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LETTER: State Legislators Call for DCR to Open Stoneham Pool

A letter from Sen. Katherine Clark and State Reps. Jason Lewis and James Dwyer to Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Edward Lambert about DCR's decision to not open Hall Memorial Swimming Pool this summer.

[Editor's note: The following is a letter Stoneham's state legislators wrote to Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Edward Lambert.]

June 22, 2012

Commissioner Lambert
Department of Conservation and Recreation
251 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02114

Commissioner Lambert,

We are writing to express our disappointment and frustration at the closing of the DCR in Stoneham for the 2012 summer season. This week, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) opened the doors to 25 pool facilities across the Commonwealth for public use, however, it has unexpectedly come to our attention that the Department of Conservation and Recreation will not be opening the main pool at your Stoneham facility. The Hall Memorial Pool is a popular and critical component of Stoneham’s recreational infrastructure.  

While we understand that DCR has had to make difficult decisions due to budget constraints, we strongly disagree with DCR’s closing of the Hall Memorial Pool. As you know, DCR operates and maintains about 1/3 of the Town of Stoneham in the Middlesex Fells Reservation. We and many taxpayers in Stoneham are concerned with the fact that, while Stoneham is unable to gain revenue directly from the DCR controlled land in the community, services through DCR available to Stoneham residents have diminished.

We are committed to working with DCR to ensure that DCR forgoes its decision to close the Hall Memorial Pool for the summer. We must ensure that pool access is made available this year, and that we have a workable plan for next year to make sure we do not face this setback again. Decisions like this shouldn't just be based on statistics. It has to be a decision based on fairness, with the local and economic impacts kept in mind.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter. We look forward to your response.

Respectfully,

Katherine Clark, State Senator

Jason Lewis, State Representative

James Dwyer, State Representative

mark stevens August 10, 2012 at 01:32 PM
I realise that this item is not recent,but just a suggestion to ensure that Stonehamites have a "swimming hole" for 2013.Why doesn't the town purchase the pool and surrounding land from the state,and make the Geo.Hall memorial pool,a Stoneham resident only property?Back when the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) & the town of Stoneham were discussing the building of a pool at its' site,the town was offered the property,to build a "resident only" swimming pool.The offer was rejected by the town,and the pool was erected,with the town getting no benefit, other than traffic.If the town could get the state to turn over the site,Stoneham could have the option of having its' own "residents only" swimming pool.A "snack stand" could be built on the property,with all proceeds used for maintenance of the site.(Years ago,there was a snack stand at this pool.)
mark stevens August 10, 2012 at 02:31 PM
The land surrounding the "Stoneham Pool" is an over-looked,dormant piece of property.If the town doesn't own this land, could it be obtained,from the state? This property could be turned into a fantastic multi-use site,with walking/jogging pathes,a play-ground,a site for cook-outs,with some picnic tables,and bar-b-que pits.A berm could be constructed for sledding,& for a skating rink,in Winter. (Recreation Park,on Dale Court,once had one.)This site is large enough to accomodate all,with plenty of parking space.

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