The project has been in discussion for years, but Scanlon said he is “very optimistic regarding near-term funding for phase one construction based on the high level of cooperation being received from multiple state agencies.”
Scanlon said the “new growth” from the Brimbal Avenue project would be enough to pay for upgraded police, fire and public services facilities and improved streets and sidewalks, which he acknowledged are the areas that the city has not adequately addressed.
He cautioned, however, that funding for the project is “not a certainty.” Without it, he said the public safety and public services projects wouldn’t get done for eight or 10 years.
As for the immediate future, Scanlon said the city will spend more than $2 million on street repairs, the most in decades. He said Gov. Deval Patrick’s latest budget includes $1.5 million for Beverly for roadway improvements, up from last year’s $1 million.
With the increased spending, “we will see the overall condition of our streets improve each year rather than continue to decline,” Scanlon said.
Scanlon said he is also optimistic that the state will begin a feasibility study this year for a new middle school. The study will determine whether the Memorial Building on Cabot Street should be upgraded and enlarged or whether an entirely new school should be built on that site, he said.
Scanlon also ticked off a variety of other plans that he said are either in the works or on the way — a 500-space MBTA parking garage near the train station; a complete reconstruction of Route 1A from the Memorial Building to the Beverly-Salem bridge; repairs to City Hall, the main library, the Lynch Park carriage house and the Beverly Golf & Tennis Club clubhouse; and two new skating rinks at Endicott College that will be made available to the Beverly community.