Historical, Cultural, & Recreation

We need a comprehensive plan for our historical, cultural, and recreational spots, and preserve what is unique.

I love history! I love how history and culture blend together to help make people who they are and who they would like to become.
There’s an old saying that those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it.  Much like the mistakes made with Mixter and the town pool, the Old Stone Church, which sits on DCR land, is not being maintained.

Unfortunately, DCR has taken measures over the past 20 years to dissuade people to visit it.  On a recent visit, I noted a car with a Canada license plate parked on the dangerous soft shoulder.  They ventured past the signs that read “No parking-subject to tow…No admittance past dusk subject to arrest…no group above 25 without written consent from DCR…etc”. They were also able bodied enough to slip between the fencing and post which begin the trek down a usually rocky, uneven path.Q

1. How does DCR maintain the OSC? Is there documentation?
2. Will the DCR allow maintenance from outside agencies or groups?
3. Can it be more accessible to the public, including the physically challenged?
4. Is the town liable if someone gets hurt inside the OSC?
5. Is there a permit process for any activity, and are there any restrictions at the OSC? No drones?

Photo taken in April 2019, the Old Stone Church is developing a mold problem and stones are beginning to separate.

In my opinion, the town and the historical commission should take responsibility for the Old Stone Church.  
If DCR doesn’t have a maintenance plan in place or won’t let outside agencies perform inspections/ work, I believe unconventional action would be needed to preserve our town symbol, and between grant money and private donations we could do it.
I support ensuring its protection for generations to come and give the town better access for visitors and functions.

Rail Trail:

I have served on the Town Wide Planning Committee and promoting the Rail Trail is often discussed.

Even in the dead of winter, people from all over visit the rail trail. It is one of the only recreational attractions in town and one of the few strips of land close to the reservoir owned by West Boylston. 

Gondola rides are offered by the canal in Providence RI .The pilot sings and tells stories as you kick back in a very unique comforting experience. Similar things are being done in Worcester’s canal district.

My proposal, the economic task force seek out an operator to bring a 2-passager seating bicycle (taxipedi) to bring couples up and down the Rail Trail.  

Town Pool ranks high in town surveys

Entrance to town pool enjoyed by residents for generations

Many years ago the town was forced to make the tough decision to demolish the town pool and the Helen C Mixter building.  
This was upsetting on many fronts. I, like many citizens in town, still hold feelings of disappointment in the mishandling of these properties and the lack of follow through when it comes to replacement. Sources show a projected downturn in town population as our senior population rises.. As a town, we are not attracting young people to come or stay in town to raise a family which has been an experience many of us share and fondly remember. At the same time a town pool or something similar ranks high on what people want in town surveys.

My opinion, all town officials, volunteer or paid, need to work on a comprehensive plan to give the town back recreational swimming.  This should be in the top five issues the new town administrator addresses.