It might be hard to think of spring activities now let alone summer plans, but on April 5th voters should expect to be asked to decide on popular summer programs for years and years to come. We’ve supported our American Legion Memorial Pool in Patton Park with phenomenal maintenance since it was built in the ‘60s but pools last roughly 30 years and at this point it cannot be effectively repaired nor maintained. Over that time the Hamilton and Wenham population has grown over 50%, more than 2,000 people in each town. At the same time that our population increased so have our longevity and activities, resulting in exponential growth in our recreation programs. The fabulous new Patton Park Playground has added considerably to the use of the Park and a new pool should do the same, let alone the overall value of the Town. The Pool Committee found that 90% of the community survey respondents said they would use the current pool if it was improved. Similar projects in other communities have increased usage several times over, according to our consultant who many of you have met at many public meetings.
The Hamilton Board of Selectmen supported the Joint Recreation Board request to find out the scope of work involved in the removal of the current pool and construction of a new pool, as well as what the costs would be and how they could be financed. Future programming of a new pool has also been considered. Our Joint Recreation Board led a thorough and open public process, with half a dozen public meetings since December. Our two Towns hosted the first ever joint Community Preservation Committee meeting and each has received applications for the new pool. More ZBA, Planning Board, ZBA, CPC and Board of Selectmen meetings will be held before April 5th too. Construction bids will be in our hands in the middle of March, so we’ll have firm costs compared to last year’s estimates.
I encourage you to jump on the wave of the public meetings if you want to learn more, and mark your calendar on April 5th for our annual town meetings. Not only is spring coming, but your decision on the future of our summer programs is too!Scott Maddern