The Brier Neck neighborhood is on the road to some long-awaited upgrades.

The City Council's Budget and Finance Committee unanimously voted last week to recommend that the full council approve a loan authorization request of $435,000 for the Brier Neck neighborhood paving betterment.

"It is going to be a big project for the neighborhood, very disruptive," Ward 1 Councilor Scott Memhard said. "But once it is done, it is a long-term benefit."

The money allotted for the project will go toward the cost of repaving several private ways in the Brier Neck neighborhood — which is between Good Harbor and Long beaches — including the cost of police details.

The project was spurred on by numerous pot holes that had been patched over time, but are in need of permanent repairs. 

"The deterioration of the roads has really become serious," Memhard said.

The affected streets include Brier Neck Road, Barberry Way, Arland Terrance, Cliff Road, Palfrey Road, Prospect Terrace, Salt Island Road, and Warwick Road. 

"The Brier Neck paving is just that, it is a proposal to pave eight streets in Brier Neck," Public Works Director Mike Hale said. "This is a private neighborhood taking advantage of the city's private way paving ordinance."

The relevant ordinance says that any permanent construction or repair to a private way is subject to available funding and the authorization of the mayor and a two-third's vote by the City Council.

While the city will be fronting the money for the paving project, Memhard clarified that the ordinance does require the abutters to repay the city in full in the next 10 years.

As many of the abutters are summer residents, Hale wants to "leave them in the best condition they can be for June, July, and August."

Councilor at-Large Melissa Cox agreed with the timeline, noting it is a "long process."

A public hearing with the full council for the Brier Neck neighborhood paving is scheduled for March 10. 

The paving project was one of three projects the Budget and Finance Committee voted to recommend to the full council for approval, totaling more than $7 million in public works and utility upgrades.

Two other loan authorization requests included $3.3 million for water capital projects and $3.73 million for sewer capital projects.

The water capital projects include dam intake improvements, final design of the Babson water aeration project, sand media replacement and production of an emergency action plan for dams.

Hale explained that in addition to paving the seaside roads in the Brier Neck neighborhood, the city's water capital upgrades would cover the replacement of water mains and lining in that area. 

The sewer capital projects include Riverside and Niles sewer pump stations, Water Pollution Control Facility upgrades, utility master planning and supervisory control and data acquisition systems improvements. 

The public forums for the water and sewer capital projects are scheduled to take place at the Feb. 25 City Council meeting.

Staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or

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