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Local News

March 4, 2013

Plenty of places due for attention in coming months

Names (of people) make news, but so do names of places. The following are locales that likely will be part of municipal discussion in coming months:

Brown School: Mayor Donna Holaday this week said she wants her team to study whether this school could be converted to affordable housing when it is closed. Municipal leaders are seeking $50,000 for a “re-use feasibility study” from the Community Preservation Committee (CPC).

National Grid parcel: The waterfront property sits on prime land on the river, and city officials are always pondering how it could be used if it becomes available. But remediation of the soil at the site could be cumbersome — and expensive.

The Bartlet Mall: Municipal leaders would like to see the fountain in the middle of the Frog Pond repaired and embellished. Those on the Mall Commission have requested $15,400 from the CPC to enable them to proceed.

Cashman Park: The multi-purpose riverside park this spring is scheduled to have major state-funded improvements to the fishing dock. State officials say it is the busiest public boat launch in the commonwealth.

War Memorial Stadium: This well-known edifice at the high school needs improvements, and citizen letters seeking support are read at City Council meetings from time to time. Last year, however, the CPC turned aside advocates’ request for $100,000.

South jetty: Who knew that an inert collection of stone could generate $8 million in federal funds? Members of the Merrimack River Beach Authority are trying to sidestep the mating demands of the nesting plovers (to start April 1) by explaining that much of the coming work would be done through use of barges and would not affect the birds. The jetty is being rebuilt in an effort to control beachside erosion.

Newburyport Ale House: Plans for the proposed restaurant near the intersection of Green and Merrimac streets have been scaled back from 591 seats to 442. That revision could quiet some critics who are concerned about parking. Discussions of parking here, like the rise and fall of the tides, are continuing, but plans to build a parking garage are no longer on the table.

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