December 9, 2019
Mayor Donna D. Holaday
Media Transfer: We have been working with the Greater Newburyport Community HUB, aka Port Media, on increasing video recordings of board and commission meetings. A transfer is before you tonight for $15,500 that would provide for two staff at 60 hours/month to film Planning Board and ZBA meetings and then edit these recordings for posting on the Hub YouTube page. In addition to NCM staffing, the transfer request will also fund editing equipment needed. We will continue to work on adding additional committee meeting recordings as we identify needed cameras and equipment to expand this capacity. Interviews for staff are in process. We will work out a contract with NCM Hub regarding staff and equipment payout over the next several weeks.
Clipper City Rail Trail Clean Up: The PCB clean-up began last week. Last week’s storm delayed progress, but the project should still be completed by the end of December. Our contractor has been coordinating with National Grid to complete the vacuum excavation of test pits every 25 ft. to identify depth of direct buried underground electrical lines. We will provide an update the Council if the project timeline changes.
High Street and Line Striping Issue: KP Law has reached out to Hi-Way Safety’s insurer and they report that the City’s claim is still under investigation in regards to coverage and liability. The insurer is awaiting additional documentation from Hi-Way Safety. KP Law will continue to maintain ongoing contact to arrive at a satisfactory resolution but we will review additional options over the next few weeks.
NRA Deed request: The Title attorney reported to KP law today that the work is complete and a report will be forwarded to the city early next week.
Congratulations to the Newburyport Clippers with a solid win over Amesbury 34-20 in our annual Thanksgiving Day rivalry.
Thanksgiving: A special thanks to the Lions Club for hosting Thanksgiving Dinner at the Senior Community Center and all the volunteers who delivered several hundred meals to our seniors and others in need.
Holiday Tree Lighting: Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived with the help of the Coast Guard and received the key to the City. Thank you to the Keefe’s for donating this year’s tree and to the Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce and our DPS staff for the enhanced decorations this year.
State House Mayor’s Reception: I attended the MA Mayors Reception hosted by Gov. Baker & Lt. Gov. Polito at State House, December 4.
MVPC Semi-Annual Meeting of Legislative Delegation with Mayors and Managers on December 6: The Mayor joined other regional mayors and town managers to meet with state and federal legislators and their representatives. Transportation, housing, school funding, and CSO notification and testing of the Merrimack River were major topics of conversation. The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission attended this meeting.
Snow: Thank you to DPS for an excellent job managing the first significant and prolonged storm of the season. Further discussion on snow management and operations will held this Thursday, Dec. 12th at 7 pm in City Hall Auditorium. Our annual snow emergency plan is in final draft and will be finalized after the Thursday meeting.
Snow Angels: This is a wonderful program coordinated by Youth Services with the Council on Aging. Please reach out to us if you need help shoveling or if you can help a neighbor.
Share the Warmth: On Saturday 19 families participated and offered free hot chocolate throughout the city.
CPA funding for the High School Cupola:
City Councillors: Thank you for another very productive year as we close the term. I look forward to working with the new City Council and welcome Christine Wallace, Ward 4, Jim McCauley, Ward 5 and Byron Lane, Ward 6. We have said our thanks and gratitude to Greg Earls and Tom O’Brien, and tonight I would like everyone to join me in thanking Larry Giunta for his service as a 3-term City Councillor for Ward 5.