Matthew Coogan, Chief of Staff
September 9, 2019
Supplemental Budget: The Mayor is submitting a supplemental budget totaling $179,101 in proposed expenditures. The request is funded by available revenue following the passage of the City’s FY2020 budget, as well as increase in estimated state aid based on the final FY2020 budget signed by Governor Baker. Included in this budget are increased funding for the FY20 School Department budget, increased funding for additional sidewalk repairs, and funding for legal expenses associated with mandatory federal and state regulations and permitting for the Water and Sewer Divisions. We look forward to discussing these funding needs in further detail.
Newburyport Redevelopment Authority (NRA) Lot C Acceptance: Under the recommendation of both our Planning Director Andy Port and R.J. Lyman, our attorney overseeing our Home Rule petition, we submit for the Council’s approval a deed for a small parcel near the Harbormaster Facility, north of the Custom House, known as “Lot C”. There is a title issue related to this deed, and conveying the property now from the NRA to the City would be the cleanest way to deal with an approximately 200 square foot parcel and avoid future complications. It would be one less title issue for the City to address once the NRA is dissolved. The NRA is prepared to convey and has already authorized their Chair to sign this Deed to the City. We can provide additional information for the subcommittee and could even arrange for Attorney Lyman to attend either the subcommittee meeting or the next Council meeting.
In the meantime, we continue to work with the House Committee on Bills in the Third Reading on our Home Rule Petition to Dissolve the NRA, House Bill H3698. Over the past few weeks Committee members and legal counsel for the Committee have requested additional information and clarification. We understand these inquiries to be routine and part of the due diligence process, particularly for legislation that results in the conveyance of real estate. We have answered their questions succinctly and promptly and look forward to this bill passing.
Parking: We are prepared to remove the approximate 125 parking spaces from the waterfront by Monday, September 16. We ask that the Council pass Orders 134 and 137 to allow employee permit holders inconvenienced by these changes to park in the Titcomb Street Garage and well as to streamline the employee parking permit to one fee structure for all of downtown. The NRA voted favorably on 8/13 to support the parking reduction.
High Street Line Re-striping – Our line contractor has been removing the incorrect paint/ line markings on High Street. Tonight is the final night of line removal. They have been using a special machine to remove the paint without damaging the asphalt. Once the lines are removed DPS will assess the condition of the removed paint with a third party to determine whether additional sealing is necessary. We will continue to update the Council and the general public on our contractors efforts to correct their mistakes.
Merrimack River & Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO): The newly formed Merrimack River District Commission Meeting will be meeting on September 30th in Haverhill. The establishment of potential flagging system, as well an additional water quality testing program is on the agenda to be discussed.
Lois Honegger’s Retirement: After 16 years of service Lois Honegger is retiring. During her time, Lois served as Executive Aid to Mayor Al Lavendar, Mayor John Moak, and Mayor Holaday. Lois has fielded hundreds, most likely thousands of constituent inquiries, and always treated residents with kindness and respect. Lois has also served as the City’s Arts and Cultural Liaison, helping establish the Newburyport Cultural District as well as fostering a strong relationship with the Massachusetts Film Office. Her work with the local arts will have a lasting impact on this community and she will be missed at City Hall. On behalf of Mayor Holaday, I want to thank Lois for her years of service to this community and wish her well. Lois’s last day is next Friday, September 20th.
Mayor Holaday will be back in the office on Tuesday, September 17.