Sunday, June 28, 2015

Soggy Sunday

Amherst Community Fair:  jinx no more

In Amherst it used to be the quickest way to guarantee a monsoon was to have the Community Fair return for its annual run.  But this year, thankfully, broke that pattern.

A few jinxes remain however.

 Groff Park Wading Pool 11:30 AMLifeguard is as lonely as the Maytag repairman

This is the first weekend all the outdoor pools in Amherst open for the summer season, and obviously with today's weather they will not see much use.  The only person present this morning at Groff Park Wading Pool was the lifeguard.

 War Memorial "big pool" 11:45 AM

And no lifeguard is needed at the War Memorial Wading Pool since it was ripped out last winter by the DPW.

 Former site of War Memorial Wading Pool now turned mosquito hatching area

Of course with the amount of water that had already accumulated this morning, maybe the town should station someone nearby to prevent accidental drownings in the large puddle left behind.

Town Manager John Musante announced an "Amherst Center Working Group" last December to study the centrally located Memorial Field area, also known as Ziomek Field, as well as the adjoining playing fields owned by the Amherst Regional School System, but they have yet to meet.

I submit for their perusal, whenever they do get around to meeting, Exhibit A and Exhibit B:  The Mill River Recreation in deep North Amherst vs the more centrally located War Memorial Recreation area, with the DPW tree division as an adjoining neighbor.
 Exhibit A
 War Memorial Recreation area/DPW Tree Division

At both sites the playing fields are usable but Mill River will improve dramatically after a $127,351 renovation this year.  The children's playground areas, however, are different as night and day.

 War Memorial playground equipment is seriously outdated

War Memorial has a seriously cracked basketball court where they could have filmed the movie "San Andreas," and the playground equipment is almost non existent.

Exhibit B
Mill River Recreation area: a tad more functional

Five years ago then Town Manager Larry Shaffer first floated (pun intended) the idea of a splash park similar to Northampton's Look Park at War Memorial.

 Mill River playground equipment is a tad more modern

Since then the town spent $200,000 (mostly reimbursed by a state PARC grant) to rehabilitate the War Memorial Pool, but has done nothing to the surrounding play area.  And it's not only become an embarrassing eyesore, but it's now a potential health hazard as well.

 Groff Park Wading Pool is beyond its rated lifespan

Spray parks are (relatively) cheap to build, cheap to maintain, super safe, and a heck of a lot of fun.  The town should start planning for two of them -- one at Groff Park and the other at War Memorial.  Soon! 


Anonymous said...

No money for anything but our wasteful schools.

tom said...

A skateboard park would be a much better addition to the town.

Anonymous said...

Watching a committee form in Amherst is like watching paint dry. How hard is is to put a committee together? Better question, how hard is is to put in new basketball courts and a new playground at Mill River? Just do it. The CPA money is there for the asking.

Anonymous said...

We could put the skateboard park on the common!

Anonymous said...

Skateboard park, dog park, let the people who have dogs and a skate board foot the bill. See how fast this gets done then!

Anonymous said...

Skate parks? What is this? 1992?

Amherst's facilities need upgrading, but the town has remarkable facilities compared to similar towns.

Anonymous said...

Even with the War Memorial pool upgrade, do the pools get much use besides the LSSE camps? My family of 4 used to go quite a bit, but unless you have a family membership for the summer, it's pretty expensive to just drop in, so we maybe go once or twice a season at most. I wouldn't be surprised if other families, residents make the same choice.

Anonymous said...

The hours of the town pools are not so family (kid) friendly. For example, why do both MR & WM have adult lap time to the exclusion of other swimmers on Sat & Sun mornings?

Plus accurate information on the pools, their hours, etc. is sometimes hard to find. The pool information on the town web site is still for 2014.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeahm they could also use some help with marketing.