By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – The city of Marlborough has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the state to make improvements to Memorial Beach. Richard Sullivan, the secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs made the announcement at a press conference held at City Hall Thursday, Dec. 6. The funding is part of the Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) Program.
Mayor Arthur Vigeant had notified the council earlier in the year that the city was not selected for a fiscal year 2012 grant. In June, the council approved spending $100,000 for the initial phase of bringing the beach up to date.
At the press conference, Vigeant thanked Conservation Agent Priscilla Ryder, City Councilors, Department of Public Works (DPW) Commissioner Ron LaFreniere and members of the Recreation Commission for their support and continuing interest in the project.
Changes and improvements will not be made until the actual funds are received by the city, according to LaFreniere. He said he expects that contracts will be awarded by July 2013 and then the actual work will commence after Labor Day. The project is anticipated to be finished by the spring of 2014.
“We will begin with the demolition of existing facilities – fencing, foundations, clearing the vegetation first, then work on utilities, drain lines, and the bridge crossing,” he said.
The project will also include the addition of a walkway along the edge of the parking lot to the new beach-access paved pathway, a pedestrian bridge, new children's play area, upgraded storm water controls, installation of a new sewer line, replacement of picnic tables and grills, and installation of a basketball court. Located off Hosmer Street just short of the Hudson town line, Memorial Beach was dedicated to the veterans of World War II in 1952.
It was also announced at the press conference that Waltham has been awarded a grant for $280,500 for renovations for a property in that city.
The PARC Program, formerly the Urban Self-Help Program, was established in 1977 to assist cities and towns in acquiring and developing land for park and outdoor recreation purposes. Financed by the state's environmental bond fund, the program was created to support land acquisition and the construction or renovation of recreational facilities – such as spray parks, community gardens, and playgrounds.