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Q & A - Melissa Kaspern Chair of Parks & Rec Commission

by Mary Greendale
October 30, 2018

Melissa Kaspern has served on the Park Commission since 2008. HollistonReporter.com asked her about the Department's Townwide survey going on now, and more.

Melissa Kaspern has served on the Park Commission since 2008. HollistonReporter.com asked her about the Department's Townwide survey, and more.

1. The Park Commissioners have released an online survey and are asking for community responses. What do the Commissioners hope to learn from this effort? 

The survey is part of a comprehensive master plan Parks hired Beals and Thomas to conduct.  The goal of the plan is to gather infomration and analyze the conditions of all property under Park's purview. The survey will allow us to get the public's input as to which areas they utilize, what areas need the would like see improved and future ideas/wants from residents.

2. Please tell us the details - how do we respond, is there a deadline to complete a survey, how long will it be before results are known, and how many have responded so far?

The survey will be live until Friday, November 2nd.  You can use the link 
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/hollistonparks

We hope to have results analzyed and master plan completed by the Spring.

3. You have been on the Park Commission for several years - how many? - there have been so many changes in that time. What has been the most significant positive change in the Parks and Rec department in your tenure? Has anything been negative?

I have been on the Commission since 2010.  During that time the two major changes have been the complete renovation of Goodwill Park and acquisition of 1750 Washington St.  The acquisition of 1750 has allowed us to greatly expand the programs being offered to the community.  We have added after school programs with busing and weekend programming.  Both of these have been well received by participants.  Overall, I've seen a great number of improvements in programming and recreation facilities (i.e. Goodwill park, Goodwill tennis courts and Patoma tennis courts) since joining the .  We are now looking at the fields and how we can improve both the playing areas and access to them.  The master plan will provide us guidance as to what projects to tackle first as well as information that can assist with budgeting for the improvements.

4. What is the biggest problem facing your Department these days?

Money.  The Parks Department recieves money from the town for the salaries of our year round employees.  All other items/salaries are paid for from our revolving fund.  We collect fees for programs, field rentals and waterfront access as well as a few other sources.  These fees are used to maintain the current facilities, pay for programming needs and make any improvements to facilities.  Larger improvement projects need a substantial amount of money.  We can request monies from CPC for certain projects, but not all projects fit the CPC regulations.  

5. If you were able to make one change tomorrow, what would it be - no limits on your imagination?

A HUGE Community Center with fields attached.  While our current building is great, it would be wonderful to build something from the ground up that is custom built to all our needs and includes indoor gym area, work out rooms, music rooms, etc....

 

 

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Comments (2)

So much for trying to introduce literacy to the type setter.

- John Losch | 11/1/18 12:15 PM

(PLEASE DO NOT PRINT THIS AS ONE LONG RUN-ON PARAGRAPH!) "5. If you were able to make one change tomorrow, what would it be - no limits on your imagination? "A HUGE Community Center with fields attached. While our current building is great, it would be wonderful to build something from the ground up that is custom built to all our needs and includes indoor gym area, work out rooms, music rooms, etc...." This sounds a lot like the Holliston High School. Is there any way these existing facilities, along with our other schools, could be utilized by the recreation department during the hours when they are not in use by the schools?

- John Losch | 10/31/18 7:23 PM

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