By Shawn Regan
---- — HAVERHILL — The city’s police department has received another major cash donation from the trust of the late Elmo D’Alessandro, a former resident and successful businessman who died in 2008.
City Council accepted $250,000 from the trust last night. That’s an addition to the $357,000 it accepted from the trust in May. The bequest, which can only be used for law enforcement purposes, is to be held in a separate city account subject to appropriation by the mayor and council.
The son of Italian immigrants, D’Alessandro was born in Lynn in 1914, but spent much of his life in Haverhill where he helped his father run a shoe-making company and later opened D’Alessandro Realty. D’Alessandro also helped found First Bank and Trust of Haverhill and raised his only daughter in the city’s Bradford section with his wife Rita, who passed in 1999.
Shortly after the D’Alessandro trust’s first donation to Haverhill in May, the patrolmen’s union claimed the mayor cut the police budget by $200,000 around the same time.
Fiorentini denied the allegation at the time, and police Chief DeNaro said later that the D’Alessandro money would not be used to supplement the police budget.
Last month, the mayor said he was unable to provide The Eagle-Tribune with an update on how the police department planned to use the D’Alessandro money.
At last night’s meeting, DeNaro confirmed to councilors that the latest donation was the second from the trust, but the chief did not say anything about how it would be used. Councilors declined to ask any questions about the new donation or the prior one.
A few months ago, Fiorentini said one possibility for the D’Alessandro money is using it to establish a police maintenance garage at the Public Works property on Primrose Street. Police vehicles are currently maintained at space the city leases at the private Kazmiera Marina on Coffin Avenue next to the Merrimack River.
The town of Seabrook, N.H., and Sacred Heart Church in Bradford along with St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church at Seabrook Beach have also received large donations from the D’Alessandro trust.