LWV OBSERVER CORPS: Rec and Parks, Sept. 6

Marblehead League of Women Voters Observer Corps
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Observer Corps Reports are provided by volunteers from the Marblehead League of Women Voters. To learn more about the League and its activities, see my.lwv.org/massachusetts/marblehead.

BOARD: The Recreation and Parks Commission 

DATE:  Sept. 6

PRESENT: Commission Chairman Matt Martin called the meeting to order. Commissioners present were Linda Rice-Collins, Karin Ernst, Rosanna Ferrante and Shelly Bedrossian, along with Superintendent Peter James. Director of Recreation Jaime Bloch was absent.



Muffy Paquette, representing the Boosters, requested help with funding to replace the turf at Piper Field. The turf is in its 11th year and poses a safety hazard for athletes. The Boosters aim to replace it in summer 2024 at a cost of $30,000 to $40,000. The commission unanimously favors supporting the project and will look into using the Shattuck Fund since the field is on school property.

Rick Smyers, representing Green Street Woods, presented Phase II plans for the bike park, which involve building two wooden bridges over wetlands. This would need to be done by the commission. It was suggested Smyers contact neighbors and invite them to the next meeting to hear the plans.

Memorial benches

The commission discussed memorial benches, particularly a fourth one at the end of Gallison Avenue. Moving it to the side was discussed, but no decision was made. It was decided a written policy should establish what happens when a bench falls into disrepair or after a period of years when the memorial could be replaced.

Fountain Park steps

Ferrante is working on this issue. Replacing the old steps and building 23 granite steps will cost $60,000. An architect determined there is no ledge. Becky Cutting suggested offering “memorial steps” for a contribution, which the commission favored. Further discussion at the next meeting.


Rice-Collins and James met with the company building a lift at the Stramski house. Minor framing changes are needed, about one day’s work.

Tennis court bubbling, still under warranty, will soon be repaired. Commissioners asked for the warranty to be extended. Martin wants to meet with the company president.

James is having trouble keeping up with mowing as the weather has been wet, and most of his staff has left for school.

The Light Commission requested using commission land behind Vine Street for a large battery system backup during peak periods. The commission feels it needs the land and other sites could accommodate the battery.

The commission approved various requests for weddings, Cub Scout picnics and boat trailer parking. The next meeting is Sept. 19 at 7:15 p.m.

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