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October 18, 2013

Council gets update on sidewalk improvements

NEWBURYPORT — City officials Tuesday night accepted a report from Mayor Donna Holaday focusing on roadway and sidewalk projects of the past few years.

The mayor’s update focused on road and sidewalks improvements completed or planned for calendar years 2012 to 2014. The annual report is of interest to councilors, since constituents across the city will continuously voice concerns and questions about sidewalks.

During the past two years, half of the municipal meals tax has been earmarked for the improvement of sidewalks, and that new revenue source appears to have increased the expectations of some residents.

Holaday noted that all city roadway projects are funded by Chapter 90 state appropriations.

The mayor said the city was allocated slighting more than $1 million over that two-year period, $522,000 in fiscal year 2012 and $519,000 in fiscal 2013, for local roadways.

The following projects have been completed, or are nearing completion, in calendar year 2012 and 2013: Coltin Drive and Wilkinson Drive, $78,471; Mulliken Way, $53,051; and Jefferson Street, Jefferson Court and Lancey Court, $298,000.

The report said that other related services done through Chapter 90 in 2012 and 2013 were linestripping, $56,505 and project inspection and oversight services, $25,000.

The following roadway projects have begun and/or are scheduled to be completed in 2014: Merrill Street, $450,000, Purchase Street, $190,000 and cracksealing, $50,000.

Holaday said that a request for $50,000 is pending to repair areas that are too large to patch and too small to be eligible for Chapter 90 funding.

If approved, the report said work will include a Shandel Drive trench repair; Ferry Road at Noble Street surface repair; and Federal Street sectional repairs.

Other potential road projects for 2014 “subject to level funding from the state and a timely release of the city’s Chapter 90 appropriation in spring 2014,” are as follows: Willow Avenue, Brooks Court, Stanley Avenue, Jackson Street, Bromfield Street and Carlton Drive.

Regarding sidewalks, the report noted that most sidewalk repairs are funded through municipal accounts. Local funding for fiscal years 2012 through 2014 will total $679,310.

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