SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 29, 2013

Salem to hire full-time COA director

(Continued)

A search committee, including members of Council on Aging board of directors, will go through the resumes in the coming weeks, Driscoll said.

Hiring a full-time seniors director was one of three amendments Ryan and Driscoll agreed on in the days leading up to the vote on the financing plan in March. The other amendments required that the developer to begin construction within a year and that he agree the city would be “held harmless” if anyone were to become sick from contamination at the site.

The long-vacant property at Boston and Bridge streets was once a Sylvania plant.

A new senior center has been years in coming to Salem; multiple locations have been considered over the tenure of several mayors.

Once built, the city plans to name the new senior center for former Mayor Jean Levesque.

Sweetser said his company is in “active discussions” with possible tenants, but none have signed leases yet.

“I know it’s been a long time coming,” Sweetser said. “We’re looking forward to developing a first-class building. ... We’re optimistic things are going in the right direction, and we’re pleased by it.”

The city signed a $5 million purchase-and-sale agreement with High Rock to buy a large portion of the proposed four-story building in 2009.

“We are really pushing the developer hard to get moving,” Driscoll said. “We want to see this project commence as soon as possible. ... We’d like to be in the building as soon as possible. We all want this thing started.”

Bethany Bray can be reached at bbray@salemnews.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.

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