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Parks & Recreation roundup: Cricket pitch resurfacing stalled; Little League fields ‘in bad shape’

by | Jun 28, 2023 | Featured: News, News

The Parks & Recreation Commission at its 90-minute meeting Tuesday evening discussed progress on several pending projects, including the resurfacing of the public cricket pitch at the Fruit Street fields, the anticipated construction time frame on the new cricket pitch at Pyne Field, and the skate park at EMC Park.

Raj Rajanagan, a member of the Hopkinton Cricket Club, asked for an update regarding progress on the new cricket pitch proposed for Pyne Field. Funding for it from the Community Preservation Commission was approved at May’s Annual Town Meeting.

Commission chair Dan Terry explained that several town departments now are involved in the process. He estimated that construction would be “about 12 months away.” CPC-funded projects are expected to be completed within two years.

“I think there’s an understanding that it isn’t going to happen as quickly as the Cricket Club would like it to happen,” Terry said, noting that bid documents have to be obtained.

At the last meeting, the resurfacing of the public turf cricket pitch was discussed. The club purchased resurfacing materials, but members did so without going through the town’s procurement process.

Additionally, the resurfacing materials are being stored in the Fruit Street closet behind the concession stand, preventing the department from storing its equipment there.

Pat Savage, the Parks & Rec Department’s interim director, explained that there needs to be a procurement process initiated for the installation of the materials. She asked if the turf purchased was according to regulations. Rajanagan explained that it is the same size as the turf used there previously.

“There’s lots of things going on,” Savage said. “And making sure that the programs are up and the office is running is the priority. And unfortunately, it’s not yours.”

Because it’s town property, Terry added, this process must be completed under the town’s procurement rules.

“The one thing that people don’t understand about government is that it’s a slow process,” Savage continued. “And it’s designed to be slow on purpose so that we’re not taking advantage of one group over another.”

She said she will research if a contractor is on the state bid list, which may speed up the process.

Terry asked that the Cricket Club identify turf wear and tear early and inform the commission. Then the procedures can be followed through the proper channels, with time included for the budgeting and procurement process.

Rajanagan said the club has been “caught off guard” because it was allowed to do resurfacing before.

“We are in a situation where the games could be called off or the organizing company might say we can no longer play like this,” he stressed, causing the teams to have to forfeit their games.

Terry said he will address the situation with Town Manager Norman Khumalo.

Skate park expected to be completed by year’s end

Savage announced that the skate park is moving forward under the supervision of the town’s Engineering Department. Drainage work needs to be performed on the site, and it should be completed by the end of the summer. At that point, construction on the skate park can commence. It should be completed by the end of the year.

Terry noted that there had been a longstanding issue with drainage there.

Said Terry: “We’re very thankful that the Engineering Department is overseeing the project, because this is their area of expertise.”

Little League fields ‘in bad shape’

Commissioner Amy O’Donnell, the liaison to Hopkinton Little League, noted that Pyne Field, which is utilized by Little League teams, is in poor condition. Terry noted that while it is a Parks & Rec field, he believed that maintenance is supposed to be the Little League’s responsibility.

“I don’t know what the deal is with Pyne Field and Carrigan Field,” O’Donnell said. “If something happens, the fields are in bad shape. I just don’t think it’s a nice standard. We are hosting tournaments.”

Terry said he would look into the situation.

Sandy Beach update provided

Savage announced that someone applied to be the lifeguard supervisor at Sandy Beach. But because that person is a sibling of a lifeguard, she needed to check the protocols involved.

“Generally, the town doesn’t like somebody to immediately supervise their siblings,” she explained.

“It’s even more sensitive with the age of some of these people and where they are in their professional careers,” added Terry.

Hanson said she received inquiries from lifeguards about an emergency action plan. Savage noted that there was a training for lifeguards the previous week, and protocols were discussed. A written plan should be forthcoming.

Savage also said that a safe was installed that allows people to pay cash for day passes.

Lake Maspenock boat dock proposal moves forward

Savage announced that the Lake Maspenock boat dock application received a file number from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. This was the final step before the Conservation Commission could approve the application, which it did at its meeting later Tuesday evening.

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