LWV OBSERVER CORPS: Rec & Parks gets recommendations after racket court study

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: Recreation & Parks Commission

DATE: Oct. 18 (in person, not recorded)

LWVM OBSERVER: Bonnie Grenier

IN ATTENDANCE: Commissioners Matt Martin, Karin Ernst, Linda Rice-Collins, Shelly Bedrossian and Rossanna Ferrante; Recreation Director Jaime Bloch and Superintendent Peter James

Lone LED bid

Lifestyles Electric Inc. out of New Hampshire was the only bid received to update some lights at Seaside Park to LED. The cost will be $23,324.

Disc golf

Bloch and Ferrante have researched the possibility of bringing Disc Golf to Marblehead. They will look into several possible sites, including the fitness trail at Seaside Park, Hamond Nature Center, Robinson Farm and Wyman Woods.

Racket court study results

Bedrossian and Ernst did a comprehensive racket court study and made several recommendations to the commission:

  • Marblehead has 10 tennis and 10 pickleball courts. In comparison, Swampscott has two courts, and Andover has five public pickleball courts.
  • There is a new registration system. Only 60-minute slots will be available for reservations. This will result in more efficient court utilization.
  • If a court does not have active play after 10 minutes of the reservation time beginning, then the reservation is forfeited, and the court is open for walk-on play.
  • Once the temperature is 32 degrees or lower for five consecutive days, nets will be lowered for the season. People can still use the courts as long as there is no snow on them (which must be SWEPT off the courts) and they use their own nets. When the temperature reaches 40 degrees for five days in spring, the courts will be reopened.
  • The American Sports Builders Association offers online certification programs in installing and maintaining all court surfaces, tracks and fields. Department resources will be provided for two employees to take online and self-paced continuing education courses during the winter.
  • There will be a trial of indoor Open Paddle Programming run by Bloch this winter with the hope of continuing it outdoors in the spring.
  • Discussions on sourcing 10 AED (automated external defibrillator) units for town parks.
  • Marblehead Pickleball has agreed to pay for 210 linear feet of fence wrapping at Seaside Park.
  • Bedrossian conducted a comprehensive sound and wind study at Seaside Park. The highest reading was 63.2 decibels. Of the three readings over 60 decibels, they lasted less than one second. Over 90 percent of readings were below 50 decibels. Sounds at 70 decibels or lower are safe.
  • With the help of the Athletic Department and the associate director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, it has been verified that courts can be made dual-purpose with permanent lines.
  • A new lighting plan for all courts will be taken in two stages to determine budgetary impact.

Parks (James)

  • Park restrooms will be broken down at the end of the month.
  • Fertilizing has been done.  Some seeding still needs to be done.
  • Irrigation systems need to be shut off and drained before a freeze.
  • Two willow trees will be planted at Seaside Park.
  • Discussion about the possibility of moving two of the benches at the end of Gallison Road. Martin will meet with the woman who has offered to cover the cost.
  • Bids to replace a gas boiler will be opened on Nov. 2 at 10 a.m.

Recreation (Bloch)

  • The Scarecrow Contest/Stroll was a huge success with over 1,200 people participating in the stroll. It was great family fun for children and adults and will definitely be held next year. MHS students and CITs volunteered to hand out treats and help with the stroll.
  • There will be pumpkin decorating on Oct. 25, a gingerbread house decorating workshop on Nov. 29 and a No-School Indoor Day on Dec. 15.
  • The next session begins Nov. 1 when programming moves indoors, including basketball, which is a sizable program.

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