EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

July 21, 2013

Selectmen await study on Route 125 development

NORTH ANDOVER — The upper section of Route 125, between the intersection with Route 133 and the Haverhill city line, has large expanses of unused land: It’s not farmed, it doesn’t have businesses and no one lives there.

The selectmen hope to change this picture and promote economic development along the Route 125 corridor. Last year, they hired Dr. John Mullin, associate director of the Center for Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, to do a study to find out how the town can promote business growth along that stretch of road.

Mullin told the selectmen in December the study would probably recommend infrastructure improvements along Route 125 – such as installing sewers.

Town Manager Andrew Maylor told the selectmen at their Monday night meeting the study is still a work in progress. He said he expects it to be finished by September.

Selectman William Gordon said he expects the study to identify what kinds of businesses would prosper along the Route 125 corridor. He said he also wants ideas on what the town can do to attract companies to that area.

Gordon suggested extension of the sewer line would make upper Route 125 attractive to businesses. Last year, the Board of Selectmen split over that issue, with Gordon, Tracy Watson and Richard Vaillancourt voting to recommend spending $300,000 for a study on extending the sewer and Rosemary Connelly Smedile and Donald Stewart opposed.

The 2012 annual Town Meeting rejected the request to borrow the money for that study.

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