NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 19, 2012

New plan sought for DPW garage

AMESBURY — Town officials are looking closely at a light manufacturing facility in town as a possible alternative for the town's public works garage, the mayor said.

Mayor Thatcher Kezer confirmed his staff is examining the site and whether it can be converted for use as a public works garage. "I don't want to name it," Kezer said. "I don't want to put the burden on current owner."

The move marks a major shift in direction for the plan to move the Department of Public Works out of the downtown's Lower Millyard. The Municipal Council is currently debating a proposal by the mayor to authorize an $8 million bond for the public works building project on South Hunt Road. But the cost has sparked concern.

The town wants to get the public works facility out of the Lower Millyard in order to jump-start a revitalization project for the downtown area.

Last year, a consulting firm identified 26 properties in Amesbury as potential sites for a public works garage and narrowed the list down to South Hunt Road and Clarks Road.

Councilors last year voted to go forward with the South Hunt Road property, a portion of which would be given to the town in exchange for hooking up a way to drain the leachate from the landfill to the sewer system.

The proposal expects to spend $180,000 to extend the sewer line to the property, but officials say they would need to extend the line anyway to hook up the public works building.

Since the council's vote, certain properties have opened up on the market and have been examined by the town, including Eastern Lumber on Route 110.

The size of a building isn't what stops it from becoming a DPW garage.

"A lot of things are different about public works buildings," Kezer said. "We're running motor vehicles inside a building, as well as vehicles holding fuel, antifreeze. You have to take a building designed for light manufacturing use and have to overhaul the environmental systems ... you have to make sure the building is designed to support the weight of the vehicles."

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Special Features