, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 7, 2013

Selectmen urge Pentucket board to sign school lease


When Selectman Glenn Kemper asked for an assessment from his colleague Dick Cushing as to why West Newbury’s decision to stick with the original verbiage in its upcoming lease might possibly be a concern to the other towns or a problem for the school board, Cushing, who serves as chairman of the Regional Finance Advisory Board, referred to the issue as “a tug-of-war.”

“As usual you’ve got a lot of whining from the other towns,” added Chairman Bert Knowles. He felt the school board should stop revisiting the documents and just move forward with an up or down vote on the leases as presented by each community.

The School Committee has approved language in all three leases, but the documents await final signatures, according to Pentucket business manager Michael Bergeron. “It’s a future agenda item,” he said on Tuesday.

In other business the board approved a request from National Grid for an installation of conduit on Crane Neck Street and other roads in that area; the Garden Club will need to obtain a police detail to assist with pedestrian road crossings during its annual plant sale on the Training Field on May 18 from 7 a.m. to noon; and the Conservation Commission deemed that model airplane activities of the Cape Ann R/C Model Club on Long Hill Farm are not inconsistent with the property’s agricultural preservation restriction.

The Planning Board provided selectmen with a copy of a legal notice announcing a public hearing this month to review 30 units of single-family housing and related infrastructure at 18 Sullivan’s Court.

Two residents issued letters of complaint to selectmen regarding the installation of a basketball court on Bachelor Street near Action Cove Playground. Voters approved funding $86,000 for the courts in 2010. Abutters prefer for the Park and Recreation Commission to pursue a different site for the facility, such as behind Page Elementary School or on the Pentucket secondary school campus. The Bachelor Street complex is already too congested and built to capacity, they argued.

Selectmen reached an agreement on a new contract with Public Works employees, but no contract has been executed yet.

Finance Director Warren Sproul reported that the chief assessor’s position remains unfilled.

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