Park, Roadway Construction Near ‘The Beck’ in Bradford Begins

Construction is beginning on a redesigned intersection and the new “First Nations Park” near the site of a 290-unit housing, restaurant and retail complex, “The Beck,” on Railroad Avenue across from the Bradford commuter rail station. A $1.95 million state infrastructure grant helps pay for a redesign to reduce traffic at the intersection of South Elm Street, Blossom Street, Laurel Avenue and Railroad Avenue near the Joseph C. Comeau Bridge. This project was part of the reason city councilors originally approved the new apartments in 2021, as WHAV previously reported. The 60,000 square foot public park was endorsed by the Haverhill Historic Commission as well as the Native American Commemorative Task Force. Primarily studios, one-beds and two-beds, Procopio Companies predicted construction would be completed by spring 2025 during a groundbreaking ceremony last December.

Higginbottom to Continue This Fall as Interim J.G. Whittier School Principal

Kevin Higginbottom will continue as the interim principal of John Greenleaf Whittier School when the fall term commences. Haverhill school Superintendent Margaret Marotta notified families Tuesday that Higginbottom, who was named to the job in May, would continue in the post until a permanent principal is named. “We are confident that his leadership and dedication will greatly benefit our school community and allow us the opportunity to give the principal search the attention it deserves,” Marotta said in the letter. Higginbottom took over after members of the Haverhill Education Association complained of a “hostile” work environment and safety concerns. “We are excited to see the positive impact Mr. Higginbottom will continue to have on our school,” Marotta wrote.

Greater Haverhill Boys and Girls Club Hosting Camp Tasker Open House Thursday-Friday

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Haverhill is holding an open house at Camp Tasker tomorrow and Friday. The open house will give potential campers the opportunity to tour the camp, learn about its facilities and ask questions. The event will be held Thursday and Friday, June 13and 14, from 4-6 p.m. at the camp on 36 Country Pond Road, in Newton, N.H.

Those who wish to learn more may email [email protected].

Council and Mayor Agree on Final Haverhill Budget Bringing Tax, Water, Sewer Rate Increases

Haverhill city councilors last night approved city government’s $262 million spending plan plus water and sewer expenses for the year starting July 1. The average single-family homeowner should expect a $444 increase in property taxes, roughly double previous hikes, as WHAV previously reported. Water rates will also increase by 17% and wastewater by 11%, driven by increased environmental quality standards. “It is not where we all want to be, but it is where we find ourselves, and I think this is the step we have to take to correct that deficit we have in free cash and funding ongoing items with free cash,” Mayor Melinda E. Barrett said. Council President Thomas J. Sullivan thanked the mayor for her transparency during the drafting process.

Haverhill, North Andover and Merrimac Schools Receive Awards at Safe Routes to School Ceremony

Schools in Haverhill, North Andover and Merrimac were recognized last Thursday by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in its Annual Safe Routes to School Award Ceremony, which celebrates the schools, community members, stakeholders and crossing guards who have championed the safety of Massachusetts students on their daily routes to school. The ceremony honored partners of the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program, a federally funded program that focuses on improving student independence, boosting school attendance, decreasing traffic congestion, and overall ensuring the safety of students in their communities. “We are thankful to all the school communities and the advocates whose input through the Safe Routes to School Program helps us identify the specific strategies, resources and tools needed to better protect our school children,” said state Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “Their dedication makes a meaningful difference, and these awards are a token of our appreciation not just for the winners whom we congratulate, but for everyone who has contributed to the important mission of keeping all road users safe.”

Schools that participated in the program and shared their Safe Routes to School 2023-24 accomplishments received Partnership awards. Each activity a school completes within the program has a designated point value, which once complied, determines the level of partnership the school is awarded.

Haverhill Public Library Holding Patron Food Drive for Sacred Hearts Food Pantry

Haverhill Public Library is asking for donations during its Patron Pantry Food Drive to support the St. Vincent de Paul Sacred Hearts Food Pantry. Contributors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items such as canned foods, peanut butter, pasta and pasta sauce, olive oil, spices, baby food and formula. The food drive will run from Monday, June 17, to Saturday, June 29 during regular hours at the library at 99 Main St., Haverhill. Those with questions may call 978-373-1586, ext.

Pentucket Bank Donates $2,500 as Sponsor of National Small Business Week Award Ceremony

Pentucket Bank last month donated $2,500 in sponsorship of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 2024 National Small Business Week Massachusetts Award Ceremony with U.S. Small Business Administration District Director Robert Nelson and other officials. Pentucket Bank CEO Jonathan H. Dowst said the bank is proud to have sponsored the event. “Small businesses are the engine of our economy providing jobs and services that benefit almost everyone. It is quite fitting to have such a ceremony recognizing those business that are standouts. We congratulate the award recipients, as well the Chamber for their outstanding and dedicated work.”

U.S. Small Business Administration’s Massachusetts Small Business Awards Ceremony took place Friday, May 10, in Andover.

Despite Looser Zoning, Haverhill Saw Few New Accessory Dwelling Units This Year

Despite smoothing the permitting process, Haverhill has not seen many new accessory dwelling units—small, independent houses on a larger property—in the year since the ordinance was changed. Community Development Division Director Andrew K. Herlihy told city councilors Tuesday night, “We certainly haven’t been overrun with these.” And for good reason, he added. After allowing these structures “by-right,” meaning without requiring advance council approval, the city established strict permitting guidelines developed through public input sessions. Mayor Melinda E. Barrett told councilors any new units built must meet quality standards. “You’re not putting nana in the shed.”

Officials explained construction in Haverhill can be quite expensive for units heralded by some state legislators as key to solving the affordable housing crisis.