, Salem, MA

March 24, 2014

Letter: Wenham should support pool project

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Hamilton and Wenham now have a pool that has outlived itself. The donated pool has provided programs and summer fun for the two towns but is no longer viable or safe. The Recreation Committee members from both towns have developed a plan that will expand the pool’s use and benefit both the children and adults in our two towns.

Apparently we are stuck on the cost. Even though the pool can produce funds to support itself and other recreation programs into the future, there is concern from some residents that the initial, one-time cost will affect the tax rate. It will not. In fact, Wenham’s share of the cost of replacing the current pool and indeed bringing it up to modern standards will all be handled by the monies in Wenham’s Community Preservation Act account. That money has been accruing from the community preservation funds that were paid by the taxpayers of Wenham for both preservation and recreation. Wenham’s CPA fund currently has more than $2 million in its account. The state’s match of the CPA tax for the closing fiscal year equals Wenham’s proportionate share for the building of a safe and accessible pool, a joint recreation facility.

The money is there. Encourage Wenham’s Community Preservation Committee to recognize the need for spending a portion of its $2.5-plus million to enhance the sense of community in Wenham and Hamilton, to replace an existing recreational facility. The pool will be located in Hamilton, as it always has been. Wenham can take advantage of its presence and continue to give our communities a joint recreation facility of which we can all be proud. It’s time.

Vote to allocate Wenham’s full share of the cost.

Paul and Mary Mendonca