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Parks & Rec Commission discusses issue with Reed Park tennis courts

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Featured: News, News

Reed Park tennis courts

The tennis courts at Reed Park are not adequate for the Parks & Rec spring tennis program. PHOTO/JERRY SPAR

Parks & Recreation Director Jon Lewitus said the youth spring tennis program cannot run safely at Reed Park courts because of conditions there.

He noted the program is scheduled to run April 23 to May 22 for ages 5-8 and 8-12 and is sold out with a waiting list.

However, at Tuesday’s Parks & Recreation Commission meeting, Lewitus told members, “All options are on the table at this point” for alternative sites.

He said he recently spoke to Southborough recreation director Tim Davis, who seemed open to a partnership to use that town’s tennis courts. The location, Lewitus said, is about a mile past Southborough’s MBTA station.

“It shouldn’t put people out too much,” Lewitus said of the distance.

He said the high school courts are booked.

In response to members’ suggestions to change the program from weekdays to weekends to use school facilities, Lewitus said the instructor may not be available. Also, it would not be feasible with parents having signed up for weekdays to change schedules.

Commission member Amy O’Donnell suggested reaching out to the Hopkinton Country Club “because we’re in a bind.”

Member Laura Hanson suggested looking into courts at the Warren Conference Center in Ashland.

Lewitus said he would check back with the Southborough director to see what costs may be associated with using the tennis courts there. “They won’t price gouge us,” he noted.

Police want signage at Reed Park

Also regarding Reed Park, commission chair Dan Terry noted it is tough to get in and out of the site, entering off Wood Street and walking up a trail.

A couple of weeks ago, residents called Hopkinton police about a person sleeping there. The director said the police want a sign “to fall back on” to enforce park rules.

O’Donnell said signage should be consistent among town properties.

While once there was a sign posted to a tree, commission members decided to place two closer to the entrance and further inside the property stating, “Park closed dusk to dawn.”

Resident complains about dog walker

Terry also brought up complaints by one resident about a person at the dog park bringing another individual with him and walking six dogs, which abides by the rules.

Lewitus said he continues to go to the dog park a couple of times per week, and “it’s business as usual with cordial, happy people and no concerns.”

The only negative feedback is from that one person, Terry said.

Lewitus suggested in June deciding whether the town wanted to amend a bylaw that puts fines in place for dog walkers not abiding by the dog park’s rules. He noted the animal control officer feels his “hands are tied” by not having something tangible in place.

Terry said the commission could talk about the issue once it is reorganized following the town election in May.

Shade structure input wanted

In other business, the director suggested the department collect input from the public about what type of shade structure at the Fruit Street dog park they would like to see. He said the information could be gathered via a QR code.

Hanson said she could walk around and conduct an informal survey of residents who may not feel comfortable using a code.

The commission also approved requests from the Hopkinton Historical Society and Vermont Air National Guard to be vendors at the Town Common on Saturday, April 13, the weekend leading into that Monday’s Boston Marathon. Each organization will have a 10-foot square space for a tent. Discussion ensued about whether to charge nonprofit organizations fees of $100.

Lewitus noted many vendors fall into that category, and it would make sense to keep the fee in place for this year and contemplate a tier system for next year, distinguishing between town-supported nonprofits, out-of-town organizations and others.

He said only one potential vendor had balked at paying the fee.

Because the director had no updates regarding EMC parking or the Sandy Beach Committee format, those issues were to be put on a future agenda.

The Parks & Rec Commission next meets on April 9 and April 23.

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