NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 17, 2013

Locals disappointed by state's beach repairs

Not enough sand taken to fix problem areas

(Continued)

Even state Rep. Michael Costello and state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, while thankful that after their urging that DCR made at least this measured response, were disappointed the state agency refused to identify more money for more sand to do the whole job. Both legislators promised to try to find additional resources to mount the additional repairs, but much of that depends on getting earmarked funds through the state budget process currently ongoing.

For newly elected Selectman Freeman Condon, DCR’s unwillingness to do more to fully repair the storm damage on Salisbury Beach is unfortunately not surprising. Condon, who served as a selectmen previously, said the state hasn’t always given Salisbury Beach the attention it deserves.

“I want to give credit where credit is due,” Condon said. “Mike Magnifico and his crew at the beach do a great job. It’s an absolutely beautiful resource. But the state’s been hesitant at times to help mitigate problems there when they come up. The state could do a better job at that. It’s very frustrating because our hands are tied. It’s the state’s beach.”

Condon said Salisbury Beach State Reservation is the most frequented of all state-owned parks, producing significant revenue for the state budget from fees visitors pay. Doing everything possible to repair the erosion that took thousands of tons of sand from the beach seems only logical, he said — it’s the way to protect a lucrative state asset.

Legislators, town officials and residents lobbied hard for more to be done, but DCR remained adamant as to how much it would do and where it would put the sand. Salisbury conservation officials were partially successful in getting DCR to comply with where they believed the sand should go, but the town’s authority was limited.

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