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October 6, 2013

Plaistow, Haverhill look to work together more

Plaistow, Haverhill leaders discuss possible partnerships

For years, Plaistow Selectman Daniel Poliquin said there has been a disconnect between Plaistow and Haverhill.

“It’s like there’s a so-called brick wall at the border,” he said.

But leaders of both municipalities are trying to change that.

Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini and Plaistow Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald met last week as they work to improve the communication between the two communities.

“There are a lot of common concerns and challenges that Plaistow and Haverhill should join together on,” Fitzgerald said. “That dialogue will continue and there may be some great opportunities that come of it.”

Fitzgerald said the two have talked “occasionally” in his five years as town manager, but it’s something he hopes to do more routinely.

“We’re making sure we’re aware of issues and concerns that are in Haverhill and Plaistow,” he said. “We want to try to share local responsibilities and do our best to keep open lines of communication.”

One issue which could be discussed is a solution to Plaistow’s water problem.

For decades, Plaistow has been trying to figure out a way to provide its residents with a public water supply. One possibility that has been discussed is extending Haverhill lines into Plaistow.

“If they come to us with a master plan on where they want to put water and sewer, and then present us with the costs, then it would be something where we’d look at the different alternatives,” said Bob Ward, Haverhill’s water and sewer director.

Sven Amirian, director of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce and a former Haverhill city councilor, is a supporter of the possibility.

“I don’t think it has to be a divisive issue,” Amirian said. “There’s a middle ground to be had here and I think that it could be a benefit to both municipalities.”

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