The possibility of a skateboard park on what was Paragon Park’s go-cart area could emerge as a major focal point of Hull’s town meeting on May 4.
Town Manager Philip Lemnios recently presented a sneak preview of the town meeting warrant, which contains 29 articles for voter consideration, and one of the articles relates to the possible creation of a skateboard park.
The owners of Paragon Boardwalk have offered a long-term, no-cost lease to the town on a portion of their property for that purpose. The proposed location is adjacent to the new ArtWalk.
“There’s a growing interest in the community for a skateboard park,” Selectwoman Jennifer Constable said. “The idea has been discussed for some time, but where it would be located has been an issue. Such a lease would allow us to move forward with the project more quickly.”
There will be a public engagement process leading up to town meeting, in part to identify potential grant opportunities to pay for the park and to share the proposal with abutters for their input. Town officials recently met with the Paragon Boardwalk owners and representatives from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council as a first step in the process.
The warrant also includes several Community Preservation Committee articles pertaining to: a historic preservation assessment and restoration of town historic documents; restoration work at the Paragon Carousel; funding to go toward the Village Fire Station repair plan; and rehabilitation of the recreational area at Gunrock Playground on Atlantic Avenue.
Two warrant articles involve the Memorial Middle School. One asks voters to appropriate $1.5 million to pay the cost of renovating and making repairs to the exterior of the school without potential partial reimbursement from the Massachusetts School Building Authority; the other asks voters to approve funds for the project with potential MSBA participation.
Lemnios explained that it might be more prudent for the town to pay for the project without assistance from the MSBA. As background, town meeting 2019 approved spending $46,000 from available funds, including from the School Department’s revolving account, to pay for the required feasibility study to determine what work is needed.
However, according to School Business Administrator David DeGennaro, the MSBA recently told school officials that that amount is not nearly high enough and should be more in the $400,000 range, including funding for a project manager and architect.
“This would bring the cost of the project to nearly $2 million,” Lemnios said. “It would cost a little more for taxpayers to pay for the project themselves, but if they do we could get the work done sooner. It’s basically a simple project, including installing an HVAC roof system and window and exterior brick [work].”
Other articles call for:
* sewer system improvements;
* adopting the provisions of a state law that prohibits charging for a license issued for a service animal (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act) for owners of such pets who are age 70 and over;
*appropriating $350,000 to replace fire hydrants throughout town; some of this work would fall under the new Weir River Water System serving Hull, Hingham, and part of Cohasset and soon to be owned by the town of Hingham;
* amending the town zoning map so as to apply the Nantasket Beach Overlay District, which encourages mixed-use development, to all commercial-recreation A, B, and C districts, which, Lemnios noted, “may not be ready for prime time yet”;
* adding a new stormwater management bylaw as required by federal law, which Lemnios called the “next step in managing the town’s stormwater system”; (The article takes up 15 pages in the warrant.)
* appropriating money to pay for the next step in capping and closing the Hull landfill as ordered by the Department of Environmental Protection, a project that will cost between $3.1 million and $3.4 million from beginning to end, according to Lemnios;
* authorizing the Board of Selectmen to accept a parcel at 29 Barnstable St., to be donated by the family of the late Nazzareno DiVito Jr. The only cost would be related to the closing. A small plaque or sign would be installed on the property in memory of DiVito; and
* authorizing the selectmen to obtain an easement on the property located at 105 Edgewater Road to allow the extension of a pipe that currently gets clogged, causing drainage problems in the neighborhood;
Another article would ask Hull voters to implement a Massachusetts General Law allowing municipalities to initiate a lien for unpaid water bills that would be added to customers’ tax bills in an effort to ensure the money will ultimately be collected. Cohasset previously adopted this provision. Hingham voters will be asked to do the same at their April 27 town meeting. (Each town would need to adopt this provision separately.)
Still another article, if passed, would potentially allow Hull to receive, under certain circumstances, some of the excise tax revenue collected from short-term rentals that currently goes to the state. While short-term rentals are not allowed in residental areas of Hull, a room or rooms in a home can be rented on a short-term basis under certain conditions in business areas if the house is owner-occupied, according to Town Counsel James Lampke.
The Advisory Board reviews all articles and makes recommendations that are included in the town meeting warrant.
The town meeting will begin at Hull High School, 180 Main St., at 7 p.m. ON Monday, May 4.
In other business at the meeting, the board went into executive session to discuss a library contract, ExteNet vs. Hull, Graves Light LLC vs. Hull, and a personnel issue, not to reconvene in open session.