To the Editor:
Ensuring that our children have safe and adequate places to play like McMackin Field, and to participate in sports and youth activities are pivotal to a community’s overall health and well being.
When infrastructure issues were prevalent along Winthrop Avenue a couple of years ago, I approached the Revere Little League (McMackin) Board of Directors with a proposal for the city to take control of the park, and lease it back to them (McMackin) for 99 years at $1 per year. The reason we wanted to take control of the field is so that we could spend the money needed to eliminate and control flooding in the park. As many people know and now understand, the field is privately owned and like any other privately owned piece of property, the city cannot legally spend tax dollars for any repairs and maintenance that may be required. Had they chosen to allow the city to take the field over then, the city would have ultimately been responsible for all upkeep and maintenance and maybe only a season would have been lost. Unfortunately the McMackin Board of Directors declined our offer.
Admittedly, a major sewage pipe handling a third of the city’s sewerage discharge had deteriorated to the point where it needed to be completely replaced. Prior to that repair, rainwater from the field, in addition to the sewage, had been flooding in to the system. Fixing this pipe has now allowed only sewage to flow into the pipe, saving rate payers from paying for not only sewage, but the enormous amounts of rain water that would find its way into this decaying stretch of pipe. While we fixed a serious problem- the rain water from the field now has nowhere to go.
Our administration clearly places a priority on parks and playgrounds. In just our first three years, we’ve built a new state of the art Harry Della Russo Stadium with two new tennis courts, two new basketball courts, and regulation outdoor track. We’ve also refurbished four playgrounds, and are close to breaking ground on three brand new little league fields behind St. Mary’s Church. Our commitment to children and outdoor activities is paramount.
My offer for the City to lease the park – and take on all responsibilities for maintenance and upkeep – still stands. We are also open to working with the McMackin Board to find other remedies to this situation and ensure this field remains an important resource for children and families in our community. This hopefully clarifies the city’s position with regards to this issue and the families that have enjoyed using this facility over the years.
- Dan Rizzo, Mayor of Revere