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January 3, 2013

Amesbury starts work on $5.9M DPW move

AMESBURY — The Department of Public Works will be moving its administrative offices to 39 South Hunt Road starting today, marking the beginning of the DPW’s gradual move out of the downtown area that officials hope will be complete by the end of the year.

Laurie Pierce, the DPW’s administrative assistant, said the department’s old office at 9 School St. would be staffed today during the move to help with customer service-related issues. The new office will be opened in a limited capacity starting tomorrow and should be up and running at normal capacity starting Monday, she said.

Pierce added that the DPW’s existing phone number will remain the same, but it will be taken out of service briefly tomorrow while its being switched from the old office to the new one. Residents seeking permits should also wait until Monday, she said.

The DPW’s new offices will consolidate the department’s administrative functions into a single location, housing the water, sewer, highway and trees, parks and cemeteries (TPC) divisions.

Mayor Thatcher Kezer said he expects the move to go off without a hitch, given that the week after New Years is typically slow and there are currently no snowstorms in the forecast to cause a disruption.

The relocation of the DPW’s administrative offices is the most visible sign of progress on the $5.9 million relocation project since it was approved this past July. After the City Council voted 8-1 to approve the proposal, the city worked to acquire the property and prepare the existing building on the site for the DPW’s impending move.

With the offices all moved in, the next step for city officials will be to build a new garage on the property to house the DPW’s vehicles and equipment.

Rob Desmarais, director of public works, said he expects the project will be put out to bid by late spring and construction of the new garage should begin by the summer. His hope is that the garage will be completed by the winter and that everything should be done by the end of the year.

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