FY19 Budget Review: My sincerest thank you to the members of the City Council who dedicated extensive time over the past weeks to meet with each of the Departments for in depth review of their proposed budgets for FY19. My gratitude also to all of the efforts of Ethan Manning, Paul O’Brien and our Finance Team for their responsiveness to the City Councilors’ requests as well as the work of all of our Department Heads. We are confident in the budget we have spent many months preparing to meet the needs of our City over the next fiscal year.
Plum Island: The hydrant replacement project is 99% complete with 143 hydrants and 62 isolation valves replaced. Work is now proceeding to finalize design of the water line in the directional drill area, to the right of the PI bridge; this is he location where we had the first water main break.
Reservation Ter.: The berm work and dune grass plantings are completed. This was an example of a great partnership with the city, state, DCR, business and private citizens who worked collaboratively to move this project forward. A special thanks to DPS, Wayne Amaral and staff for great work in moving the sand and building the berm. And to the residents I wanted to extend a very special thank you for raising over $17,000 to support this critical project.
Dune Nourishment: Congressman Moulton and Senator Markey have secured $200,000 for PI for the impacts of this past winter; our goal is to establish a special dune nourishment fund. Senator Ives continues to work with DCR on the city acquiring full ownership of the PI parking lot to also establish a revenue stream for dune nourishment.
Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program: The City has been working towards becoming a MVP community completing the first step in developing our priorities of vulnerable sites. A follow-up Listening Session is scheduled for June 28th at 6:30 pm at City Hall. I am also very pleased to announce that the City has received one of the first MVP action grants for $122,695 for the feasibility study and design of protection for the Wastewater Treatment Facility from storm surge.
Resiliency Plan: For the past several years the ad hoc Resiliency Group has been meeting to review data from existing studies, i.e., The Great Marsh, and other community resiliency plans and have requested funding to advance a Resiliciency Plan for Newburyport and Plum Island. The $15,000 would provide for the hiring of a consultant to work with the ad hoc and MVP teams to create this important plan.
Whittier Bridge: We have reached agreement on mitigation with Walsh/McCourt for approximately $1M and hope to have a final signed document on June 15th following our next Whittier Bridge Working Group meeting.
Intermodal Facility/Garage: The City met with MVRTA and has reach agreement on the 75 year lease; the lease provides for 25% reimbursement from MVRTA for operations, rental of the ticket area and docking fees for the commuter and tour buses that use the facility. We are working on travel routes for the 110 ton trucks that will begin delivering the precast concrete on or around July 16th; 10 -12 trucks per day for 5 weeks. We are working on special arrangements for the week of Yankee Homecoming. Stopping deliveries that week could result in additional charges of $200,000 or more. We have worked out a plan with MADOT regarding the $2.5M expenditure by June 30th and may have to carry $500,000 into FY19 which is approved.
Safe Routes to School: MADOT and engineering consultant TEC met with the City and a residents from Livable Streets to review the 25% design plans to be presented Thursday, June 14th at 6:30 pm at the Public Library program room.
NHS Graduation: June 3rd was the perfect day for graduation. Congratulations to all of our grads and a special recognition to the Valedictorian, Margaret Cote and Salutatorian, Molly Laliberty for their beautiful speeches. Mike Parent, retiring NHS Principal received a very warm applause for his years of work and commitment.
Bura Alliance: For over 26 years this dedicated group through our Sister City Alliance with Bura, Kenya has built clinics, wells, schools, purchased technology, addressed HIV/AIDs, developed soccer teams and planted trees. On June 3rd to the sound of African drumming, an American Beech tree was planted in the front of the middle school.
Little River Trail Dedication: On June 9th, Jerry Mullins and his team of volunteers dedicated another spur of the Little River Trail. This is truly an example of a group of passionate citizens working in a public-private partnership to establish this beautiful network of trails.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren Town Hall: Sat. June 16th Sen. Warren will be at NHS to hold a town hall forum. Doors open at 10 am with event at 10:30 am.
1st Lt. Derek Hines 7th Annual Flag Day 5K Race: Sat. June 16th : Black Hawk helicopter will touch down at 2 pm, speakers at 3:30 pm with Gov. Charlie Baker and race at 4 pm.