Ward 3 and City Update April 9, 2015

Friends and Neighbors:

It has been far too long since my last update. The reality is it has just been so busy with so much going on. I’ll just highlight some of the initiatives that are ongoing:

I have submitted an order pertaining to Cushing Park and protecting it from development. Once this is in committee and BEFORE any voting I will have a community meeting to garner input to needs and wants. Cushing is underutilized except during winter snows so I am trying to strike a balance Maintain the current level of parking spaces November thru April, (104) and then allow the Parks Com to create a “Pop Up” park May thru October while maintaining an initial 40 spaces for neighborhood use during that time. This number can be reviewed after a full season of the Pop Up Park is completed and parking needs are reviewed.

I also submitted is an order to have the DPS develop a written Snow Emergency Snow Removal Plan. The premise is to have a DPS snow plan that is easily posted on the web and is understandable, available to the public and easy to follow.

I have been and will continue to meet with the residents of Back Bay to make sure their voices are heard as development projects in their neighborhood and near it are proposed or progress. One is the so-called 40R district that follows the Rt 1 corridor and train station area. While there is only one project currently under consideration (80 unit MINCO rental five story building at the MBTA station parking lot), the possible build out is 500 units. all with some type of retail on the first floor.

The City obviously is still embattled on several fronts, PI water and sewer issues (the Attorney General and Inspector General are involved), the New Ventures landfill (this is in the courts hands) and the need to upgrade the Graf Road sewer lift station. The Graf Road lift station is needed if the 40R district moves forward. MINCO will be all set but further growth is dependent on this costly upgrade.While some of these may not be Ward 3 they certainly will have impact on the entire city.

Budget season is upon us and as a member of the B&F committee and Public Safety, I’m meeting with various department heads to get a head start on what looks to be a very challenging bare bones budget.

The Colby Farm purchase will be before Council shortly. While I support open space and am agreeable with the concept, Lot 8 which is coming before us is $275K. To make this a workable purchase, Lot 1 must also be acquired for a price of $350K. We have a hard deadline and a lot to ponder so any thoughts please email me.

The Kelley School sale continues forward with one bit of news; the proceeds from the sale, per state law, must be applied to the principle of our outstanding debt. These are current highlights and I’m sure I’ve missed acouple. Any specific questions just reach out to me.

Thanks

Photo by: Bryan Eaton/Staff photo Newburyport Daily News

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