New Contracts For Quincy Police, Firefighters

Quincy’s public safety unions, representing hundreds of police officers and firefighters, have agreed to an interim contract that will provide a 3 percent pay raise effective July 1, Mayor Thomas Koch’s office announced.

The three unions – the Quincy Firefighters Association Local 792, the Quincy Police Patrol Officers Association and the Quincy Police Superior Officers Association – all voted overwhelmingly to support the agreement, which covers the fiscal year beginning July 1 and the prior fiscal year.  Police and firefighters agreed to no raise for the prior fiscal year under the agreement.

The agreement purposely addressed no contractual provisions beyond the zero and 3-percent raise, other than it commits the Koch administration and the unions to begin negotiations for a longer, three-year contract as soon as possible.

“I say it all the time, and it is not an exaggeration – we have the best Police and Fire Departments in our entire Commonwealth. I’m grateful for the work our men and woman sworn to protect us performed during this extraordinary year, their ongoing partnership, and their firm understanding that we’re all in this together as a community,” Koch said in a statement.

“This agreement achieves two goals: It provides a real wage increase they deserve while at the same time reflects the very difficult previous year in which our primary goal was to ensure that we protected core services and our workforce – which we were able to do across the board.”

Added Firefighter Thomas Bowes, president of Local 792:

“It was a tough, dangerous year for our members, who showed up every single day on behalf of Quincy’s residents during the pandemic.  The members understood that the Mayor had our back throughout the crisis, and this agreement shows they were ready to similarly step up to protect the financial health of the City.”

Added Police Captain Richard McCusker, president of the Quincy Police Superior Officers Association:

“The Quincy Police Superior Officers Association believes this is a fair, good-faith agreement that recognizes the challenges of the past year while moving us forward at the same time. We are eager to continuing the open dialogue and productive working relationship with Mayor Koch and his team on the successor three-year contract.”

Added Police Officer Gregg Hartnett, president of the Quincy Police Patrol Officers Association:

“Since most Covid-19 restrictions were lessened we were able to meet with the city to negotiate and ratify a two-year contract that enables us to move forward, putting the unique dynamics of the pandemic behind us. We look forward to working with the city to fairly bargain and ratify a three-year contract this time working through some language changes that better protects our membership going forward. Working in the City of Presidents we can always count on the loyal and steadfast support of this great community.”

Park And Recreation Board Backs Marina Purchase

The Quincy Park and Recreation Board unanimously approved a resolve to encourage Mayor Thomas Koch to investigate acquiring property along the Town River in Quincy Point, the mayor’s office said in a statement.

The board cited the city’s Open Space Plan goals and objectives as well as the lack of public boating access in Quincy Point as the main reasons for the resolve, which was approved on June 14.

The property at 662-674 Southern Artery, home to the Town River Marina, was specifically mentioned because of the boat ramp at the property, the mayor’s office said.  This property is directly adjacent to the Souther Tide Mill property and could help unlock the potential of that site as well.  It could improve both public access to the waterfront and tourism activity to the Tide Mill property.

The board further mentioned that the Recreation Department crew and rowing program has been bounced around quite a bit and this area would be ideal for a permanent home for the program.

The resolve referred to the Open Space Plan’s goal to “connect open space to create river corridors” and to “encourage public access to waterfront areas.”

The city currently provides public boat ramp access in Squantum and Houghs Neck, but there are no public boat ramps in Quincy Point.

Bridge, Park Honoring 18 Quincy Generals To Be Dedicated Sept. 11

Mayor Thomas P. Koch will dedicate the new Generals Bridge and Park Saturday, Sept. 11 honoring the contributions of 18 military leaders, all of whom were raised in Quincy.

The event will be held at the site of the new bridge and park at 10 a.m. at the corner of General Dunford Drive and General McConville Way in Quincy Center. The new Generals Park will honor three highest-ranking military generals with seven-foot bronze statues sculpted by world-renowned Sculptor Sergey Elanbekov. The sculptures portray military field impressions of General Joseph F. Dunford (ret.), 36th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corp & 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James C. McConville, 40th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, and General Gordon R. Sullivan (ret.), 32nd Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. Elanbekov also sculpted the statues of John Adams and John Hancock that reside in the nearby Hancock Adams Common.

Major General Francis M. McGinn, U.S. Army National Guard, the late Major General Charles Sweeney, U.S. Air Force, the late Major General Stephen T. Keefe, U.S. Air Force Reserve, and Brigadier General Ronald T. Rand, U.S. Air Force, will be honored with bronze busts in the park area, sculpted by Elanbekov.

In addition, the names of 11 generals, all from Quincy, dating back to the 1700s, have been engraved in the park’s commemorative stonework.

“We honor these generals for their devotion to our nation and the protection of its constitution, our way of life, and the welfare of the men and women who don the uniform,” Koch said. “These men never sought accolades or rank, they were chosen to lead because they possess the virtues of leadership: integrity, courage, humility, loyalty. A grateful city is proud to claim them as our own and promote their legacies to inspire service to the community and the United States of America.”

Koch will honor all living veterans and those currently serving in the military who grew up or live in Quincy as part of the ceremony.

The new bridge will connect Mayor Thomas Burgin Parkway into downtown Quincy Center’s growing hub of restaurants, residential space and the newly opened parking garage at Kilroy Square.

The ceremony will include an introduction from the mayor, comments from Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Congressman Stephen Lynch and each of the honorees including Dunford, McConville, Sullivan, McGinn, Rand and designated speakers in memory of Sweeney and Keefe. A ceremonial flyby, musical selections, and the unveiling of the statues and busts will be included in the program.

A proud city thanks all our active and retired military for their service.  The Sept. 11th event is open to the public.

VaxMillions Drawing Dates Announced

The drawing dates announced by state officials on Friday.
The Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts State Lottery on Friday reminded the public that registration for the Massachusetts VaxMillions Giveaway will begin on July 1 and also announced the schedule of drawing dates
Residents age 18 and older who are fully vaccinated prior to each drawing will have the opportunity to enter to win one of five, $1 million cash prizes. Residents between 12-17 years of age who are fully vaccinated prior to each drawing may enter for the chance to win one of five $300,000 scholarship grants.
An entry before one of the weekly entry deadlines makes you eligible for all of the weekly drawings that take place after you register.  Residents are reminded that they have time to get vaccinated and then enter the drawings.

VaxMillions Giveaway Drawings will be held once a week for five weeks beginning Monday, July 26 and continuing every Monday through August 23. The first drawing for the giveaway will occur on Monday, July 26, with registration for that week’s drawing closing on Thursday, July 22. Winners will be announced later in the week following each drawing. The full schedule of drawing and announcement dates is above.  Residents are reminded that some COVID-19 vaccines require two doses, and they must receive all doses before entering the drawing.

Residents must be fully vaccinated before registering, but if they are not vaccinated by the registration date for a certain drawing, they will still have the opportunity to complete vaccination and register for subsequent drawings. Residents will only have to enter once to qualify for all drawings occurring after the date of their registration.
Massachusetts residents 18 years of age and older who have received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, will have a chance to win one of five, $1 million cash prizes.
Massachusetts residents between 12 and 17 years of age who have received two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will have a chance to win one of five $300,000 scholarship grants via a 529 College Savings Plan managed by the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA). Funds in a 529 plan can be applied to cover tuition, room and board, and related expenses at any college, university, or technical or trade school or other post-secondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Winners with a qualifying disability may elect instead to receive an equivalent financial contribution to a special needs trust or federally qualified ABLE account to cover qualified expenses.
The Commonwealth launched the Massachusetts VaxMillions giveaway as one of many strategies to increase awareness of the availability and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines and encourage residents to get vaccinated to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe. Beginning July 1, Massachusetts residents will be able to enter the VaxMillions Giveaway online. A call center will be available to support registration for residents who do not have access to the internet or require assistance. Sign up information and call center contact info and hours will be made available prior to July 1.
Only lawful, permanent residents of Massachusetts who are fully vaccinated can enter the drawings. Residents must have received their vaccine doses within Massachusetts. Residents must be fully vaccinated prior to submitting their entry.
There are over 900 vaccination locations across the Commonwealth, with appointments and walk ins widely available. Residents seeking a vaccine can visit mass.gov/COVIDVaccine to find a vaccine location that is convenient for them.
For more information on the Mass VaxMillions Giveaway, visit mass.gov/VaxMillions.

Three New Developments Seen In Quincy Center

Artist’s rendering showing the three new announced developments along Quincy Center in Hancock Street. The building at the top left would house a performing arts center and 350 residential units. The other two buildings are located near the bottom right, separated by a proposed new green space, and would contain residential units and new restaurant and retail spaces. Quincy Sun Photos/Robert Bosworth

By SCOTT JACKSON

Mayor Thomas Koch on Thursday unveiled plans for three new developments along Hancock Street in Quincy Center featuring nearly 600 residential units between them.

One of the buildings would also be home to a performing arts center.

Koch announced plans for the new buildings at a City Hall press conference joined by Sam Slater and Joey Arcari, the developers behind the projects. The three buildings represent private investments of $300 million into Quincy Center, Koch said, and will include 800,000 square feet of new development. The projects will also generate $2 million in new tax revenue each year.

Mayor Thomas Koch (center) was joined by developers Joey Arcari (left) and Sam Slater (right) at Thursday’s announcement.

The mayor said the new developments would help transform the section of Quincy Center between Hancock Street and Burgin Parkway.

“It is time for that side of Hancock Street over to Burgin to be developed. It is time to transform that area,” he said. “That is what we are talking about today.”

Koch said he understood some of his critics might take issue with the additional development in Quincy Center, but noted there is a shortage of housing in the Boston area.

“The economy of Boston is heavily based on education and medical, and a lot of young people come to this region in need of a place to live, and that is a challenge right now. We are helping to meet that demand,” the mayor said.

“This creates new vitality, new vibrancy. It creates new jobs, it creates new taxes. And, it is on the spine of the tracks – we are right by the Quincy Center Red Line station…it checks a number of the boxes off, why it makes perfect sense.

“This is where we want density, this is where we want height, this is the center of commerce in our city. This isn’t in the middle of a neighborhood.”

Slater, who is a partner in the NHL’s Seattle Kraken expansion team, would develop two of the buildings.

The first building would be located at 1469 Hancock St., presently home to the Adams Arcade. Slater is proposing a 15-story, 200-unit residential building on that site with 4,000 square of retail space and 4,000 square feet of restaurant space.

The second building would be located on the site of the city-owned parcel of land at 1565 Hancock St., also known as the Messina Lot, where a 14- or 15-story building would be constructed. That building, which is still in the early planning stages, would house the new performing arts center and somewhere in the range of 350 residential units. Koch said the venue would be named in honor of First Ladies Abigail and Louisa Adams.

Arcari, whose firm, the Broadway Hospitality Group, operates the Tavern in the Square restaurants, would construct a seven-story building at 1445 Hancock St., now home to a Family Dollar. The building would include a restaurant on the ground floor, a coworking space on the second floor, and 40 residential units on the upper floors.

Koch said he plans to ask the City Council to acquire the two buildings at 1461 and 1453 Hancock St. which are home to a Tae Kwon Do studio and a coffee shop, among other businesses.  Those buildings, which are located between two of the proposed new buildings, would be razed to make way for a new green space.

The council would also have to approve of a land disposition agreement for the lot at 1565 Hancock St. The three projects would all be subject to review by the city’s Planning Board.

Closer look at the performing arts center, which would be located at 1585 Hancock St. Some 350 residential units would be located on the building’s upper floors.
Another look at the buildings proposed for 1469 Hancock St. (center) and 1445 Hancock St. (far right). A new green space is proposed for the land between the two new structures.

City of Quincy Agrees To Remedy Discharges Of Stormwater Containing Sewage; Remedial Measures Expected To Be In Excess Of $100 Million

By SCOTT JACKSON

The US Attorney’s Office and the US Environmental Protection Agency New England regional office has entered into a consent decree with the city of Quincy to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act regarding the city’s stormwater and sanitary sewer systems, federal officials announced Wednesday. Water sampling indicated untreated sanitary sewage discharging from numerous Quincy stormwater outfalls, including outfalls discharging at beach areas.

The settlement requires Quincy to implement extensive remedial measures to minimize the discharge of sewage and other pollutants into Quincy Bay, Dorchester Bay, Neponset River, Hingham Bay, Boston Harbor and other water bodies in and around Quincy. The cost of the remedial measures is expected to be in excess of $100 million. The City will also pay a civil penalty of $115,000.

Chris Walker, the chief of staff to Mayor Thomas Koch, said the remedial measures Quincy would undertake as part of the proposed settlement are on par with what the city currently spends on similar infrastructure improvements on an annual basis.

“The Mayor felt strongly that the original action was a broad overreach that ignored the City’s history going back decades of investing tens of millions of dollars into water-quality improvements. This agreement, negotiated over the course of several years,  clearly reflects that the EPA and US Attorney’s [Office] took his concerns seriously and to a great degree recognized the City’s past efforts and its planning for the years ahead,” Walker said in a statement.

“The work contemplated in the agreement is well within the City’s existing budgetary framework for water-quality improvements, and will not require any substantive increase in annual expenditures.  The agreement calls for between $6 and $8 million in capital work to be completed annually through 2034 – a range already included in City’s Water and Sewer Enterprise budgets for the last several years.

“This is the same process that many communities have gone through over the years – including Boston, Hull, Revere, Swampscott and Lawrence to name a few.  We believe this agreement fares well against prior similar actions based on the good-faith negotiations that recognized the City’s record over the years.”

Negotiations between the city and federal officials regarding the scope of work to be done were “truly productive,” Walker added.

“We think the EPA learned a number of things about what’s been done here and what’s planned, and we also took their concerns and ideas very seriously. The end result is an agreement that took into consideration those varying perspectives and priorities, and did so in a way that fits within a manageable schedule that will not create additional stress to ratepayers or City finances,” Walker said.

“The civil fine component was a major sticking point for Mayor Koch. He felt that based on the City’s history of work and the City’s willingness to continue making capital investments to reduce pollution, that any kind of fine would unfairly characterize the City’s track record.  The agreed upon fine – to avoid a lengthy and costly court proceeding – was lower than many other communities that went through a similar process.”

Under the proposed consent decree, Quincy will implement a comprehensive and integrated program to investigate, repair and rehabilitate its stormwater and sanitary sewer systems. The proposed settlement is also consistent with EPA directives to strengthen enforcement of violations of cornerstone environmental statutes in communities disproportionately impacted by pollution, with special focus on achieving remedies with tangible benefits for the community.

“This settlement builds on work done over the past three decades to address pollution in Boston Harbor. The work required under the proposed settlement will achieve cleaner and healthier water in Quincy and nearby areas. This will protect people’s health, making it safer to enjoy beaches or other recreation in or on the bays and rivers in the area,” said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deb Szaro.

“This settlement is a reminder that municipalities must comply with the law and environmental standards to prevent and address pollution caused by defects in their stormwater and sewage systems,” said Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell. “This is a matter of environmental protection and public health.”

In March 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a civil complaint alleging that the city of Quincy inadequately controlled sewage leaking from its sanitary sewer system, allowing sewage to mix with stormwater and be discharged from the municipal storm sewer system into nearby waterbodies, including at beach locations. The complaint also alleged that Quincy’s sanitary sewer system has overflowed on numerous occasions, resulting in discharges of sewage.

Raw sewage overflows from sanitary sewers and discharges of stormwater mixed with sewage from municipal storm sewer systems introduce a variety of harmful pollutants, including disease causing organisms, and can contribute to illnesses and beach and shellfish bed closings.

Water sampling indicated untreated sanitary sewage discharging from numerous Quincy stormwater outfalls, including outfalls discharging at beach areas. The proposed consent decree establishes a schedule for Quincy to investigate the sources of sewage being discharged from its storm drains. Quincy will first complete its investigations of drainage areas discharging to beach areas, including Wollaston Beach and the Adams Shore area. Quincy will prioritize the rest of the investigations according to the sensitivity of receiving waters and evidence of sewage.

The proposed consent decree also requires Quincy to remove all identified sources of sewage as expeditiously as possible. In addition, Quincy is required to conduct frequent and enhanced monitoring (in both dry and wet weather) of its stormwater outfalls. Until pollutants are removed from its storm drain discharges, Quincy will be required to post notices to warn beachgoers of contaminated stormwater at such storm drain outfalls. The remedies under the proposed consent decree also include the investigation and repair of Quincy’s sanitary sewer infrastructure, and the integration of that work with its stormwater investigations.

Some portions of Quincy’s sanitary sewer system are over 100 years old. Numerous studies conducted by Quincy have identified significant and widespread defects in the sanitary sewer system, including cracks that allowed sewage to leak. While Quincy has made some repairs to the sanitary sewer system, the proposed consent decree will require future work to be conducted on a fixed schedule and coordinated with its stormwater investigations. The proposed consent decree requires the City to conduct all investigations and complete remedial work by December 2034.

The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval after it is published in the Federal Register. It is available at https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.