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Ward Park Senior Center Discussion Next Wednesday

A discussion about the proposed $7 million new Senior Center in Ward Park will be discussed next Wednesday during a forum for community members.

A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. at City Hall next Wednesday to discuss the proposed Senior Center and to hear potential concerns and thoughts about the project as it moves forward.

“I think this could potentially be a great thing for the city,” said City Councilor Matt Elder in a release which stated Mayor Arthur Vigeant would be at the meeting. “More importantly, moving the senior center to Ward Park will immediately put the park on the city’s radar to spend funds for its improvement. However, the neighborhood’s concerns need to be addressed.”

The new senior center was proposed to the City Council by Mayor Arthur Vigeant in November with a $7 million estimated price tag and a location at Ward Park. The council then of the project. Concerns were raised regarding the sports teams that use the field, although the mayor has said he will work with them moving forward.

Initial conceptual plans have the senior center off of New St and Water Terrace, where a baseball diamond was, according to Elder. Elder had initial concerns over the location, but now says that the senior center could bring additional grants into the city and improvements to the park.

“If we put the senior center at Ward Park, it could push improvements ahead a decade,” he said. “However, the most important thing now is to hear what the residents have to say and implement those concerns in the design of the senior center and park, if it’s approved.”

Concerned Mom December 12, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Wow so much for notice to the residents. I have seen nothing about this meeting on the City website or face book page. Only mention that I have seen was on a Patch comment that actually stated the meeting is next Wednesday. Is this done on purpose?
Sam Bonacci December 12, 2012 at 02:42 PM
This was human error on my part and the story has been corrected.
Concerned Mom December 12, 2012 at 02:54 PM
So the meeting is definitely the 19th?
Sam Bonacci December 12, 2012 at 07:44 PM
The meeting is the 19th. I would encourage you to attend and speak to your concerns. With the mayor and likely other city officials there, this is the time to speak up.
resident December 12, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Yes the 19th. >More importantly, moving the senior center to Ward Park will immediately put the park on the city’s radar to spend funds for its improvement. < Why is improving the Park tied into constructing a 13,000 square foot two story building on it's land? That makes no sense. Why not just improve the park for the sake of the city's residents and children having a great place to play? How is it a good idea to take away land that has been in use for over 90 years as a place for children to play?
Concerned Mom December 12, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I've made some phone calls to City Officials already. I have spoken up and my impression is that what us residents have to say really won't matter. Even though there are a lot of work still to be done...it's a "done deal"...
arnold December 15, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Maybe this needs to be addressed FIRST: Unaffordable promises: Unfunded retiree liabilities for Massachusetts cities and towns Search Again Search Again Municipality Marlborough County MIDDLESEX Land area (square miles) 21.09 Population (as of 2010) 38,499 Annual budget, FY 2012 $132,607,452 Tax levy, FY 2012 $85,845,866 Income per capita (2010) $29,882 Avg. property tax bill, FY 2012 $4,476 Unfunded retiree health care liability ('000s) $132,300 Unfunded retiree pension liability ('000s) $50,645 Unfunded retiree liabilities, per capita $4,752 Unfunded retiree liability, as ratio of per capita income 16 % Online Database by Caspio Sources: Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission; Municipal Securities Rule Making Board; City and town annual reports

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