, Salem, MA

Local News

June 25, 2013

Plans underway for canoe launch at Patton property

HAMILTON — There is no public access to launch a canoe or kayak along the Ipswich River in Hamilton, but the town is hoping to change that by later this summer.

As part of ongoing plans for the Patton estate, town officials last week examined different ways to open such a launch on the property. The 27-acre property at 650 Asbury St. was donated to the town last year by Joanne Patton, widow of Maj. Gen. George Patton and daughter-in-law to the World War II general of the same name.

“If you had to tote your craft back there, it is a long haul off of the road,” said Town Manager Michael Lombardo. “So, we want to create parking and an area where they can swing in and drop off their canoe or kayak at the dock.”

This is the first step in moving forward with plans for the estate, the gift of which was accepted at Town Meeting in May 2012. Among possible revenue sources, the property could be leased out as an event venue, restaurant and/or bed-and-breakfast.

There is also talk about a possible public sports field being built at the property.

Lombardo said an entrance for vehicle traffic is expected to be built off an access road to an unused town well that abuts the Patton property. The town received approval to abandon the well about a month ago, said selectmen Chairman Marc Johnson.

“We couldn’t do anything with the launch until DEP approved the abandonment,” Johnson said.

Lombardo said a request for proposals is expected to be advertised in the next two to three weeks for a firm to do the engineering work for the access road to the launch.

“We think we can get a road — a gravel-type road, not paved — something temporary to get us up there and get access, hopefully, sometime midsummer,” Lombardo said. “That is what we are shooting for.”

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