IN YOUR CORNER WITH KATY IVES
By: Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives
I recently invited Undersecretary of Environmental Affairs, Martin Suuberg, to join me and Representative Michael Costello to visit Salisbury Beach and learn about ongoing and potential revitalization opportunities at Salisbury Beach Center. Town Manager Neil Harrington, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Don Beaulieu, Selectman Freeman Condon, Department of Conservation and Recreation officials, and business owners from Salisbury Beach also participated in the site visit. This meeting focused on prospects for a comfort station and boardwalk, which would boost tourism and business at the beach center.
Salisbury Beach stretches for 3.8 miles in the northeast corner of the state, easily accessible by highways and also served by a regional bus service. The beach hosts thousands of visitors every summer and is the only north of Boston beach with ample parking. The beach, however, does lack bathroom facilities, a boardwalk, and handicap access to the sand. In order to compete with beaches just a few miles to the north in New Hampshire, it is necessary for Salisbury Beach to be able to offer basic amenities to visitors.
The recovering economy and devastating winter storms have also compromised the physical and economic health of the formerly vibrant community. Representative Costello and I were able to secure $300,000 dollars in FY14 for the purchase of sand to repair the badly damaged areas of the beach. The sand placement was completed late this spring and dune plantings and snow fencing will finalize the efforts before winter storms hit the area.
A coordinated effort between business owners, residents and local and state leaders has been launched to foster economic development on Salisbury Beach and restore the area to the thriving destination it once was. A group has formed to create the Salisbury Beach Revitalization Committee and is developing a multi-phase public/private partnership plan. I look forward to being a part of the efforts to revitalize this important recreation area and tourist attraction in our district that will also attract businesses and create jobs.