Storage tanks, Cowles bridge signage discussed by City Council

The posted weight limit on Cowles Bridge. A resident complained to the City Council Jan. 16, 2020 that trucks are ignoring the signs. (File Photo)

WESTFIELD – The City Council Jan. 16 had a public hearing on an application by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to continue gasoline and diesel storage at the Mass Turnpike State Police Barracks in Westfield.

MassDOT representatives said the storage amount was less than written on the permit, which was based on average barracks in the state. The total storage in Westfield is one 10,000-gallon underground gasoline tank; one 1,000-gallon above ground portable diesel tank, and one 138-gallon above ground diesel tank for an emergency generator.
In response to At-large Councilor Kristen L. Mello’s questions regarding safety and life of the tanks, the MassDOT representatives said the tanks are double-walled steel, with an inch of brine in between. They said if a problem arises, an alarm sounds. They said the tanks are inspected yearly by the state, and monthly by MassDOT.
The public hearing was closed and referred to the License sub-committee to correct the application.

Also on Thursday, the City Council passed immediate acceptance of a grant of $12,000 from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to the Westfield Police Department to support traffic enforcement.
During public participation, South Maple Street resident Andrew Miller expressed his concern about the disregard truck drivers have for the signs at Cowles Bridge, which is under construction.

“Truck drivers don’t care; they have no respect for signs,” Miller said.
At the end of the City Council meeting, At-large Councilor Richard K. Sullivan, Jr. made a motion to add Miller’s concerns to the agenda of the next Traffic Commission meeting, which passed.
At the end of the meeting, resident Rick Barry made an appeal for councilors to get involved in the Penguin Plunge Jan. 25, beginning at 1 p.m. to benefit the Amelia Park Children’s Museum. He said the fundraiser helps to keep the doors of the museum open, “for kids to grow and learn.”
Barry said councilors could make a donation if they don’t want to take the plunge. More information is available at ameliaparkmuseum.org.

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