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February 11, 2014

Holaday outlines 6 priorities in 'state of the city' address

(Continued)

If the Kelley is sold, city officials will guarantee that its striking architectural assets will be saved.

Holaday said city officials will continue to work to find an agreeable solution to utilizing the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority’s 4.2 acres on the riverfront.

A session to brief the new City Council on this topic, snowed out on Feb. 5, will likely take place the first week in March. No date has been finalized.

The mayor said the city’s Master Plan is ready for a major revision, and municipal leaders are finalizing a contract with a private firm to help with the project.

She reported that the city is experiencing a vibrant period of construction and development. Holaday reported that in the last year, 831 building permits have been extended, representing a total worth of $189,756,000. This burst of building generated fees of $576,650.

Holaday said another priority in the next few years is finding enough ball fields and open areas for youngsters to participate in sports.

City officials lost two baseball diamonds when the Bresnahan School was built, and municipal leaders are vigorously looking for open space that can accommodate fields.

Holaday said city officials are considering taking down the north bleachers at the World War Memorial Stadium at the high school to create a synthetic-turf, multi-purpose field for football, soccer and lacrosse.

In addition, designers are studying Fuller Field on Low Street to determine whether another baseball field can be fitted onto that space.

At the conclusion of her presentation, she received vigorous, sustained applause from councilors, city officials and residents who packed the City Hall chamber for the annual assessment.

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