NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

February 26, 2013

S.A.F.E. grant an easy vote for Finance Committee

Amesbury City Notebook
Mac Cerullo

---- — The Amesbury City Council’s Finance Committee has been keeping busy over the past few months, discussing items related to the Lower Millyard project, the Stretch Code and the budget in general.

So now, with the new budget season on the horizon, the Finance Committee is finally getting a month of relative calm before the storm. There is only one item on tonight’s agenda, and conventional wisdom would suggest it’s a no-brainer.

The Amesbury Fire Department was recently awarded a non-matching grant for $5,225 to continue their Student Awareness of Fire Education (S.A.F.E.) program. The grant is available to all state communities and is intended to help promote student awareness of fire dangers through educational programs.

In a city so often ignited by contentious budget debates and tax rate mania, this one strikes me as an easy vote.

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Speaking of the Finance Committee, the City Council has unveiled its new committee assignments for 2013.

All nine councilors will serve on the Finance Committee, and the Ordinance Committee will consist of councilors Bob Lavo ie, Derek Kimball and Jim Kelcourse, along with private citizens Len Johnson and Sheila Casey.

The Rules and Procedures Committee will consist of Lavoie, Allen Neale and Donna McClure, and the energy task force will consist of Kimball, Christian Scorzoni and Joseph McMilleon.

On the Public Building and Infrastructure Committee will be Kimball, McClure, Bob Gilday and Neale. Kelcourse will be the lone member of the Traffic and Transportation Committee, and Gilday and Lavoie will work with the Chamber of Commerce.

On the Audit and Oversight Committee will be Gilday, Neale and Lavoie. McMilleon will serve as committee review liaison, and McClure will head up the master plan implementation effort.

McClure will also team up with Scorzoni as the liaisons to the Brownsfield Support Team, who are working to bring state and federal funds to the Lower Millyard project.

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Like pizza? Next month the Bartlett Museum will be holding a fundraiser at Flatbread Co. in Market Square to raise money for the upkeep of the museum’s building, which has taken a toll on the museum’s finances and recently put it in the red.

On Tuesday, April 2, a percentage of each pizza sold between 5 and 9 p.m. will go to the museum. Organizers are hoping for a big turnout, since the museum “totally relies on fundraising, donations and membership to continue being an asset to the community,” according to a recent press release announcing the event.

The Bartlett Museum is located at 270 Main St. and is open for tours on weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

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Juli Hanscom, originally from Amesbury, was recently named to Gov. Deval Patrick’s staff as a press assistant, according to a recent State House News Service report.

Hanscom graduated from Northeastern University last month with a bachelor’s degree in history, and she previously worked with the governor as a press intern from July 2011 to December 2011 while still at school.

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The following meetings are scheduled this week and are open to the public:

Tonight

Public Buildings and Infrastructure Committee, 5:30 p.m., City Hall Auditorium.

City Council Finance Committee, 7 p.m., City Hall Auditorium.

Thursday

Retirement Board, 1:30 p.m., 37 Millyard Park.

Board of Assessors, 5:15 p.m., City Hall Auditorium.

Board of Health, 6:30 p.m., 9 School Street.

Zoning Board of Appeals, 7 p.m., City Hall Auditorium.

Monday

School Committee Budget Workshop, 5:30 p.m., Amesbury High School Library.

Amesbury Historical Commission, 7 p.m., 9 School Street.

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Mac Cerullo covers Amesbury for The Daily News. He can be reached at 978-462-6666, ext. 3238 or by email at mcerullo@newburyportnews.com. Follow Mac on Twitter at @MacCerullo.