Haverhill Councilors Approve Hilldale Avenue Tax Break for Expanding Business

Haverhill City Council. (WHAV News file photograph.)

(WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill city councilors Tuesday night approved tax breaks to help a near 40-year-old River Street firm make improvements at a former Hilldale Avenue printing plant.

Plastic Distributors and Fabricators will continue to pay property taxes at the level paid by former occupant Diversified Business Systems. The company, however, will pay less on the value of improvements for five years. The estimated reduction amounts to about $2,000 a year or $10,000 total. Council President John A. Michitson applauded the effort as a “great result.”

“We get jobs and we get revenue. So, the team did a great job and I think this is a great story for Haverhill,” he said.

Jeffrey G. Linehan is selling the Hilldale Avenue property. He is also chairman of the Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees. (Courtesy photograph.)

Mayor James J. Fiorentini, who appeared before the City Council to advocate for the tax relief, said the decision by Plastic Distributors and Fabricators to stay and grow in Haverhill isn’t the only benefit. He explained the company’s 36,000 square-foot building at 419 River St. now becomes available for another business.

The 144-160 Hilldale Ave. property most recently housed Diversified Business Systems, headed by Haverhill native Jeffrey G. Linehan.

Councilors voted 8-0 to approve what is called a TIF, or Tax Increment Financing, which now must be approved by the state. Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua abstained from the vote because he is a member of the state body that must review the application.

Bevilacqua Asks For Better Emergency Information Sharing

In other council business, Bevilacqua succeeded in having his colleagues approve a letter to the mayor, asking for better information sharing during times of emergency.

Bevilacqua cited the late August, four-hour State and Haverhill Police manhunt for a 27-year-old wanted for alleged carjacking and rape. While schools went into lockdown, he said his nearby home did not receive any robocalls or reverse 911 messages.

While Councilor Michael S. McGonagle said there was ample information on radio, television and social media, he supported the additional precaution. Lacking specific information, Michitson said, he initially feared there might be an active shooter at the high school.