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$100K Shortfall for Patton Park Pool Project

Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.
Note: The following was recently sent to the Community Preservation Committee (CPC) by the Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC):

The Blue Ribbon Committee considered Saturday morning the changing landscape of the Patton Park pool project brought about by the sub-bids coming on the 13th at $677,000. If on March 20th this brings in an overall price of $1.9 million as expected for the Zero Entry module, not including the $194,000 already spent on design, its execution may follow a different course than originally projected.  It is our understanding Deb Mena has suggested a cash payment of $900,000, bonding the balance for payout over 10 years (vs 20 years).

The Wenham Board of Selectmen has approved a warrant article for the Wenham CPC to make a motion to finance part of the pool. Beyond that, there are no draft inter-municipal agreements being circulated or discussed, nor any other action to assist in pool financing.

Since their CPC will probably commit some $950,000 in unrestricted funds to affordable housing, there will not be sufficient funds remaining for them to pay in a 1/3 share. Therefore, it appears Wenham will not participate at this time which is unfortunate since our Rec program has always been a joint effort.

If the Hamilton CPC decides to move ahead without Wenham, we would like to suggest the following for your consideration. Since I understand your available funds at present aggregate approximately $1.8 million, you might consider funding this project with cash. Debt would only add to the pool  cost. The funds on deposit would earn less than the interest cost. Also, it seems inevitable the state match of our 2% tax surcharge will continue to decline introducing the possibility CPC may not endure for the debt repayment period.

Following this course leaves a $100,000 funding shortfall for the Zero Entry design which has been presented as a regional facility which will accommodate up to 274 bathers at a time drawing from the “Border Towns” of Topsfield, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Wenham and Ipswich. Is the funding of a regional facility an appropriate use of Hamilton’s community preservation funds?

When we joined CPA, we agreed to tax ourselves an additional 2% to improve our community, not the region. Therefore, might the CPC choose instead to fund the smaller module with the 6 lane pool, a 20’ x 20’ Learn to Swim “L” extension and a kiddie pool (Plan 1B)? This would accommodate 240 bathers reducing the toilet count by 2 and the price to match your funding capability. Town Meeting can then decide whether to commit this share of our assets to this 10 week seasonal amenity in view of other demands pending such as affordable housing and/or part of an artificial turf athletic field at the High School.

Rising school budgets will soon make fiscal demands as reserves are depleted. The 2% we now tax ourselves for CPA may have to be redirected to unrestricted community needs.  We need a plan before we spend.

Respectfully submitted,
For the Blue Ribbon Committee:

Jack Lawrence, Michelle Bailey, Elaine Whipple, Susanna Colloredo-Mansfeld, Lisa Lemons, Bill Boardman, Greg McKenna
Jay Burnham March 19, 2014 at 04:25 PM
I think it is inappropriate for the editor to take a SPEAK OUT posting, change the title and then re-post it...especially in this instance as the new heading is completely misleading and confusing with regard to this rather complex issue. If you can't find anything to report on, you shouldn't "borrow" and misinterpret others' posts. Bring back Bobbie Gates!
scottnfaith March 20, 2014 at 07:58 AM
Not enough $ ?? Shocker.
Tyson Goodridge March 20, 2014 at 02:34 PM
I'm with you Jay...This isn't news. Its a statement by a committee.... Now maybe I can draft a "statement" that says there will probably a surplus because I THINK we're going to get a $300,000 donation from Dunkin Donuts...
Jay Burnham March 20, 2014 at 04:02 PM
I don't think that donation would help much, Tyson. I just heard that the LOW bid (WITHOUT the zero-entry) came in at $2.9 million. Waiting for verification at the Joint Rec Committee meeting tonight at 6:30.

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