Local Lawmakers File Braintree High Pool, Rink Legislation
The Town Council voted unanimously to allow the legislation to be filed at the State House. It would allow for a lease and operation contract for a company to run a pool and skating rink for up to 50 years at Braintree High School.
Local lawmakers filed legislation this week at the State House that would allow the town to streamline the pool and ice rink proposal at Braintree High School by calling for a "design-build" approach, potentially saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Sen. Brian A. Joyce, D-Milton, Sen. John Keenan, D-Quincy and Rep. Mark Cusack, D-Braintree, filed the bill on Thursday. The Town Council approved Mayor Joseph Sullivan's proposal on July 19.
If approved by the House, Senate and governor, the law would allow Braintree to solicite bids in which the same company designs, constructs and operates the complex in a public-private partnership for up to 50 years.
"As someone who grew up traveling to neighboring communities for youth hockey practices and games and someone who is well versed in the 48 year saga of the Petersen Pool, I am happy to file this legislation for the construction of this recreational facility,” Cusack said in a statement.
“I have worked closely with Mayor Sullivan and [the] Town Council to get this bill finalized and approved at the local level and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate so that we can begin building the rink and pool as soon as possible.”
Braintree will allow a private developer to use public land at the high school for the project, and contribute $1.5 million of the Capt. Petersen money.
"I am very pleased to work with our Legislative Delegation on this project and legislation and I look forward to breaking ground on this project, which is sure to be an asset to the entire community,” Sullivan said.
Under a potential contract, the town will retain ownership of the land, between the football field and Granite Street, and will be able to take over or re-bid the property if the operator doesn't comply with the terms. The contract will also require the operator to set aside time for public use of the faciltities, including for youth and school teams.
Joyce said the project will improve the quality of life for all residents of Braintree and Keenan added that the town "has always put a priority on providing quality recreational facilities and programs."