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May 6, 2014

Spring fixes

City officials release list of sidewalk, road repairs

NEWBURYPORT — Those who run for City Council often say that one thing they hear constantly while campaigning are residents’ pleas to improve local roads and sidewalks.

After consultation among the mayor, city councilors and the Department of Public Services, the list of upcoming improvement projects for calendar year 2014 has been released.

City leaders say roadway projects are funded by the state under Chapter 90 appropriations; sidewalk improvements are funded through municipal accounts, with the exception of sidewalk projects undertaken in conjunction with state-funded road improvements.

In a letter to city councilors, Mayor Donna Holaday recently said the following roadway improvement projects will be undertaken this year: Willow Avenue, Brooks Court, Stanley Avenue, Jackson Street, Carlton Drive and Merrill Street. The Merrill Street project is already under way.

Also, Russia Street will be improved if the Merrill Street work comes in on budget, and Highland Avenue will be addressed “assuming all Water Department utility work is completed on time,” according to Holaday.

Beacon Avenue from Reilly Avenue to South Pond Street will also be addressed “assuming all Water Department utility work is completed on time,” she said.

City officials say that 50 percent of all local meals tax receipts have been allotted for sidewalk repairs since residents approved adopting the program two years ago.

The city has committed about $315,000 for sidewalks in FY14, which includes $75,000 from the operating budget and $240,562 from meals tax receipts for fiscal year 2013.

Local officials say that the city collects about $490,000 a year from the local meals tax.

The sidewalk projects planned for this year that are associated with Chapter 90 roadwork are as follows: Willow Avenue, Brooks Court, Stanley Avenue, Jackson Street, Carlton Drive and Highland Avenue.

Stand-alone sidewalk work for this year will include Green Street (25 tree pits), Washington Street from Strong Street to Olive Street (northeast side only); and Temple Street from Fair Street to Federal Street (both sides).

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