Haverhill City Council Backs Consentino Feasibility Study; Separately Hears Business Reopening Plan

Dr. Albert B. Consentino School. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

The Haverhill City Council last night took the next step in deciding the fate of the Dr. Albert B. Consentino School by unanimously accepting an agreement with the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

The pact covers a feasibility study and authorizes Mayor James J. Fiorentini to sign it. Authority Executive Director John K. McCarthy explained that now the city and the Authority will work together to find the most financially responsible and educationally appropriate solution to the problems identified at that school, whether that be renovation or replacement.

In other action, the mayor provided an update on plans for the gradual reopening of the city as reports indicate a continued downward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases in the area. He said businesses that have the least face-to-face contact will possibly be allowed to open on May 18. They will, however, have a set of guidelines and a checklist to complete before being allowed to reopen.

“They’re going to have detailed requirements about hygiene including hand washing, washing countertops, etc. And there will be detailed requirements about when an employee can be allowed to return to work,” the mayor said.

He said the guidelines will also require businesses to provide distancing of six feet between customers and/or the use of a mask.

Many councilors had questions and suggestions regarding the opening of area restaurants and the popular farmer’s market. However, the mayor pointed out that those types of businesses will not be in the first wave of openings and, as yet, no guidelines have been issued.

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