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June 4, 2013

Plaistow MBTA study up for review

Plaistow officials optimistic $658K will be approved

(Continued)

The two towns agreed in January to drop that site from consideration.

The state said the towns had to agree to the parameters of the study before any money would be allocated.

Plaistow officials objected to another site — the Penn Box property at 144 Main St. — being considered. It, too, was dropped.

A likely site for the station would be the park-and-ride lot on Westville Road. Several possibilities remain for the layover station.

“That’s the biggest contention right now,” Poliquin said. “I would think there could be a place just south of the border in Haverhill for the layover station.”

The study should take about 18 months to complete. After that, town officials would decide whether there was a site worth bringing before voters.

In a nonbinding referendum in 2012, residents overwhelmingly rejected a layover station in Plaistow, 619-308.

“In my time speaking with different citizens, it’s amazing how many people are in favor of a rail station,” Poliquin said. “Unfortunately, you only hear from the naysayers.”

Fitzgerald said it is important for voters to realize the benefits of this study.

“This project represents extraordinary opportunities to capitalize on existing infrastructure that would be unique to this rail project,” he said. “We will have a large number of discussions with voters, and I want people to continue to keep an open mind and be prepared to learn and understand things that are different than they currently understand.”

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