The fact that the blighted land was purchased with public funds, and turned over to the NRA, may be at the root of arguments around whether or not the property is in fact public. The statute that empowers the NRA is very clear. The title to the land was transferred to the NRA under that statute, with the disposition of that land to be guided by that statute.
The NRA’s Mission Statement is out of date.
The Mission Statement that is recited at the beginning of every NRA meeting is a direct quote from the statute that empowers Redevelopment Authorities to act in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Newburyport Redevelopment Authority has been commended by the Commonwealth Department of Housing and Community Development for making this statute an integral part of its strategic plan by including its reading at every business meeting.
I believe that it is important to remind the members of the NRA at the beginning of every meeting why the NRA was entitled to take this land in the first place, as well as what its responsibilities are in finishing this project in an economically responsible fashion that will benefit this City, without putting additional burden on our tax-paying citizens.
There will always be conspiracy theorists with busy pens, but the truth is available to all who care to examine the legitimate sources. The concept plan presented by Union Studios to an overwhelmingly positive crowd last September, is available to be viewed on the the City web site at cityofnewburyport.com under NRA Waterfront Redevelopment. You can also visit the NRA blog site as well at www.newburyportra.blogspot.com for current information regarding where we are in the RFP process and where you can find a YouTube video of the September Union Studios presentation of the “concept design”.