SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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March 18, 2014

Cahill gives first state of city speech

(Continued)

Waiting for others to do things was a theme, however. The city must wait through the process of gaining state funding for a new middle school.

“I read and heard repeatedly, as many of you did, that the target date for opening our new middle school was September 2017,” he said. Yet, the Massachusetts School Building Authority has given a new date, December 2018.

Cahill assured listeners that the city is on the case.

“We are on track to successfully shave four months off the first phase of the middle school building process. ... We will do everything in our power to open our new middle school sooner than December 2018.”

If the mayor forgot to wear green, few others did. There were green shirts, ties, sweaters, corsages and scarves all over the chamber. Among those giving the half-hour talk close attention were state Rep. Jerry Parisella and Sen. Joan Lovely. Cahill, who spoke clearly and easily, was rewarded with warm applause.

He summarized the status of the controversial Brimbal Avenue proposal, explaining that talks are ongoing between the land owner and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation regarding a “viable” road design.

“My administration is working to ensure that neighbors and all interested parties have a voice and access to information as the Brimbal Avenue project moves forward,” he said.

Additionally, Cahill said he plans to propose a two-year road-paving and infrastructure program, as well as conservation restrictions on Norwood Pond. To save money for big acquisitions, he will also “investigate” the possibility of spending some Community Preservation Committee funds on debt service.

“I am energized and encouraged by the great work of our city,” he said. “I look forward to great things in the coming weeks, months and years, and I ask you all to remain engaged and remain committed to making Beverly all it can be.”

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