Haverhill city councilors support the city’s decision to not exercise a first refusal option to purchase about 16 acres of agricultural land in the upper Hilldale Avenue industrial park zone near Saint Joseph Cemetery.
Land owner Dixieland, LLC, plans to lease that portion of a 93.4 acre parcel to an unnamed company for installation of solar panels for energy generation. However, there are no conditions to prevent the land from being used for other purposes.
Scatamacchia said a solar farm there would help protect the environment and bring tax dollars to the city. He said he also looks forward to potential new business development in the industrial zone after the economic downturn which followed the city’s utility and infrastructure improvements for the area.
“One of the things that I think helps Haverhill is the utilities and infrastructure that we provide. Industry can’t go to Plaistow. They don’t have the infrastructure that you need for industry. I think in the long run its going to be a good idea. I don’t know if the solar farm will help with that, but I think in the long run that industrial park will be filled and will be providing a lot of jobs and a lot of tax dollars to the city,” Scatamacchia said.
Under agricultural preservation laws, Haverhill has a right to purchase the land before it may be converted for non-farm uses. The city declined, but will receive $18,300 in “rollback” back taxes, said city Assessor Stephen C. Gullo.