To the editor:

At the Special Town Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 12, Newbury voters are being asked to spend another $220,000 on public bathrooms for the building on Plum Island Boulevard unwisely purchased at a previous town meeting for $350,000.

Purchasing this property was a mistake, but let’s not compound the problem. This locus is extremely low and is often the victim of flooding during severe storms, and things are going to get worse.

This could be a very bad year for the Center of the island. If you have any doubt, just take a ride down to the town beachfront parking lot and take a look. That wide sandy beach that was there a month ago is all gone. The first storm removed most of it. What you see now is what you would normally see in March, after the winter storms. If we have a winter with the usual nor'easters, there is no protection left. The ocean may very well be pouring into the bathroom location.

But it gets worse. A new addition to the warrant article would include a police annex in the structure. Why? The chief has previously stated it doesn’t matter where the police station is because the cruisers are on the road all the time. Plus, there is a room in PITA hall set up for police use but has never been used. And, Newburyport has no Plum Island police annex.

Solution: Take the building down. Forget the police annex. We have a grant of $40,000 from the state. Buy a portable structure on wheels, such as the harbormaster building at the town launching facility – so that it can be quickly disconnected from sewer and water and be removed when threatened. Let’s not throw good money after bad.

Vote "no" on Article 10!

Fred Thurlow


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