Public Restrooms Main Topic at Newra Meeting

Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina addresses NEWRA on public toilet issues.

One of the agenda items at last week’s NEWRA monthly meeting was public toilets in the community, or lack of thereof.

Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina was invited to the NEWRA meeting to discuss this issue which residents have reportedly expressed concerns.

The Councilor told residents that he wanted to help out but needs recommendations on where public toilets could be placed in the neighborhood.

Most residents suggested the now closed Visitor’s Center on Hull Street currently being used by ABCD Neighborhood Service Center as a ESL classroom.

LaMattina told residents he could get one of two remaining special portable toilets but once again asked the question “Where can the City place it”?

Various locations were mentioned but no definite location was determined, with the exception on the Visitor’s Center on Hull Street.

One resident produced a document clearly indicating that the Hull Street location, about 2,000 square feet of space within the Assembly Hall Annex at the Michelangelo Street Housing be used to provide restrooms and a neighborhood visitor station on the Freedom Trail.

The agreement was part of the proposal to build the house building by the developer, ABCD, EBCDC Inc. and the North End Health Center.

The use of the facility as a Visitor’s Center didn’t last long and has been closed for those activities for about two years.

David Kubiak pointed out that there are several public restrooms throughout the North End/Waterfront community. “The problem is there are no proper signage directing visitors to them,” Kubiak said. “Better signage in the community might help resolve this particular issue,” he added.

Although there was a conflict about proper abutter notification, which was cleared up following the contractor leaving the meeting, going to his office and returning with letters of notification, NEWRA by a 17-11 vote supported a request by Sean O’Conner to add a fifth floor to the building located at 10 Hanover Street.

The applicant wants to add a fifth floor consisting of one bedroom and one bathroom for his own family use.

The existing fourth floor roof deck will be relocated to the new fifth floor.

Ali Yagciola, owner of 69 Prince Street El Triunolo Restaurant is seeking to change his existing license to include takeout and delivery did not show up for the NEWRA meeting.

On the Wednesday before the NEWRA meeting (8/10/11) the City of Boston Zoning Board of Appeal approved the request before the community group could discuss or vote on the request.

NEWRA members raised several issues of concern dealing with reported rumors that the eatery was already making deliveries and serving takeout before the owner received approval from NEWNC and the Board of Appeal.

Members claimed the owner was parking a vehicle in front of the place of business frequently on the sidewalk.

One member produced a petition that had no written indication or the document on just what residents were signing to support.

NEWRA did not vote on the request.

The next NEWRA monthly meeting will be held on Thursday, September 8 at 7pm in the Nazzaro Community Center.

NEWRA’s Annual Summer Party will be held at the Pilot House, 2 Atlantic Avenue tomorrow, Wednesday, August 17 from 6 to 8pm.