DONNA D. HOLADAY, MAYOR
August 19, 2019
Newburyport Redevelopment Authority (NRA): House Bill H3698 Home Rule Petition to Dissolve the NRA- State Representative Ted Speliotis, Chair of the House Committee on Bills in the Third Reading, toured the NRA and central waterfront on July 23rd to gain a better understanding of the city’s desire to dissolve the NRA. This was followed by a few clarifying questions from the committee on August 6th.
Parking: The follow up traffic study is underway and a reduction in 100-125 spaces on the waterfront once opened. The NRA voted favorably on 8/13 to support the parking reduction. A Parking Advisory Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, 8/22 at 6 pm to discuss the parking reductions, permits and snow emergency parking.
Economic & Environmental Affairs: The new Secretary of Economic & Environmental Affairs (EEA), Kathleen Theoharides, met with MA Municipal Association mayors on 7/24 to provide an overview of EEA and its initiatives. She met later that day with representatives and stakeholders in Salisbury to discuss more specific regional issues. A new coordinator of the Municipal Vulnerabilities Preparedness program (MVP), Kara Runsten, was also introduced. We were not awarded a MVP grant this round as there were $26M in requests and only $12M funded. We received positive feedback on our proposal to protect the Waste Water Treatment Plant and will be resubmitting in the next round in the fall. The Environment Bond bill was also recently passed and we are working with our legislators in the next steps to secure the earmarks for the rail trail clean up and Plum Island protections.
Roof Bids for DPS, Library & Fire Department: Wayne Roofing was awarded the contract for $694,000 (estimate was $726,500). DPS is meeting this week to proceed. The Library and Fire Department roofs will be first.
High St. Line striping, and the painting of crosswalks and bike lanes will begin next week. All lines will be replaced in kind and will be located in their exact locations prior to repaving.
Water Main Replacement: Information for Bids (IFB) was sent out this week for Malcolm Hoyt and Columbus Ave.
Spofford St. Sidewalk: Tree and brush removal necessary for this project begins next week. Actual work to commence next month.
Merrimac St. There’s been a shift in plans with sidewalk work to commence this construction season from Donner St. to Kent St. Many sidewalks along this corridor have been identified for replacement /improvements. Sidewalks will be replaced in kind – concrete to concrete, asphalt to asphalt. All curbing will be granite and all curbs will be reset. Merrimac St. will be temporarily patched and skim-coated this season. Repaving will begin early spring once all sidewalks and curbing work is completed.
Pleasant St. : sidewalks and paving from Titcomb to Market St.
Plummer Springs Bridge: We submitted a letter of support for West Newbury’s MassWorks small community application and a public meeting is being scheduled in West Newbury for September 23rd. More details to follow.
MADOT: We will be attending a meeting at MADOT District 1 this week to review the study by Howard Stein & Hudson on the Rt. 1 rotary. We are hoping to move forward on working with MADOT on a design that meets the safety, pedestrian, rail trail and traffic needs. We have $75K from the capital budget approval to support this process. We will also be discussing staging needs on MADOT on Rt. 113 for the fire station construction and long term parking.
Complete Streets: Proposal for Merrimac St. and lower Atkinson was not funded. We are following up with reviewer and next round of submissions.
Community Preservation Committee: Thank you Mike Dissette, Chair of the CPC and committee members for your review and due diligence on the projects submitted for this year’s funding. The 10 projects were well vetted and I encourage your favorable review. I also encourage your support of the Custom House request for seed money to help preserve very important archives in one of the most significant buildings in our city. The FY20 State budget included the Governor’s bill for increased registry of deed fees that will help to sustain the CPA with an additional $36M.
Brown School: The revised overlay district is an improvement- thank you Councillor Zeid. In regards to the Low St. property, following the signatures on the TR1 form to surplus the property, the State Polling process began today providing notice of the surplus property to state agencies; interests in the site must be received by DCAMM by Sept. 3rd. The Local Polling begins immediately thereafter for municipalities to express interest. DCAMM is also preparing Project Notification Form (PNF) to submit to the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) for review; MHC typical turnaround is 30 days. DCAMM is also drafting the scope of services for the appraisal and will solicit appraisal quotes.
Merrimack River & Combined Sewer Overflows (CS)O): Pauliina Swartz, who has been supporting sustainable efforts in the city, is a Senior Fellow at Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy. She connected us with Dr. Jacqueline Ashmore of the Institute, Dr. Wendy Heiger-Bernays of BU Environmental Health and Beth Haley, Environmental Health Doctoral Student, to work with the city and CSO Commission on the environmental, health and economic impacts of CSOs.
Congratulations to the Merrimack River Voyagers who kayaked 117 miles from Franklin, NH to Plum Island point to raise awareness of the pollution in the river. President Connell, Councillor Tontar and I joined the voyagers in Haverhill and kayaked 14 miles to PI.
Plum Island: Dune Nourishment for Reservation Ter. will begin on 9/9. The residents have collected over $15,000 for sand and, coupled with the Charos Brothers sand, we should have sufficient sand. DPS will be overseeing the spreading the sand which will take a few weeks to complete.