Haverhill Agrees to Help Shield Former Getty Station From Liability as Riverfront Complex Advances

Original Procopio Companies’ public park rendering provided to the Haverhill Conservation Commission.

Haverhill has agreed to shield Getty Petroleum from any environmental liabilities resulting from the creation a public park on former gas station land now associated with plans to build apartments, a restaurant and retail space on Bradford’s riverfront.

As part of its proposal to build 290 apartments and commercial space, Procopio agreed to develop a public park at 236 South Elm St., partly on the site of the long-closed gas station. Getty, however, requires assurances the company will not be held responsible for any problems after the park is built. Haverhill City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. explained the arrangements to city councilors last week.

“Part of that agreement is that the city would indemnify Leemilt’s Petroleum, which is Getty Oil Company, in the event that there was any kind of an action ever filed against them regarding that site. Environmental studies were done on the site. Those studies did not indicate that there is any real risk of using that site as a public park,” he said.

Last May, the City Council approved Procopio’s plans once a nearly $2 million realignment and signalization of adjacent streets was secured.

Additionally, Cox said, Haverhill has required Procopio to purchase a 10-year, $5 million liability policy protecting the city from any potential issues. He noted the Council also recently approved the creation of the Haverhill Park Committee which will have title to the property, creating another layer of separation from the city itself.

Councilors agreed protections are satisfactory and voted 8-1 to allow Mayor James J. Fiorentini to execute a quit-claim deed to free Getty of any liability. Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua was the sole hold-out, saying the city should not put itself in a position to assume any potential liability.

The proposed park will include a splash pad area for children, an amphitheater and a launch area for kayaks. The buildings feature 30 studio apartments, 148 one-bedrooms, 21 one-bedrooms with a den and 91 two-bedroom units and a riverfront-facing restaurant on the first floor.

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