hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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November 22, 2012

City to remove old trees, improve parks in 2013

Cash finally available to cover projects, mayor says

Mayor James Fiorentini is calling 2013 the “year of capital” in Haverhill.

And for good reason.

Improvements are coming to various parts of the city, thanks to money from the state and cash put aside in the city budget.

Officials said the spending means decaying trees will be removed from neighborhoods and parks, sidewalks will receive repairs, and parks will be improved. The money will also bring a new backup generator to the Department of Public Works building to keep it powered during storms which have knocked out electricity there in the past.

“I’m excited because for the first seven years I’ve been mayor, we’ve had no money to spend on capital,” Fiorentini said. ““We have left a lot of things undone. We are now able to set money in capital and set money in reserves.”

Fiorentini said he chose to spread the money around to different departments so many people will see the benefits.

The biggest chunk of money will go toward tree removal. The city will spend $50,000 removing 40 dead and dangerous trees.

The city will also spend $35,000 on the backup generator for the Department of Public Works. The building on Primrose Street has lost power three different times over the past two years due to severe ice and snow storms. Outages have ranged from one to three days.

“This is a location where people call for assistance when storms and other events come to the city,” said Public Works Director Mike Stankovich.

“With no phones or lights, it’s difficult to take care of the residents who have problems,” he said of posing power at the building.

Stankovich said he expects the new generator will last up to 30 years.

He also requested that $25,000 be spent on sidewalk repairs. While it sounds like a hefty amount of money, it will only cover a small part of the city. Haverhill has nearly 35 square miles.

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