A RENDERING of the proposed new King Rail Reserve Golf Course clubhouse that will be voted on at Fall Town Meeting on Monday, Nov. 14. (Bechtel Frank Erickson Architects Photo)
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — A proposed new clubhouse for the King Rail Reserve Golf Course will be voted on at Fall Town Meeting on Monday.
Select Board Chairman Phil Crawford recalled during this week’s meeting that the board hit the brakes on the clubhouse project five years ago because of its cost. A temporary trailer has been used as a clubhouse for the last several years.
“We are now ready to bring it forward,” said Crawford. “It’s a very nice project.”
Town Administrator Rob Dolan said the project, which will be appearing as Article 10 on the Fall Town Meeting warrant, will not result in a tax increase. He said the $900,000 project will be funded by a $400,000 donation that National Development gave the town a number of years ago for golf-related expenses as well as $500,000 from Free Cash from the Golf Enterprise Account.
“What is unique about this project is we are going to pay for the clubhouse in cash,” said Dolan. “Due to the strong performance of our golf course and a fund that has been in existence since a land sale regarding the old Colonial Golf Course and MarketStreet, we are able to pay for this without any borrowing or any impact to the golf course. By making this investment, we will not be lessening our ability to invest in equipment, greens and all of the things needed to improve our golf course every year.”
Dolan noted that the $400,000 is currently included in the town’s Sale of Real Estate Account, which he said will have a $1.24 million balance once the money is appropriated at Fall Town Meeting.
“That will leave us in good standing with Standard & Poor’s as they evaluate our cash flow and our liquidity,” said Dolan. “We also have Free Cash from the Golf Enterprise Fund. This money can’t be used to pay for educators, firefighters and other municipal uses. The money must be used for golf. Even after paying half a million for this, we will still have a balance of $345,075 as we end this golf year. We are up $200,000 in revenue from the last golf year.”
Capital Projects Manager John Scenna gave an overview of the clubhouse’s schematic design that was created by Bechtel Frank Erickson Architects.
“The building is not overwhelming,” said Scenna.
Scenna said the clubhouse’s parking lot will consist of gravel.
“That is because of conservation reasons,” said Scenna. “It will keep stormwater mitigation issues at bay. The road will be paved.”
Scenna said the clubhouse will include a pro shop.
“That is where the golf transactions will take place and merchandise can be purchased,” said Scenna. “There is no bar in the proposal. There will be a refrigerator for soft drinks that will be sold. There will be a sink in case catered food is brought in.”
Scenna said the clubhouse will also include two restrooms. There will also be an office for the course’s manager, as well as an utility/storage closet. He said there will be four tables that will each be able to accommodate 10 people inside the clubhouse. He said the clubhouse will have an outdoor patio that will be overlooking the course as well.
“The patio will be able to comfortably fit 24 to 30 people,” said Scenna.
Scenna said King Rail’s golf carts will be stored in a “fenced in area.”
Crawford said he was “very excited” to bring the clubhouse project to Fall Town Meeting.
“It’s the right size for this small nine-hole golf course,” said Crawford. “The parking area will be very similar to Jordan Park, which has a paved road in and gravel parking. We saved $1 million by not paving the road and having drainage systems built next to the Wetlands Buffer Zone.”
Thomas Road resident Mary Stewart, who submitted a petition to the Select Board last year that requested a clubhouse be built at King Rail, inquired if the clubhouse will be built on a foundation or on a slab of concrete.
Crawford said the clubhouse will be constructed on a concrete slab.
“In New England? That doesn’t sound too smart,” said Stewart.
Crawford disagreed with Stewart’s viewpoint.
“It’s in a challenging area to build on,” Crawford explained. “The slab makes more sense for that area.”
Colonial Village resident Paul Pellegrino said he was concerned about the dust and dirt from the parking lot, and was hoping “that will be contained” once the clubhouse is constructed. He also expressed concerns about golfers drinking and going to the bathroom outside after the course closes.
“It’s a horrible sight looking at that all the time,” said Pellegrino.
Crawford said the new clubhouse will address Pellegrino’s concerns.
While the Select Board unanimously voted to recommend Article 10, the Finance Committee held off issuing a recommendation on the clubhouse project because Chairman Chris Mattia said the committee has “lots of questions.”