SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

January 17, 2014

Letter: Brimbal Avenue project is 'better for Beverly'

(Continued)

Consistent with this “green” agenda, CEA has brought in Whole Foods, the nation’s leading purveyor of healthy and environmentally sound foods, and will design and build the project so as to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Department of Environmental Protection has studied this former landfill extensively and has issued a permit with controls to assure that it may be developed in a perfectly safe and healthy manner.

Under no circumstances will any landfill material be removed from this site.

CEA will retain ownership of the majority of the former landfill and will be responsible for all the remediation costs.

Under no circumstances will Beverly taxpayers bear any responsibility for costs associated with remediation of this former landfill.

Returning this landfill to productive use will generate a minimum of $200,000 per year in additional real estate taxes for the city.

After years of careful study by state and city officials, the Planning Board and City Council concluded that the Brimbal Avenue project was in the best interests of the entire city. Skeptical nearby residents, operating on misunderstandings and misinformation, reject the exhaustive public process that has brought us to this point. They are asking Beverly residents to do something extraordinary: override the Planning Board and City Council, turn down the $5 million state grant, overrule the careful work of several state agencies and, in a word, kill this state-funded transportation improvement project.

Unfortunately, residents are being asked to take this extraordinary step based on inaccurate and misleading information being circulated by the leaders of the North Beverly Neighborhood Association. Residents have been led to believe that a “no” vote would stop development and reduce traffic on Brimbal Avenue That is simply not the case. All a “no” vote will do is prevent Whole Foods from coming to Beverly and jeopardize state funding for much-needed road improvements. These are not exactly noble goals for which to override their elected representatives. Rather, advocacy for a “no” vote reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the issues that will ultimately harm the interests of the very people who are leading the charge.

Why vote “yes?” Because it’s better for Beverly. All of Beverly. For more accurate information, go to BetterForBeverly.org.

Steven A. Cohen

President

CEA Group

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