November 13, 2018
Mayor Donna D. Holaday
Whittier Bridge: On October 30th, Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Polito joined local officials for the official opening of the Garrison Shared Used Path that joins Newburyport, Amesbury and Salisbury rail trails.
Complete Streets: We received an executed grant contract from MassDOT that allows the City to proceed with creating a Complete Streets Tier II Project Prioritization Plan. The City has chosen the engineering firm TEC to facilitate this process. Staff will be meeting with TEC on Nov. 27th to kick off the process. This process will include public outreach, including a public meeting. A prioritization plan is mandatory in order for the City to qualify for MassDOT Complete Streets grant funding. The goal is to complete the project prioritization plan this winter so that we could be in a position to apply for construction funding for the next anticipated grant round this spring.
Safe Routes to School: We have worked diligently to be accepted into this highly competitive program. The first public meeting was held in June 2018 at 25% design with positive feedback from the community. We have achieved 100% design and the approval of the City Council is required. We have resolved several outstanding concerns with the Newburyport Historical Commission and they have submitted the required Section 106 study letter to the State Historical Commission citing the project will have no adverse impact. We have been cognizant of the historic significance of High St. at every step of this process and believe the current plan is the right balance between the priority of safety for our children and preserving the historical nature of High St. We anticipate the project going out to bid in late spring. Councilor Shand, on behalf of the City Council has requested an additional rendering of the project to assist in your review, the budget authorization and request for additional funding is before you tonight.
Streets and Sidewalks: The Department of Public Services (DPS) has completed a very successful roadway and sidewalk construction season. Using Chapter 90 funds, drainage bond funds and additional free cash received this past spring, many streets and sidewalks were improved or repaired.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of DPS staff. The following streets listed below have been improved or repaired.
Street Type of work
- Doe Run Drive at culvert crossing Roadway Spot Repair Program
- Dove Street Roadway and Sidewalk
- Ferry Road (Erie Ave – Hart Rd) Roadway Spot Repair Program
- Lavalley Lane (Hale Street – Frances Drive) Roadway Spot Repair Program
- Longfellow Drive (From houses #28 to #38) Roadway Spot Repair Program
- Low Street (Coltin Drive-Hale Street) Curbing installed to improve drainage in area
- Marquand Lane (Turkey Hill end of street) Roadway Spot Repair Program
- Nock Middle School Parking Lot Paving and Lighting
- Opportunity Way at selected locations Roadway Spot Repair Program
- Plum Island Turnpike at culvert crossing Roadway Spot Repair Program
- Russia Street Roadway and Sidewalk
- Storey Avenue – (Moseley Ave – Low St) MassDOT Roadway Paving Project
- Toppan’s Lane (Low Street – High Street) Replace Water Main
- Water Street – at Independent St intersection Roadway Spot Repair Program
- Wildwood Drive at culvert crossing Roadway Spot Repair Program
In Governor Bakers’s Supplemental budget we received an additional $103,411 in Chapter 90 funds which we will add to the funds for spring construction. We will continue to advocate for increases in c. 90 funds through a multi-year bond.
Other related projects:
Phillips Drive: DPS crews installed a sub drain on the hill to capture any groundwater before heading to the surface. Ted Norton began (and likely finished) the installation of a sub drain on Dick Goulet’s property. Hancock Survey is currently doing the field survey of the entire neighborhood.
Coltin Drive: Drainage project completed
Francis Drive: 36, ten to twelve feet Arborvitae trees were planted to buffer I-95; they withstood the wind storm
Hale St: A new black chain link fence replaced the very old green one. We are working with one resident to complete project.
Merrimack River Beach Alliance (MRBA): We are continuing to work with DCR on full ownership of Plum Island point parking lot to establish a trust for PI dune and beach nourishment.
Reservation Terrace: The Concrete blocks and reinforcement of the recent sand and berm construction project is moving forward. There is a significant accretion of sand again at the Charos land adjacent to the dock, and we are asking the State to assist in moving this sand to Reservation Terrace. A conference call with DEP today indicated the Emergency Certification is still in place and amount of sand and location currently being surveyed.
Parks: We are moving forward on the short term rental of the NED property at 51R Water St. Floor plans, interior build-out and costs are under review. The Parks department will also have a storage facility installed on land adjacent to the compost site for the storage of equipment. This is the result of mitigation from the Colby Farm Lane development, in addition to the parcel of land to be conveyed to the City for open space. Equipment will be consolidated to this new facility and removed from Atkinson Common as soon as possible.
Fire Department: The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for conceptual design of the Storey Avenue fire station should be in final draft this week.
EMS: We have been working with a retired health analyst and researcher on implementing in-house EMS in our City. We anticipate presenting the report to the City Council by the end of the year.
Waste: Molly Ettenborough and the Waste Stream Task Force are finalizing their work. It is important for all of us to recognize the grave challenges we have ahead in dealing with waste. Costs will continue to climb and we must continue to implement programs to divert projects from landfills. I look forward to receiving this ad hoc group’s work and for future discussions.
MA Municipal Association: Today the Board of Directors (BOD) approved our legislative package for 2019-2020 and policy resolutions focusing on local aid, municipal revenue, school funding, waste, climate change, finance and additional changes to municipal law. BOD then met at the Statehouse with Lt. Gov. Polito to discuss budget and economic outlook, Chapter 90 roads & sidewalk funding, housing and climate change.
Waterfront West: I appreciate the response by the City Council to review existing zoning and the 2017 Master Plan for Waterfront West in order to give more direction to NED. This is a positive step and I appreciate your efforts and the public’s input as we move forward on this critically important process.
Congratulations Gov. Baker, Lt. Gov. Polito, Senator-elect Diana DiZoglio, and Rep. Kelcourse!
A Special Thank You to Kevin Hunt for another successful Veteran’s Celebration!
Nov. 14th: Semi-Annual Meeting with Legislators and Mayors and Mangers hosted by MVPC at NECC.
Joint City Council & School Committee Meeting: Nov. 27th at 6 pm at Bresnahan School