NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 20, 2013

Salisbury to decide library's fate

Town Meeting to debate important issues tonight

(Continued)

Town Meeting will also be asked for permission to borrow $1,026,372 to make energy conservation improvements to some of its public buildings that will save substantial sums for the town over the coming years. The request comes after surveys were done to pinpoint ways to conserve energy in town.

The unique part of this bonding efforts is that the money to pay it back would come from the savings the town would experience from making the conservation improvements, according to Town Manager Neil Harrington. The estimated payback time is 16 years, he added, shorter than the traditional 20-year period of most loans of this nature.

Articles 19 and 26 both concern attempting to clear up road issues that have plagued the beach district area for decades. They both relate to roadways that belong to the Salisbury Beach Associates. Article 19 relates to Fowler Street only.

Article 26 concerns roadways along the west side of North End Boulevard, in the flood plain by the Blackwater River. This section has severe and repeated flood problems annually, and is where flood prevention efforts are currently going on with the Army Corps of Engineers.

According to Harrington, both questions authorize selectmen to acquire the roads for use as public ways, although these streets are considered by many to be public roads already.

“Over decades a large number of streets at the beach either were accepted improperly as public streets or were never accepted at all,” Harrington said. “Yet, they’ve been used and maintained -- plowed and repaved -- by the town as public streets. A large number of these streets are owned technically by the Salisbury Beach Associates, so we need to go through the legal language of giving the selectmen the authorization to acquire them.”

Harrington said town officials have been in touch with the heirs of the Salisbury Beach Associates and have found those individuals are willing to sit down with the town over the situation. Although currently private property of the SBA, Harrington said the town has so far not issued property tax bills for the land to the heirs.

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