Once the project was complete, the hope was that the land could then be donated back to the city of Amesbury and converted into a waterfront park.
“Everybody liked the proposal, we took it to Mayor Kezer, [city councilor] Bob Gilday liked it, and they floated it to people in government, and everyone liked the idea,” Taylor said. “But at the time, about a year and a half ago, they didn’t know who was going to be awarded the contract … and so at that point they said they didn’t know who’d be responsible for cutting a check.”
Nothing ever came of the proposal, and in the year and a half since, the abutters have seen both their property values and quality of life plummet. Taylor said he wants to sell, if possible, but his next door neighbor recently sold his place for half what he originally paid for it, and Taylor figures he’d likely have to take a big hit too.
Taylor decided to speak out about his situation after Newburyport residents living on the other side of the river facing similar problems drew the attention of local and state officials, who vowed to have a noise barrier built to protect the homes from construction-related sounds. He hopes people will recognize that the abutters on the Amesbury side of the river need help too, and the fact that there are only a few of them doesn’t make their plight any less real.
“That’s essentially what everyone has told us, that we don’t matter,” Taylor said.