Council Wants to Be Sure City Buildings Are Prepared to Weather Storms

Does this photo look familiar? One year ago this week, Haverhill was contending with heavy snow and downed power lines causing widespread outages.


Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda. Haverhill City Council meetings are also broadcast live over 97.9 WHAV FM.

Power outages that plunged City Hall and other public buildings into chilly darkness have inspired a look at the status of storm preparation for municipal properties.

Haverhill was among the harder-hit communities by the March 7 nor’easter. Two days after the flakes stopped falling, large swaths of the city’s landscape were unlit, except for the lucky businesses and homeowners who had the foresight to install generators.

On Tuesday, city councilors will assess the ability of municipal buildings—from schools to public safety to administrative offices—to keep the lights and the heat on.

The council meets beginning at 7 p.m. in the Theodore A. Pelosi City Council Chambers on the second floor of Haverhill City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

At a recent meeting of the council’s Administration and Finance sub-committee, Fire Chief William F. Laliberty said all city fire stations are in need of replacement back-up power generators, at a cost of $100,000 for the main station on Water Street and $45,000 for satellite stations around the city.

Councilor Melinda E. Barrett and Council Vice President Thomas J. Sullivan said they would like a report on the operational status of generators in all municipal properties, as well as a review of the city’s emergency management plan to determine if it needs updating.

In a similar request, Council President John A. Michitson has requested a discussion on a safety audit of every public school and municipal building in the city.