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Bacteria closes becah in Amesbury

August 12, 2010

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BACTERIA CLOSES BEACH — The Board of Health has closed Lake Gardner Beach because of a recent water quality test that showed a high concentration of bacteria. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health requires beach closures when bacteria exceed 1,000 per 100 milliliters of water, and beach advisories when bacteria exceed 235. The beach will remain closed until tests return acceptable results. Lake Gardner Beach is tested weekly throughout the summer. Bacteria can be introduced into swimming water through a variety of sources, and rainstorms can significantly increase the amount of bacteria. For information, contact Jack Morris, regional health director, at 978-388-8129 or — David Cogger

L’ITALIEN IN TOWN — State Representative Barbara L’Italien will hold constituent office hours from 9 to 10 a.m. on Aug. 23 at the Boxford Senior Center. Residents also may call L’Italien’s office anytime at 617-722-2380. L’Italien represents the 18th Essex District, which includes Precinct 2 in Boxford. — David Cogger

RELYING ON MUTUAL AID — Recent layoffs are taxing the Lawrence Fire Department. Fifteen on-duty firefighters were recently left to battle two multiple-alarm fires in quick succession, necessitating help from surrounding fire departments. Firefighters from 12 other towns were called in with the first fire, and, just hours later, firefighters from 14 towns were called in for the second. Acting Fire Chief Brian Murphy says this demonstrates the dire state of the city’s emergency response capabilities following the July layoffs of 23 firefighters and closing of three station houses. Lawrence now relies on mutual aid on a regular basis, which means a cost to those towns which have to pay their firefighters to respond to the city.

— Karen Sackowitz

FIRE EQUIPMENT GRANTS — Town fire officials applied for and received two federal grants totaling $72,100 toward purchase of state-of-the-art hoses and nozzles for fire trucks, as well as chain saws and other equipment to battle brush fires. The first grant, $69,000 awarded by the US Department of Homeland Security, purchased almost a mile-and-a-half of synthetic hose and nozzles for three engine trucks, and the ladder truck. In a second grant, the US Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service provided $3,100 toward purchase of chain saws, protective equipment, and a portable weather station to determine wind speed and direction. — David Cogger

TOWN CENTER VISION — The Tyngsborough Historical Commission has presented its vision for a new town center to the Board of Selectmen, recommending preservation and restoration of several structures for a community center, a town history museum, a function facility, and open space. Among questions is whether a senior center proposed for Flint’s Corner can be shifted to the more central Winslow School. Jay Finnegan of Drum Hill Construction is under contract to complete the senior center project; selectmen are soliciting Finnegan’s input on the suggested change, specifically to see if the renovations would cost the same. — Karen Sackowitz

PROPERTY COMMITTEE — At its Tuesday meeting, selectmen plan to write the charge for a new advisory committee that will evaluate the future uses of town-owned properties. Among properties the committee will consider is the Iron Rail Property, where a private school has proposed a lease or purchase arrangement, and the Dearborn Property, which the town has considered purchasing and holds right of first refusal. Those who wish to serve on the committee are asked to send a letter of interest to Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren, Town Hall, 138 Main St., Wenham MA 01984. The board’s meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

David Rattigan

New Hampshire
PARKWAY REPORT — City, state, and federal transportation officials provided an update on construction of the Broad Street Parkway at a meeting at the Exit 6 Welcome Center last week. The city has spent about $14 million in federal funds on preliminary work for the $68 million cross-city roadway. Work is expected to begin in spring, pending completion of an environmental review. The road should be finished by the end of 2014. —Tom Long

CELL TOWER PROPOSED — Odiorne Point may soon be sprouting a cellphone tower. Representatives of Cellco Partnership have presented a preliminary plan to the Zoning Board of Adjustment to build a 105-foot tower near Seacoast Science Center. The tower would be disguised as a pine tree and provide cell coverage for Verizon Wireless customers. The tower will require a variance from the zoning board and approval by the Planning Board. — Tom Long

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