James Fiorentini, mayor of Haverhill, touted his city’s success at rezoning the downtown to attract housing and more restaurants.
“We have $150 million in investment in downtown, including 550 new housing units and 850 new residents, including my son,” he said, adding that the 22 restaurants have created a thriving business climate.
“It’s the best dining north of the North End,” he said, adding that the state recently awarded $5 million for a new boardwalk, which will link with a new rail trail to create what he hoped would become “our own Emerald Necklace.”
Methuen Mayor Steve Zanni, also recently off a big re-election win, touted the Century Box multi-million dollar expansion that will keep jobs and create new ones in the city, among other initiatives.
Andover Town Manager Reginald ‘Buzz’ Stapczynski spoke about several of the projects he was most proud of, including the soon-to-be built Andover Youth Center, which should start construction in the spring after years of delays.
He also mentioned the Bancroft School project, a new school for 500 students that will be certified as an energy-efficient structure when it opens in the spring.
The town manager said that in his proposed Capital Improvements Plan, he backed off proposing any major projects in an effort to keep taxes down.
“We are going to cut back on borrowing over the next few years to control our debt costs,” he said.
North Andover Town Manager Andy Maylor, in a speech sprinkled with witticisms, told the gathering that his remarks were on his iPad, which almost ran out of battery power because Stapczynski’s speech was so long.
Like other mayors, he highlighted how health insurance costs were croaking the town budget but that with a switch to a new, state-sponsored plan, the town will save $3 million while also seeing a reduction in retirees’ health care costs.
He noted that the town will save $1 million over the next 20 years because it purchased all the street lights from National Grid, taking over maintenance and making them more energy-efficient.