, Gloucester, MA


April 9, 2013

Letter: City's Fort site can't be a parking lot

To the editor:

OK, the Beauport Gloucester hotel plan is moving forward and hopefully it will be an improvement to the Fort.

True, those residents who were opposed to it are not happy campers. But let’s hope they will accept it, and let’s hope the new owners will do what needs to be done to make it work.

Gloucester is no different from any other city or towns. Some people do not want change. You can’t make everyone happy, but one thing’s for sure: we must move forward, and in the right direction.

So let’s move forward. There is a lot of land at the end of the Fort that was owned by the Curcuru family and is owned by the city for unpaid taxes of about $88,000.

For two years, the property was like a junkyard with broken lobster traps, old nets, barrels, even propane tanks and barrels of old fuel. Just last week the city cleaned it up.

According to Jim Duggan, the city’s chief of administration, that was Phase 1. He told me Phase 2 is to have a boring test to check for contamination — remember, there had long been a large fuel tank on the property for years).

The city has money from the state to clean it. But who knows how much it will cost? Just ask the Gloucester Marine Railways what it cost them.

In any event, take a look at the parcel now. I am sure the Fort residents are pleased.

So some time down the line the city will put it up for auction. But I am sitting here wondering: who would bid on it?

Remember, it is zoned for marine industrial, limiting what a developer could do with it — especially with regards to a fish processor. Look at North Atlantic going out of business, and Cape Pond Ice’s and the fishing industry’s financial difficulties.

The last thing we need is for the city to own it and make it into another parking lot.


Commercial Street, Gloucester

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