Councilors Want Former Getty Gas Station Site Cleaned

Haverhill City Hall. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill city councilors want a “gateway” site, the former Getty gas station at the Bradford end of the Comeau Bridge, cleaned up.

Councilors Tuesday voted  9 to 0 on a motion by Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua to request the property owner, at a minimum, cut down overgrown vegetation and clear other debris at the site, near the Bradford commuter rail station. Bevilacqua said he and neighbors are concerned with a “growing eyesore” with graffiti, overgrown vegetation and fence signs on the shuttered lot he referred to as a “gateway into the city’s downtown.”

“We try to attract people into the downtown with so many new developments and, obviously, as they come in from Bradford and they see this eyesore that they can’t miss. Not only is it an eyesore, it’s a negative impact upon our region, upon our community. It is a debilitating impact in terms of property values and it doesn’t say anything positive about Haverhill. In fact it says just the opposite,” Bevilacqua said.

Matters regarding the site’s future plans were also referred to the city’s Inspectional Services department, the mayor and city solicitor. Chief of Staff David S. Van Dam told Bevilacqua after many letters from Inspectional Services concerning access to the abandoned building there, the owner has planned to create a parking lot at the site.

“The owner of the property is looking for permits to take it down and to pave it and make a parking lot out of it. That’s his intention. He’s working on it now, Van Dam said. “The current owner purchased the property back in 2013 and I know it was vacant before that as well. It’s something that should turning around quickly, we hope.”

Council Vice President Melinda E. Barrett noted she observed clearing of some brush has been taking place since she also recently met with neighbors. Bevilacqua’s motion was seconded by Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan, who also raised concerns over homeless persons accessing the abandoned structure.

“We don’t have time to wait that out. It looks disgusting. Councilor Bevilacqua was absolutely right, it’s a gateway to the city, an entrance to the downtown and it shouldn’t have been allowed to go this long. The owner is, by the way, the owner of Skateland. He bought that building. So whatever development potential it has in the future, we can’t wait for that to happen and we do need to have that cleaned up immediately,” Sullivan said.

Councilor William J. Macek also noted some brownfields issues related to the former gas station need to be addressed.

“And there’s also some issues that go back to the original owners, Getty, as to whether or not, under the building itself, liability shifts or doesn’t. So there may even be some legal tangles that have to get resolved before they can move forward. I’m not trying to pour cold water on a hot issue but there is always the law you have to deal with too,” Macek said.

City to Borrow $3 Million to Add Water Mains

In other business, councilors unanimously approved, without discussion, a $3 million loan order request, from Deputy Public Works Director Robert E. Ward, for new, parallel water transmission mains between the water treatment plant on Amesbury Road to Kenoza Avenue and Humphrey Street, near Newton Road. As WHAV reported, when placed on file two weeks ago, an existing 36-inch transmission main, is “the only feed to the distribution system, including Gale Hill water storage tank” and, according to documents, “puts the majority of the city at risk” in providing water service and fire protection in the event of a water main break along the segment or “other emergency.” The water distribution network, with deficiencies identified in 2010, include older 20-inch mains dating back to the 1890s.

4 thoughts on “Councilors Want Former Getty Gas Station Site Cleaned


  2. “overgrown vegetation and fence signs”
    This is what’s important to the people running this city?

    In the past two weeks…

    A 19 year old girl gets dragged into the woods in a city park by two criminal trespassers from another country and gets raped but not a word from even one city councilor.

    A criminal illegal trespasser who murdered someone was found to be hiding out in Haverhill but not a word from even one city councilor.

    A drug dealing criminal illegal trespasser from Lawrence is arrested dealing large amounts of drugs on the streets of Haverhill but not a word from even one city councilor.

    At a city meeting Andy Vargas assisted a woman who did not know how to speak English (by translating her comments from Spanish to English) in commenting on a Haverhill public school issue. Andy assisted this woman, who is most likely in this country illegally and therefore a criminal trespasser, in exercising her First Amendment rights of free speech to which, as a non-citizen of this country, she is not entitled to. Simultaneously, a taxpaying homeowner of Haverhill is being personally targeted and denied his Constitutional rights to free speech by mayor Failurentini mandating that he remove the political campaign signs in his yard over some silly ordinance. Andy Vargas has been asked repeatedly here why he helped a criminal illegal trespasser from another country yet has done nothing to help the taxpaying homeowner …and Andy has said nothing. The issue regarding this Haverhill homeowner is a “National” issue, but not a word from even one city councilor about this disgusting constitutional rights violation.

    The out of control liberalism implemented and promoted by the insane liberals running this city has turned Haverhill into a VERY dangerous place. Rapes, drugs, murderers seeking safe haven in the city, and intentional, targeted denial of a taxpaying citizen’s constitutional rights.

    Keep cleaning up that vegetation Joe…everything else is just going so well in the city!!

  3. If the present owner bought the land n 2013 – he sure isn’t “turning it around quickly”. Start fining him monthly until its cleaned up – enough is enough.