NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

January 20, 2013

Kudos to Amesbury for its waterfront plan

To the editor:

Cheers to the City of Amesbury for its progressive thinking and successful development of a recovery and restoration plan for the Lower Millyard waterfront. Last Monday’s front-page article regarding the plan to create a waterfront heritage park for its citizens should be a real eye-opener for Newburyporters. Amesbury’s actions serve as an excellent model for the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority and the mayor as to what they could accomplish if they were more open-minded, forward thinking and had the best interests of the citizenry in mind when determining the fate of their city’s downtown waterfront.

Amesbury’s park will be developed on the banks of the Powow River in an area that has been historically more industrialized. The city’s old DPW garage will be torn down, the area cleaned up, Water Street will be straightened and new sidewalks, light posts, and trees will be installed. The Amesbury waterfront will also include a canoe and kayak launch, a relocated Carriage Museum and Chamber of Commerce building, a bandstand area and connections to the Riverwalk.

Amesbury expects this all to happen by the summer of 2014. And how is Amesbury paying for all of this? City money for sure, but also with monies from state and federal grants. The state has awarded Amesbury $400,000 of the estimated $1.5 million cost and the city has also signed an agreement with the state for an additional $250,000 to build a canoe and kayak launching area on the river. The Environmental Protectio Agency is kicking in an additional $400,000 for the soil remediation.

In comparison, what plans have the NRA and the mayor of Newburyport cooked up for the waterfront, with its magnificent open spaces, viewpoints and historical relevance, as well as its potential for educational and recreational opportunities? The NRA, with the mayor’s support, plans on selling (or leasing) large portions of the public waterfront to private developers, who will build new storefronts and condominiums for a privileged few in our community. These building complexes will be over three stories high and likely 40 to 50 feet wide or more. The open vistas in the waterfront park will be gone, and so will the parking spaces that the building complexes displace.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans