A number of Haverhill city councilors are asking for an update on options for preserving land, preventing development and protecting drinking water supplies in the eastern part of the city.
City Council President Melinda E. Barrett and Councilors Timothy J. Jordan, John A. Michitson and Colin F. LePage placed the inquiry about a 22.5-acre parcel at 97 Corliss Hill Road on tonight’s City Council agenda.
Essex County Greenbelt President Kate Bowditch and Assistant Director of Land Conservation Vanessa Johnson-Hall appeared yesterday on WHAV’s morning program. Johnson-Hall reiterated the city has several options before it.
“The first is that Greenbelt would buy the land in partnership with a private buyer and this would mean at no cost to the city. The land would be 100% preserved from development and those beautiful fields that you can see from the road could still be used for farming in ways that Greenbelt would ensure would preserve the water,” she said.
Johnson-Hall said a second option would have the city and Essex County Greenbelt working together.
“Greenbelt would put in $250,000 to preserve those front fields, which could then be for farming again in ways that preserve drinking water. And, the city would contribute $150,000 and own all of the surrounding forest land which already abuts city watershed land,” she explained.
Last month, councilors and Mayor James J. Fiorentini reopened the possibility of buying the land after the mayor previously chose not to exercise the city’s right to buy the property. Back in March, Fiorentini said he preferred to instead purchase a 29.4-acre property on Brandy Brow Road, closer to Millvale Reservoir.
The combination online and in-person meeting takes place at 7 p.m., tonight, from the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, Haverhill City Hall, Room 202, 4 Summer St. As a public service, WHAV plans to carry the meeting live.
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