Sarrette Family Offers City Conservation Land for $1

Haverhill Water Treatment Plant.

What would be the second land donation in a month, further expanding city-owned conservation land in the Crystal Lake watershed area, goes before the Haverhill City Council Tuesday night.

City councilors are asked to authorize Mayor James J. Fiorentini to accept an offer by Kev-Lo Realty Trust Co-Trustees Kevin E. Sarrette and Leota P. Sarrette to transfer to the city, for $1, about 10 acres of vacant land, at the rear of 450 Crystal St. The land abuts city-owned conservation and Crystal Lake areas, according to documents submitted by Attorney John G. Cleary.

If approved, it would be the second land donation in the watershed area since last month’s council approval to accept for $1, about 36 acres of land near Crystal Lake, at Liberty and Crystal Streets. As WHAV reported April 4, that land transfer, for “watershed protection to preserve the water quality of Crystal Lake,” was part of a special permit application from Joseph Franciosa, manager, 190 Realty LLC, West Newbury.

Also on the meeting agenda, a request by Deputy Public Works Director Robert E. Ward to transfer $125,000 from a wastewater department “retained earnings” account to pay for engineering and permitting costs “associated with the design of the Merrimack River bank restoration project at Riverside Park.” Under a consent decree with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice, reported by WHAV Jan. 20, the city is to spend $176,000 toward riverbank mitigation to avoid a fine stemming from EPA rejection five years ago of the city’s long term plans to meet a federal combined sewer overflow (CSO) mandate. The consent decree calls for a total $300,000 out of pocket assessment against the city and an order to submit a new long term CSO control plan to the EPA by Jan. 31, 2017.

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