On Wednesday, August 21 Mayor Michael McGlynn held a press conference to update the community on the following subjects.
The city is planning $1,750,000 in improvements to four parks, Morrison, Hickey, McNally, and Columbus. That amount includes $1.5 million in grants.
Mayor Michael J. McGlynn announced park improvements in the City of Medford. The total reconstruction of the Columbus Park Softball diamond has begun. This project will encompass outfield fencing, along with a warning track, foul poles, roofs for the dugouts, new bleachers, and netting for foul balls. There will be a batting cage/pitcher warm up area and a storage unit for the teams utilizing the field. In addition to accessible paving and landscaping, there will be an electronic scoreboard and a new flagpole.
According to the Medford High School Girls Softball Coach Jack Dempsey, “this field will be the best softball field in the Greater Boston area, or the entire State, for that matter! This field will be a showcase for youth and high school softball.”
St. Clements High School also utilizes Columbus Park as their home field. “We are proud and can not wait to utilize our new home field next year!” Said a team spokesperson.
Green Acres Construction Company has already begun the refurbishment at a cost of $300,000, which is being paid for via a federal grant.
Medford has also applied for a $400,000 grant from the State Office of Energy & the Environment to make much needed improvements to McNally Park. With the support of our state delegation, if Medford is selected, the ball field utilized by the Medford Girls Youth Softball League will be refurbished. Bleachers and a cover for the dugout would be added. There would be expanded play areas for children aged 2-5 as well as aged 5-12. In addition, there would be open space area, with a gazebo and community gardens. The entire park would feature accessible walkways and a flagpole. This will happen only if the state approves our grant application. Announcements of the award recipients will be in October.
In addition, the Mayor announced accessibility improvement plans for Morrison and Hickey Parks. These improvements will increase accessibility throughout the parks, adding walkways connecting all park components as well as ramps and additional crosswalks for safety. Handicapped parking will also be added to both parks. Marchese and Sons Construction have already begun work on both parks, at a combined cost of $300,000, which is paid for with a federal grant. It is expected that these improvements will be completed by the end of September.
Yoki Golf Tournament to Benefit the Medford Family Network
Yoki Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar of Medford is hosting their 2nd Annual Golf Tournament to benefit the Medford Family Network on Monday, September 23rd at 9 AM at Sagamore Spring Golf Club in Lynnfield. The tournament last year raised over $4,000 for the important work that the Medford Family Network provides this community.
Interested parties should contact Nick at Yoki Restaurant at email@example.com or Marie Cassidy at the Medford Family Network at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to download a registration form (PDF).
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S & P) increased the City of Medford’s current bond rating from an A+ to AA- earlier in the month.
“In these difficult times, we are proud that the City has increased its rating while continuing to improve the quality of Life for our residents,” said Mayor McGlynn.
“We have accomplished this while recovering from the greatest economic recession since the great depression by enhancing our reserve position, promoting revitalization in our community and sound fiscal policies,” said McGlynn. “When S & P says Medford’s economic fundamentals are strong, they are affirming what I know to be the case,” said Mayor McGlynn.
S & P highlighted the City’s strengths as 1) strong and stable economic base, 2) strong household incomes and favorable unemployment, 3) extremely strong and diverse property tax base, and 4) very low overall debt burden and rapid debt amortization.
Per S & P, “the upgrade reflects recognition of improved financial performance and more balanced fund operations, due in large part to management actions that have resulted in increased reserves and operating flexibility. Standard & Poor’s also recognizes that the financial improvement occurred during a period of reductions in commonwealth aid and a slow national economy.” Further, “Medford stands poised to see improved growth and development to its tax base through the intermediate term that should continue to underpin its new-term financial performance,” said S & P.
Mayor McGlynn would like to thank the financial team at City Hall: Stephanie M. Burke, CPA, Director of Budget and Personnel; Anne Baker, City auditor; Alfred Pompeo, City Treasurer; Ed O’Neill, City Assessor and their respective staff for their hard work. This was also accomplished by the steadfast resolve of our city’s elected officials!
Medford will be going out to the bond market on August 9, 2013 for $5.813 million for the Medford High School Science lab project. We are optimistic that based on this rating, the City will see a strong interest in its bonds and therefore lower than anticipated interest rates.
Wright’s Pond Accessibility
In July the first Mobi-Chair has debuted at Wright’s Pond to provide accessibility in the water for those in wheelchairs.
Any individual in a wheelchair who wants to use the Mobi-Chair must have a responsible adult with him/her. Please request the chair from Pond staff. The chair has wheel-stops in place so an individual can be placed safely into the chair and strapped in. The individual must be escorted by his/her companion into the water and the companion must remain with him/her at all times.
The city also has introduced a Pathmat at the Pond. The Pathmat is beach access matting. It is a flexible sand surface reinforcement for pedestrians, wheelchairs, and individuals with mobility issues. This mat helps individuals by providing a stable sand surface. This mat is rolled out in the beginning of the season and is rolled up and stored at the end of the season.
Mayor McGlynn also announced that on September 14th at 3 PM at 100 Winthrop Street, the neighbors in the area will be cutting a ribbon to celebrate the raised crosswalk at this site. All are welcome. Winthrop Street is the first of three pilot programs of raised sidewalks in the City of Medford. Once infrastructure work is completed on Central Avenue, an additional raised sidewalk will be placed there, and once work is completed on at the bridge on Harvard Street, a raised sidewalk will be placed there. After a six month probationary period, the City will re-access these highly trafficked areas.
Medford is also upgrading the Department of Public Works fleet with the purchase of a new front end loader, a new backhoe, (2) large sanders/plows, (5) F250 and (1) F350 pick up trucks/with plows and an additional sander/plow. The City has also purchased an additional “snow eater” which helps to eliminate deep snow on streets for the benefit of public safety.