boston quietly proposed to relocate the plant from Frontage Road in Dorchester to the Everett/Charlestown waterfront. At first, the process at the state level was constructed so as to exclude residents from expressing their opinions in a public vetting. A re-filing of the project, however, allowed those public meetings. Bitter meetings were waged, but in the end, the BWSC won and located the facility right at the entrance to Charlestown and Everett.
Having that kind of use there, however, has made it difficult to tout an up-and-coming waterfront for both Charlestown and Everett. Many have long looked upon that situation as highly unfair.
This week, Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he was glad to see Mayor Martin Walsh and Steve Wynn unexpectedly turn a negative use into something positive – such as the proposed parkland.
“I applaud Mayor Walsh and Steve Wynn for opening up the waterfront in Everett and Charlestown to the public,” said the mayor. “By removing a sludge plant and creating parkland, truck traffic will be reduced, our beautiful waterfront will be accessible and Everett and Charlestown will be soon be connected by parklands.”
Neither Mayor Walsh nor Wynn Everett folks were immediately available for comment on the possible removal of the facility, though having a connected park system near the entrance and on the waterfront has long been a goal for the Wynn project.
The agreement calls for Boston and Wynn to look into the possibility of relocating the plant and replacing it with parklands. The MWRA windmill, however, will not be moved from its abutting property, which also houses a critical pump station.
The sludge plant is designed to handle 130 tons per day of materials that include catch basin cleanings, sewer cleanings and trench excavation from Boston construction projects.