MS Captain Red Makes Its Downtown Haverhill Debut Friday; Harbor Commission Meets Today

Mooring being placed into the Merrimack River, off Water Street in downtown Haverhill. (Courtesy photograph.)

The public has opportunities to shape policy this week as various Haverhill boards meet. In the interest of transparency in government, WHAV provides this list of upcoming meetings every week.

The MS Captain Red, a 105-feet long, 28-feet wide passenger ship, is expected to make its arrival in downtown Haverhill during high tide this Friday.

In advance of its arrival, major heavy-duty moorings were installed by crane Sunday in the Merrimack River, off Water Street in Haverhill. Tonight, members of the Haverhill Harbor Commission meet to work on final details. Tim Slavit, son of legendary beloved harbormaster William J. “Red” Slavit for whom the ship is named, explains the Harbor Commission’s role.

“They are going to try to assist us in getting a gangway, which is 30-feet long so there’s not much of a slope at low tide. You need length on the gangway and we need five docks that are 20 feet long to add up to 100 feet,” he says.

Slavit notes a sixth dock will be below the gangway. On Sunday, Slavit says his team took a needed first step in having large moorings placed in the river to hold the giant ship in place at what has become known as Chase’s Wharf near the Water Street fire station.

Eventually, Slavit notes, he would like to hire firefighters to help ensure protection when large numbers of passengers—the ship accommodates 400—are aboard. “We want to hire private detail firefighters to be onboard for medical and public safety reasons,” Slavit notes.

If all goes according to plan, he says, the MS Captain Red arrives in downtown Haverhill between noon and 1, Friday afternoon.

The Harbor Commission meets tonight at 5:30, in room 301, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., Haverhill.

In other public meetings this week:

Tuesday, March 9

Haverhill Retirement Board meets Tuesday, March 9, beginning at 9 a.m., both in-person in room 303 of Haverhill City Hall and online. The agenda includes consideration of cost of living allowances.

Haverhill Board of Assessors meets to discuss excise, real estate and personal property tax abatements and hear an update on personal property inspections and building permits, Tuesday, March 9, at 9 a.m., in room 115 of Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., Haverhill.

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Haverhill City Council meets at Tuesday, March 9, at 7 p.m., both in the Theodore A. Pelosi City Council Chambers, room 202, City Hall, and online. Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua is asking about the availability of “a prioritized watershed protection purchase plan.” The item comes on the heels of the Council’s decision last week not to endorse Mayor James J. Fiorentini decision not to buy a 22.5-acre parcel at 97 Corliss Hill Road in favor of negotiating to purchase a 29.4-acre Brandy Brow Road parcel closer to the Millvale Reservoir watershed.

Other items include a request from City Council President Melinda E. Barrett and Vice President Colin F. LePage to discuss the forthcoming return of paid parking downtown, a discussion by Councilor William J. Macek about “excessive debris” downtown and a request by Councilor John A. Michitson to restart talks on the “way ahead for residential zoning.”

As a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to carry the City Council meeting live, beginning at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 10

Haverhill Historic Commission meets online Wednesday, March 10, at 6 p.m., to consider the future of the statue of Hannah Dustin in Grand Army of the Republic park, downtown Haverhill, among other agenda items.

Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School Committee meets Wednesday, March 10, 6:30 p.m. online. An agenda was not readily available by news deadline.

Thursday, March 11

Haverhill Conservation Commission meets Thursday, March 11, to consider plans by Bay State Pallet Co. to build a two-story, 21,900-square-foot addition in the rear of 293 Neck Road, in the Ward Hill Business Park. The building housed Kerrigan Paper Products for many years. (See previous WHAV story.)

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