, Salem, MA

October 17, 2013

Letter: Hamilton's $2.5 million 'waterworld'

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

For those of you who have been following the Hamilton-Wenham Recreation Department presentations you will know that they have settled on a $2.5 million water park proposal at Patton Park. This is to replace the American Legion pool that has deteriorated and has outlived its life. This proposal will go before the voters for approval at the Special Town Meeting on Nov. 4 at the high school.

Engineering details aside, the taxpayers will be asked if they want to spend this kind of money on a recreation facility that will be used for approximately eight to 10 weeks of the year. They will be asked if they think spending $2.5 million on a pool is the best bang for their tax bucks.

Personally I don’t think it is! How about enlarging the senior center? How about putting an elevator in the Hamilton Town Hall and making it handicap accessible? How about converting the Patton Homestead into a Veterans facility to care for our returning vets suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder? What about all those soccer fields that I keep hearing about that we so desperately need? What about the moderately priced housing that we need to allow our seniors to stay in town?

These are just a few places where I would like to see my tax dollars spent instead of the proposed Waterworld at Patton Park.

Also, where is Wenham in all this? After all, it is the Hamilton-Wenham Recreation Department. For me, if Wenham does not endorse this proposal in concept and their dollars then I will vote this down. We need a 100 percent commitment from them. They have to be full partners in this, not just a bystander.

Are the Hamilton-Wenham Recreation Department and Hamilton town officials doing the children a disfavor by only offering an extravagant, off-the- charts Waterworld at Patton Park that will likely get turned down by voters? Don’t you think it is their responsibility to offer a reasonably priced alternative (like in the recreation master plan) so the children don’t end up with a closed pool?

You’ll get your chance to vote yes or no at the Town Meeting on Nov. 4. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.

Warren Gray