DiZoglio Says State Bond Bill Pays for Rescue Boat, Castle Shop and More if Baker Approves

Winnekenni Castle during a May 2018 Harry Potter-themed event. (Jay Saulnier photograph for WHAV News.)

A $5.07 billion general government bond bill before Gov. Charlie Baker would pay for a new rescue/fire suppression boat for the Haverhill Fire Department, a café and gift shop at Winnekenni Castle and other capital projects in Methuen, Newburyport, Amesbury and Salisbury.

State Sen. Diana DiZoglio said the local projects come as a result of amendments she filed to the borrowing package.

“The Haverhill Fire Department recently decommissioned its 41-year-old rescue boat, having served the community for many years,” said Haverhill Fire Chief Robert M. O’Brien. “Haverhill plays host to multiple marinas along the Merrimack River and boating has always been popular in the community. Combined with the new kayaking company and riverboat cruises coming to our downtown this summer, we anticipate a very busy year on the river that will only increase going forward.”

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini said the city’s vision is to make the carriage house on the grounds of Winnekenni Castle into a small performing arts center with a gift shop, café and remodeled caretaker’s quarters.

“Winnekenni Castle and Park is a local treasure and regional attraction, and restoring the historical but deteriorated carriage house to its former splendor is a big part of our plans to renovate and improve the whole property up there,” said Fiorentini.

The bill also includes money for renovations at Forest Lake in Methuen, including construction of accessible restrooms, installation of a beach volleyball court and playground updates; traffic and parking safety improvements at the Lower Atkinson Common in Newburyport; Old Merrill Street Water Main Replacement Project in Amesbury; Lafayette Road Sewer Main Project in Salisbury; and planning and implementing increased wastewater capacity in Merrimac.

“Our cities and towns need support as they embark on sorely needed projects aimed at improving local infrastructure to help boost the local economy and overall quality of living,” said DiZoglio. “While the ultimate release of these funds depends on the approval of the governor, we are proud to have received the unanimous support of colleagues in the Senate to send state resources back to our region. We are hopeful the Administration will also see the value in our cities and towns’ efforts to invest in and enhance these incredible communities.”

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