Council to Consider Paying Old Harbor Place Legal, Other Bills

Mayor with Harbor Place drawing

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini admires architect's rendering of Haverhill Place.

Haverhill city councilors are being asked to approve paying old bills, including slightly more than $20,000 in legal costs associated with tax breaks and other agreements for the Harbor Place development downtown.

A bill from law firm Nutter, McClennen and Fish, Boston, covers “professional services rendered and unbilled” between March 31 and April 29, 2014 regarding negotiations, conferences and drafting of an Urban Center Housing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement. The firm also helped with parking and other “gateway city exemption” agreements for the Harbor Place project in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Community Development. In June, 2014, WHAV reported the TIF was enacted by the state to encourage developers to encourage market rate housing in urban areas where the cost of construction is high and where it is uneconomical to build. Under the TIF, the developer would be exempt for some of the increased taxes for the improvements to the site for a limited period of time, but the city would never receive less in real estate taxes than they are receiving today. After 12 years, the project would pay full taxes

“Building downtown where we already have the infrastructure—the roads, the water, the sewer, and our most important asset, the river — preserves our open space and beauty of the outskirts of Haverhill.  The Urban Center Housing TIF is designed to encourage that type of growth,” Mayor James J. Fiorentini said at the time.

Payment of the legal bill would come from the current fiscal year’s law office budget. Other previous year’s bills subject to council approval include $196 to Career Resources Corporation, 22 Parkridge Road, Haverhill, for a “mail assistant,” and $220 to Maguire Pest Control, 92 Leonard Ave., Haverhill, for services at public property.

Also on Tuesday’s agenda, councilors are asked to approve the appointments of nine candidates to the Haverhill Auxiliary Police, as well as that of former City Councilor Kenneth E. Quimby Jr. to the mayor’s Recycling Advisory Committee.

The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m., tonight, in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers at Haverhill City Hall.


6 thoughts on “Council to Consider Paying Old Harbor Place Legal, Other Bills

  1. “encourage developers to encourage market rate housing in urban areas where the cost of construction is high and where it is uneconomical to build.” –

    Which is why Rep. Brian Dempsey went to the taxpayer trough to grab tens-of-millions of dollar to redirect into a no-bid contract that no one would touch for over 40 years and give it to a Fish Family Member. A family of course that has been very generous in the quid pro quo of campaign cash to Brian & Friends of Beacon Hill. Quite the gift from an insolvent city that already depends on over 30% of state aid to even function daily. That’s not encouragement, that’s outright graft, to a level that even a modern day Boss Tweed could never match.

    So the era of more debt, with cheap money, and the Democrat hypocrisy of paying a “fair share” only when it’s convenient continues. Of course the irony here is that some of the future tenants won’t pay anything, but they will further burden the social welfare safety nets and further pressure the school systems already bursting at the seams. Compound this with UMass-Lowell, a PUBLIC state school where costs continue to increase along with the debt incurred to attend, for a diminishing ROI on the paper one receives should they graduate, which is sadly just over half and taking longer to do.

    Enjoy both the “Road to Serfdom” and your cake! You voted for it!