NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

January 15, 2014

Use COW plan as start for talks

(Continued)

Additionally, this plan addresses the environmental issues, Chapter 91 compliance and is consistent with environmental land use requirements placed on the land.

Moving forward, this plan creates a flexible baseline for future discussions. For example, once a parking garage is completed, future discussions can be had about how to move more parking off the waterfront and replace it with expanded parkland.

The one weakness in the original COW plan was its over-reliance on grant money. I think what has become obvious as a result of the NRA-Abramson financial proposal is that no one single revenue stream will keep this project self-funding. Discussions should be on how we, as a community, rally behind an “all of the above” strategy of grants/donations/parking revenue/user fees, etc. in order to fund the next stage of the waterfront (and keep it off of taxpayers).

I urge the mayor (and NRA) to put aside prior prejudices about the COW plan and take the step forward in helping to mend fences and keep the focus on an open central waterfront for all.

Jim McCauley

Newburyport

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