EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

March 12, 2014

Fiorentini: Haverhill's future is bright

City's future revolves around Merrimack River; homes and trails planned on its shores

(Continued)

The mayor said he plans to begin a new campaign to market the Ornstein property this week.

Fiorentini also introduced six new police officers he said were hired in the last year: Jared Weisenborn, Cory Baldera, Gillian Brignac, Branden Sheehy, Brittany Birch and Tiffany Maldonaldo. He said many more officers will be hired in the next few months.

“Later this spring or summer I will swear in 11 new officers to bring us up to our highest number of patrolmen in years,” he said.

Fiorentini also highlighted the city’s plan to build a recreational pathway along the Bradford side of the river, a project that began two years ago when the city purchased an abandoned railroad bed.

“Our goal over the next few years is to construct of the first phase of the rail trail and start on the next phase, to bring the trail all the way to the new playground we put in next to Crescent Yacht Club,” the mayor said.

Fiorentini ended his remarks with an assessment of the school system and a push for a new school in Bradford to replace the deteriorated Hunking Middle School.

He highlighted the now completed renovation of Haverhill High School and $6 million in improvements last year to six elementary and middle schools.

“Today we have full-day kindergarten, our MCAS scores are up and our graduation rates are up,” the mayor said. “But there is more to do and we intend to do it,” he said referring to the campaign for a new Hunking.

In June, the city plans to hold an election at which voters will be asked to pay the city’s $24 million share of the $61.5 million new building.

“The best and most economical way to upgrade that school is to replace it,” Fiorentini said of Hunking. “The only way to pay for this is with what I call a debt extension.”

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