SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 28, 2013

Crystal Lake to get long-awaited makeover

(Continued)

In addition, said Bettencourt, the city discovered it had $800,000 left over from a project on Scouting Way, which included a retention pond and a disc golf course, that came in significantly under budget. Finally, the Community Preservation Committee has pledged $800,000 to be distributed over a five-year period.

“Each mayor has had an intense desire to try to preserve Crystal Lake,” said Bettencourt, noting that he drives past it every day. “I want to make that area as spectacular as I always thought it could be.”

“We’ve waited a long time for this,” said Barry Sinewitz, the ward councilor. “Everybody wants to do it. But it’s still going to take time.” He cautioned that it’s a project in two parts, including the cleanup and the creation of a recreation area. That means, “it could be a little bit more money. If it’s a little over, we may have to come back (to the council).”

The big expense is dewatering and disposing of what’s dredged up from both ponds. Such material is not easily dealt with. It has no apparent value to anyone. If it’s deposited somewhere and left to sit, eventually the decomposing organic material will create a stench, he said.

“We haven’t gotten into the details of how it’s going to be cleaned,” he said. Permits must be obtained. Maintenance after the cleanup will also have to be addressed.

As for improvements on the shore, initial plans suggest a path around the back of the pond, away from Lowell Street, which passes a few feet from the water.

“We want to keep people away from Lowell Street,” Sinewitz said.

He also suggested two fountains, one for Crystal Lake and one for Elginwood Pond. These would not only add to the beauty of the spot but would keep the water moving and help prevent the build-up of algae.

“It’s going to be great once it’s done,” Sinewitz said.

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