Councillors Unhappy with Rumney Flats Ribbon Cutting

The newest residences in Revere – some 261 units of apartments on Ward Street dubbed Rumney Flats – might have a sparse ribbon cutting come Nov. 25.
The developer announced this week that they are planning a Nov. 25 ribbon cutting on the 261-unit apartment complex that was once scaled down in 2012 to incorporate fewer two-bedroom apartments – though that move didn’t sweeten the deal for some councillors.
A few of them were Councillors Arthur Guinasso, Stephen Reardon and John Powers.
The announcement of a ribbon cutting was the final insult for Guinasso, who wondered aloud at Monday’s City Council meeting how in the world they were able to host such a ceremony. That’s because last month, he successfully rallied the Council to block the application of National Grid to build conduits and a pole that would provide electricity to the project.
No electricity, no project.
Or so it seemed.
“I’d like to know how they plan to conduct a ribbon cutting when they have no electricity,” he said. “They don’t have a permit from us. What was the use of their application before us last month if they can just go ahead?”
Council President Tony Zambuto said he respected Guinasso’s position, but the attempt to block the electricity was just a game of semantics.
“Their application is more or less a formality,” he said. “If we block it, they laugh at us and go get the permit at the state. We have no power over public utilities.”
Councillor Jessica Giannino pointed out that the ribbon cutting is a month away, and perhaps there is time to discuss the project once more with the developers to see if there is any room for compromise.
After the meeting, Guinasso said he is highly offended and won’t be attending any ribbon cutting.
“I’m not going there,” he said. “They can have their great groundbreaking without me. That whole neighborhood down there is angry about this. Not one neighbor is for this.”
He continued, “I’m told now by the Council President that this vote we took is just a formality. I don’t know anything about that. I guess he has some sort of special information that the rest of us don’t have…I’m upset by this.”
Zambuto, after the meeting, said there is nothing the City can do, and blocking the electricity is not the right thing to do.
“They don’t have to do this,” he said. “They had this monstrosity by right and they downsized it after working with the mayor and John Festa. The bottom line is we made an agreement with the developer and took a lot of profit from him. It was going to devastate the schools and still will have an effect on them, but we’ve taken some of the sting out of it…Holding up a project for a power pole is absurd…It’s a folly. They can move the pole six feet onto their property and do it anyway. It’s all semantics. We wanted a BJs and this came with it…Sometimes you just have to swallow it and move on.”

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