, Newburyport, MA

July 2, 2013

Praise for those who came to NRA presentation

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

I personally would like to thank every resident who took the time out of their summer on Saturday morning to sit with the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority. Architect Donald Powers unveiled a concept that provided more park space, slightly smaller impact of buildings and increased public uses for the authority’s two waterfront lots as well as a steady stream of income for the city.

The presentation inside the Firehouse was recreated outside on the waterfront lots. The Redevelopment Authority spent the morning laying out barrels and traffic cones to represent where the buildings could stand as well as the stretches of new park space. Following the presentation at the Firehouse, NRA members, city officials and the public spent over 90 minutes outside on the actual waterfront discussing the potential for the project.

I understand some people didn’t agree with our decision to hold the question-and-answer period outside on the waterfront lots. (Indeed, some stayed in the Firehouse with Mr. Powers for a short time.) But I thought the tour provided an extraordinarily constructive venue for our conversation. Residents had the opportunity to view the views and walk the paths of a future waterfront. I apologize if anyone felt inconvenienced by the decision to move the conversation onto the waterfront. But I’m grateful to the many people who participated in those discussions.

Such an attendance on a Saturday morning shows the passion people have for our waterfront space. We look forward to seeing the public at future meetings as we move forward with this project.

Tom Salemi

NRA chairman, Newburyport