Feast of St. Rocco Banquet Photo Highlights see page 9 Vol. 20, No. 18 -FREE- www.advocatenews.net Matheson fl oats water proposals By Barbara Taormina W ard 3 Councillor John Matheson asked fellow councillors to join him in supporting a resolve not to raise water and sewer rates this year. Councillors seemed divided on the idea and agreed to postpone voting on it until more information is available about this year’s budget and the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority’s annual assessment for the city. “I don’t believe there’s an intention of raising rates this year and that’s a good thing,” said Matheson. But he also pointed to the Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund’s surplus as evidence that there’s no need or justifi cation to hike water and sewer bills. Matheson has been making the case that it’s unfair to charge rate payers amounts that exceed the cost of operating the city’s water and sewer system to the point where the city is able to squirrel away millions in surplus dollars for future capital improvement projects. Councillor-at-Large Stephen Winslow cast shade on Matheson’s idea and said more information is needed to make a thoughtful assessment about a resolution that he suggested really didn’t mean anything. “Limiting rates plays well, but for us to vote on this without more information would be irresponsible,” added Ward 7 Councillor Neal Anderson. But Councillor-at-Large Published Every Friday 617-387-2200 Friday, May 3, 2019 rida May 3, 2019 City celebrates dedication of Alex Gentile Memorial Park JOHN MATHESON Ward 3 Councillor Craig Spadafora admitted Malden’s water and sewer rates are astronomical and the idea of not increasing them is attractive. Still, like other councillors, Spadafora wants more facts before an actual vote. “None of us want to raise water rates,” said Ward 2 Councillor Paul Condon, who added he would support Matheson’s resolve. “It’s a resolve,” he said, implying it’s not something councillors would be married to. Matheson also proposed asking the city engineer and the director of public works for a report on the cost and time needed to fi nish replacing the public and private lead service lines that connect homes and businesses to the city’s water mains. Matheson again pointed to the Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund’s surplus and suggested there was enough money available to replace WATER | SEE PAGE 11  $2.55 GALLON                       Shown from left to right are DPW Director Bob Knox, Penny and Gerry Gentile, Mayor Gary Christenson and Ward 5 Councillor Barbara Murphy during the dedication of the Alex Gentile Memorial Park. (Photos Courtesy of the City of Malden) By Barbara Taormina F amily, friends, fans and teammates gathered at Forestdale School last Sunday to celebrate the dedication of the Alex Gentile Memorial Park. A member of the Malden Challenger Baseball team and a Special Olympian, Alex’s easy laugh, relentless smile and ability to connect with any and all people made him a popular member of the community and earned him the nickname “The face of Malden.” The city CELEBRATES | SEE PAGE 3 Malden moves forward with fi ve-year waterworks plan By Barbara Taormina M ayor Gary Christenson has proposed borrowing $6.6 million to partially fund a fi veyear, $15.2 million water main replacement project. The project, which Strategic Planner Ron Hogan presented to the City Council last week, calls for replacing 13,165 feet of aging cast-iron pipes with cement-lined ductile iron pipes. In addition to design work, the other major cost will be repairing and rebuilding roads that are torn up to install the new pipes. The project is also expected to replace roughly 300 lead service lines that connect the water mains to individual properties. The city plans to use the money to tap into the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority’s local assistance program which off ers zero-interest loans. The project will be paid for with a $6.3 million surplus from the Water and Sewer Enterprise fund and $2.3 million in Chapter 90 state aid for roads and infrastructure. Although the $6.6 million bonding request is on its way to the Finance Committee for review, according to the administration there’s not much to talk about. Hogan said the existing cast-iron mains have decades’ worth of built up corrosion that restricts water fl ow and could cause problems for city fi refi ghters. Corrosion can also create pockets inside pipes that can potentially bePLAN | SEE PAGE 11

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