Councilors Told Haverhill Flooding Issues Made Worse by Drainage Maintenance Backlog

Haverhill’s older sewer systems, worsened by a maintenance backlog, added to the overwhelming deluge of rain last month and contributed to significant damage to homes and businesses. Public Works Director Robert E. Ward, responding to city councilors last week, said some areas that received significant flooding received relief when debris was removed that blocked drainage systems. He also admitted some problems probably could have been avoided or diminished with regular maintenance checks. “Part of it is about maintenance—checking catch basins, culverts, drain lines, and clear or clean if needed,” he said. Ward said not only is his crew out cleaning and clearing, but they hired an outside contractor which is in the process of cleaning 1,200 catch basins. He said longer range plans are in the works, such as an 11-year project to install a significant amount of new drainage.

Some Northern Essex Community College Students Eligible for Refunds Under New Law

Students who took summer classes at Northern Essex Community College or enrolled before the state’s new Tuition Equity law took effect may be entitled to refunds. The law allows in-state tuition and fees for undocumented students who have attended high school in Massachusetts for at least three years and either graduated from a high school in the state or attained the equivalent. A month after Gov. Maura Healey celebrated the Tuition Equity Law on the Northern Essex Community College Lawrence Campus, the state Department of Higher Education released new guidelines to determine which students qualify for the program. Because the law is retroactive to July 1, Northern Essex President Lane A. Glenn said some students who are currently enrolled or took classes over the summer could be entitled to a refund. “If you are an enrolled student and previously were not eligible for in-state tuition or state financial aid, but, after applying and being assessed, you are now determined to be eligible under the new Tuition Equity Law, you may be eligible to have your account credited,” Glenn noted.

Moriarty on the Hot Seat During Haverhill Rotary’s Roast and Toast

A local pillar of the community will be in the hot seat during a “Roast and Toast” fundraiser. The Haverhill Rotary Club will serve up compliments and comedic jabs at fellow Rotarian George Moriarty during what promises to be an entertaining night. One highlight of the night is Matt Belfiore’s premiere Rotary video that he describes as “more insane than anything you’ve seen yet.” It features a familiar cast of characters from Historic Highlands’ Lynda Brown to Northern Essex Community College President Lane A. Glenn. A buffet dinner will be served. Tickets are $75 each or $700 for a table of 10.

Those 62 and Up May Be Able to Attend Haverhill School Athletic Matches for Free

Restaurant discounts and reduced travel fares are just some of the benefits of becoming a so-called senior citizen. Now, add to that list, free admission to Haverhill school athletic events. That was the decision of the Haverhill School Committee on Thursday as the result of a proposal by Committee members Gail M. Sullivan and Toni Sapienza-Donais. Donais explained the origin of the idea. “This was brought to our attention by grandparents and parents that have gone to games in other districts and they do not charge the senior citizens to attend the athletic events,” she said.

Haverhill Plans to Expand Recycling, Address Illegal Dumping, More with State Grant

Haverhill and area cities and towns all received state grants Thursday to bolster their recycling, composting and waste reduction programs.

The state Department of Environmental Protection awarded a $31,500 Recycling Dividends Program grant to Haverhill. City Recycling Manager Nick Aylward notes Haverhill was credited a total of nine points in 12 different categories. These include two points for hosting a Center for Hard to Recycle Materials—CHARM, for short—such as electronics, appliances, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, batteries and items with mercury, among others; two points for leaf, grass and brush piles; a point each for compost bins, household hazardous waste, waste prevention education and outreach, an open Recycling Center for residents and textile recycling bins. He added the money will be used to maintain programs as well as to create bilingual informational door hangers, expand the types of materials accepted at the Recycling Center, install a new recycling compactor and add security cameras to address illegal dumping around the city. Aylward pointed out the city does not qualify for other programs that, for example, charge residents a fee based on their trash volume.

Podcast: Trahan Says Programs Like Haverhill Fire Staffing Grant at Risk with Federal Shutdown

Eyes are on Washington to see how Congress deals with a budget deadline and looming shutdown of the federal government. Congresswoman Lori Trahan, went live Thursday on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program, noting the Haverhill Fire Department recently benefited from an operating federal government. However, she said, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy now has to choose between the country and those Republicans who would take away his leadership position. “The House could put that bill on the floor and it would get a majority of votes from Democrats and Republicans, but you know there is a small group of Republicans right now that just aren’t allowing that to happen. Frankly, Speaker McCarthy is having to make a decision on what is more important to him, the country or his speakership.

Haverhill Public Library Hosts ‘Let Freedom Read’ Oct. 7 During Banned Books Week

The Haverhill Public Library is hosting a “Let Freedom Read” read-in as a part of a statewide celebration of everyone’s right to read. All ages are invited to pull up a chair and read or listen to any book they please for as long or as little as desired on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the library’s Johnson Auditorium, 99 Main St., Haverhill. There will be a book display of challenged and banned books, as well as light refreshments. No registration is required.

Councilors Agree on Fee Haverhill Developers Must Pay if Opting Out of Building Affordable Homes

It took a while to get there, but the Haverhill City Council reached agreement on Tuesday regarding the amount the city will charge certain developers who do not designate at least 10% of new projects as affordable housing. Mayor James J. Fiorentini re-introduced the topic, emphasizing the need to secure lower cost homes. “We all know we have two problems in the City of Haverhill regarding housing. The first is we just don’t have enough of it. The second is, of the housing that we have, a lot of it is just not affordable.