September 24th, 2018
Mayor Donna D. Holaday
Merrimack Valley- Lawrence, Andover & N. Andover: The Columbia gas explosions have had a devastating impact on residents and businesses in these communities. We have been in touch with National Grid and Newburyport is not connected to this system but many are uneasy and have raised concerns about the status of our system, safety and protocols. We are working on a public meeting once things are a bit more stable and staff can be freed up for a meeting in mid-October. Attached is a notice issued by National Grid and includes this statement in recognizing a gas emergency.
I would like to extend a very sincere thank you to our school athletes that organized an amazing drive last week to collect a wide range of needed items for the victims of this gas explosion. We are so fortunate to live in a community with such generous people. We will continue to provide the help we can.
Global Climate Action Summit
The Global Climate Action Summit brought local, state and country leaders together with advocates, scientists, business leaders and celebrities to highlight commitments to address climate change from across the world. Workshops, panels and targeted presentations were held throughout the city. It was truly an honor to represent our city at such an important event. Sen. John Kerry spoke on climate change and the critical status of our oceans and recognized Gov. Baker and our efforts in Massachusetts.
Malcolm Hoyt Dr.: Final edits for design underway and working up cost estimates and specs. Target date- spring 2019
Phillips Dr. Moving forward on supporting work with drainage/sump pump issue on 25 Phillips Dr.; camera of system identified a drain line that will be connected to a storm drain that will significantly improve flooding/freezing in the hill section; plan to open street in the next 2 weeks.
Coltin Dr./Low St.: drainage improvement project to start in 2 weeks
- Boylton: $60,000 in funding appropriated through bond for drainage projects with spring 2019 target date.
Road Projects: Dove and Russia streets at 99% completion. Reviewing costs and limits of work to complete a portion of Ferry Rd. at Erie Ave. to get some of this road addressed this fall. High St. sections being evaluated in collaboration with SRTS to complete a section of paving this spring 2019.
Francis Dr. tree barrier for residents abutting I95, trees ordered with delivery and installation next week.
Hale St. Fencing: work to start in two weeks.
Water Quality: several residents have reached out to DPS and my office with concerns about the flyer and the slight elevation of TTHM; this occurred only on one site on PI. Again this is due to the closed system on PI and the bleeder that runs constantly to keep the water flowing. Staff are working with DEP and the next round of testing will be the first week in November. Additional information has been added to the water department website.
Water Hydrant Flushing: begins September 26th in west end of city and continues through October. Please see attached notice and refer to DPS website for additional updates.
Offers of employment extended to candidates for Chief of Staff, Assistant Treasurer/Collector and Procurement Officer (formerly assistant auditor). DPS is finalizing the Stormwater Engineer job description.
Merrimack River & CSO Activations: The Merrimack River Watershed Council is meeting with the MV Mayors and Managers to discuss the data they have been collecting on the status of the river. I would like Gulf of Maine Institute (GOMI) that has been working with our students to reinstate the water testing and posting of bacteria levels as they had been doing a few years ago. We also need better notification for all CSO activations; to date I receive only Haverhill and in severe situations from Lawrence.
Merrimack River Beach Alliance: The Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled on Friday, 9/28 at 10 am at PITA Hall to present their Dredging Operations Technical Support Program (DOTS) study; we have been awaiting this study for a couple years.
MVP & Resiliciency: Our resiliency plan is in draft form and under review by the MVP Team. Copies will be forthcoming to City Councilors.
Friends of Newburyport Trees (FoNT): installed a tree sculpture last week on the Rail Trail off of Washington St. to recognitions donors. Ryan Kelley is the artist who created the beautiful piece.
Custom House Maritime Museum: This building is one of the most significant historical structures in our City; regardless who ultimately owns the building the slate roof needs to be repaired. The CPC voted unanimously to approve historic funding and it met all the required criteria. Please move this forward. The RFP process with the NRA is the place to debate land conveyance.