City Council to Consider Borrowing Nearly $600,000 for Plug Pond Recreation Area Improvements

Then-Haverhill City Council President Melinda E. Barrett and Vice President Colin F. LePage during inaugural exercises in 2020. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Plans to make Haverhill’s Plug Pond recreation area a “three-season park” are expected to advance tomorrow night as city councilors are asked to approve borrowing almost $600,000 for improvements.

Besides reviewing the proposed loan order for $586,555, members will receive a list of 21 people Mayor James J. Fiorentini has appointed to advise him on the improvement project. As WHAV previously reported, the city is also receiving $400,000 from the state’s Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities program. The mayor described his plans early in November.

“We have an aggressive plan for improving our neighborhood parks and part of that is applying for state grants to supplement our regular budget whenever we see an opportunity,” Fiorentini said. “Plug Pond is very popular and heavily used in the summer for swimming, but these new improvements will help make it a three-season park by upgrading the playground and picnic areas.”

Plans call for construction of a new playground with fencing at Plug Pond; new waterless, compost restrooms; improvements to the entry road; new signs; picnic tables; shade canopies; and 20 shade trees.

City Community Development Division Director Andrew K. Herlihy will serve as chairman of the Plug Pond Advisory Committee. Other members include Human Services Director Vincent Ouellette, Environmental Health Technician Rob Moore, Trails Coordinator Mark Sheehan, City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan, Margot Regan, Margaret Duffy, Recreation Director Benjamin Delaware, Shelby Trocki, Bronwyn Crocker, Nate Robertson, Fred Clark IV, Colleen Hamel, Suzanne Gates, Isabelle Alice Claps, Michael Valvo, Jennifer Lavallee, Alden Watters, Kristin A. Cripps, Joe Gajewski and Kimberly Jarman.

Plug Pond is located off Mill Street with an entrance near Mill Brook Park and the new Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In addition to swimming, the park is also popular for fishing and hiking along the trail system that follows around the pond.

The Haverhill City Council plans to meet virtually tomorrow at 7 p.m. As a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to carry the meeting live.

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