Ethanol: Explosive Topic

April 4, 2012
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Tankers filled with ethanol, like those pictured above, could be running through the city of Everett.

At the Everett Common Council Meeting Monday night  the daunting ethanol issue was reintroduced.

Global Oil Company wants to bring 1,800,000 gallons of ethanol, twice a week through the city of Everett and the neighboring communities of Chelsea, Revere and East Boston.

Everett’s Fire Chief David Butler attended the meeting to answer questions posed by council members.

“Firefighters will be trained to deal with ethanol-based fires,” Butler said.

However, it is well known that if a tanker or two filled with ethanol ignited, a near conflagration would follow.

At any given time, there are 18 firefighters on duty in Everett, but we can always use extra Butler added.

The council was informed that the train cars transporting the ethanol would be brand new, but that wasn’t enough reason to sway the vote in favor of the resolution.

“I think we should see what we can really get out of this…we need more details from Global Oil,” said Councilor Leo McKinnon.

One item on the agenda that councilors and Everett residents can agree on is the resolution to put forth more local job postings.

Councilor Jason Marcus is a strong advocate for making local jobs more accessible. In conjunction with the city of Everett, the Chamber of Commerce is coordinating available job listings to post on the city’s website. Veterans are not discounted in this, and in July there will be a job fair dedicated to only them.

The most controversial point in the meeting occurred during a discussion about the residency requirement which states that any permanent full-time employee where the mayor is the appointing authority with the exception of Department Heads hired on or after July 1, 2012, shall establish residency within the city of Everett no later than 180 days after being hired. After a period of seven years, such employees will be granted access to seek a residency outside of Everett if it is so desired. Each year, proof of residency must be presented to the Human Resources Department.

“We need to do whatever we can do to bring this city back together,” said supporter Cynthia Sarnie.

“Maybe we can fill some of these vacant departments and be able to turn the city around a little bit,” agreed Councilor McKinnon.

But not everyone was in agreement that the ordinance would change the city like some are hoping it will.

The ordinance has the potential to deter people from applying to jobs in Everett because of the residency requirement.

“This takes a lot of work and requires more steps,” said Councilor Rosa DiFlorio. The ordinance failed 10-5.