Ward 1 Councilor Joanne McKenna is requesting that more than 50 mature trees be replaced by National Grid after learning of the company’s intention to remove the trees from city property along Winthrop Avenue all the way down to Short Beach.
“When National Grid came before us two months ago and presented their plan to redo the [electrical] conduits, taking down trees was not in their vocabulary,” said McKenna during Monday’s Council meeting. “They never said it once – that they were going to take down at least 50 trees along Winthrop Avenue, mature trees that are work at least $7,000-$10,000 that have been in the ground for 50 years. They’re going to remove it and give us one small tree to replace that tree.
“So I’m asking National Grid that they give us at least two trees in place of the mature trees,” continued McKenna. “And because of the emissions and the jet fuel that come from the planes over Beachmont, people don’t understand that these trees are vital for the health of our residents. Trees act as barriers. They take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen.”
McKenna said she was “livid” about National Grid’s actions.
Ward 2 Councilor Ira Novoselsky said he agreed with McKenna on the matter.
“Here they are again, sticking it to us, even though it’s DCR property – they’re sticking to us, all we do is give and give and give them and they give us nothing,” said Novoselsky.
Councillor-at-Large Jessica Giannino called the actions of National Grid “ridiculous.”
“I was really angry – it’s not something that you replace like a sidewalk. The trees have been a part of our community for years and they’re going to take years to mature,” said Giannino.
Ward 3 Councilor Arthur Guinasso said he applauded McKenna’s motion.
“This is the exact reason why city councilors are in place – to protect our community against violations of our goodwill by utilities and any other businesses that operate within our community,” said Guinasso. “This is an insult to all of us. This is very serious. I think we should get enforcement on this and we should certainly stop the project until we get our wishes.”
The Council unanimously approved McKenna’s motion that an agreement be executed between the City of Revere and National Grid for the replacement of the trees. An amendment proposed by Novoselsky relating to the diameter of the trees was also approved.