Last night the City Council voted unanimously to accept the Master Plan for the Eastern Cemetery and make it part of the city’s Comprehensive Plan. Barbara Hagar, of Spirits Alive, the non-profit organization who speared-headed the interest in reviving historic cemetery, presented the city council with the Master Plan. The only public dissent came from Chris O’Neill, lobbyist, for the Chamber who asked the council whether this plan rose to the level of significance to make a change to the Comprehensive Plan. Councilor John Anton said it does.
On a second matter, the Council unanimously accepted a recommendation from the Public Art Committee to retain SkyDesign of Washington, D.C. to build and install three “swirl” benches on the Bayside Trail. The three benches will cost the Committee $42,500. and deplete its budget for the year. Committee member Terry DeWan represented the Committee before the Council last night.
One bench will be located at the small circular plaza near Franklin Street. Two will be in the large circular plaza near Elm Street. The dramatic benches beat out the design of Bayside sculpturer Aaron Stephan who designed seating “crates” which depicted the industrial age of the Bayside area.
Committee members have said in the past they hope the installation of these benches will help to increase the foot traffic in the area which is sparse currently. It’s hoped that when the planned construction in the area gets underway, this will be an attractive benefit for those in the area. Installation of the benches is expected in the fall. For more background information, please visit Post # 888, dated 9/22/ll.
Lastly, the City Council voted to change an ordinance that will make it more amenable for flea markets to operate in the city. It voted to lower the fee charged to operators to $225. a year rather than $50. a day. The administrative fee of $35. to sellers was elminated, requiring them to pay a $20. per year to sell at a flea market.
The matter came up for Erin Kiley and Nathaniel Baldwin who opened Flea-for-All in Bayside in April. They requested the ordinance change believing the amount of tax by the city
was a barrier to some potential sellers to enter an uncertain market in a new forum; an indoor flea market. Councilor Jill Duson was the only councilor to vote against the fee reduction saying there are administrative costs involved. Please see previous Post for more background information.