Longer lease opens door for improvements at Haines Park

Town signs 30-year lease agreement with the state for Haines

By Josh Bickford
Posted 4/15/21

The town is entering into a 30-year lease agreement with the state for use of Haines Park, and that agreement will open the door for some significant field renovations at the park.

Previously, the …

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Longer lease opens door for improvements at Haines Park

Town signs 30-year lease agreement with the state for Haines

Posted

The town is entering into a 30-year lease agreement with the state for use of Haines Park, and that agreement will open the door for some significant field renovations at the park.

Previously, the town had regularly renewed 3-year lease agreements with the state — in exchange for exclusive use of the state park’s athletic fields, Barrington agreed to maintain the fields.

It has been an amenable situation, for the most part, but town officials recently began exploring the idea of improving and increasing the athletic field space there. However, town officials did not want to make a series of changes to Haines Park only to then lose access to the fields if the state decided not to renew the lease.

At the April 5 meeting, Barrington Town Council President Michael Carroll said the town has been exploring how to expand its portfolio of field space. He said officials identified Haines Park as an option.

Currently, the park offers two smaller ball fields, one larger baseball diamond and some other open fields. Barrington Town Manager Jim Cunha said the town is considering an expansion of the fields and the creation of a new soccer/lacrosse field. He also said part of the 30-year lease agreement would include the town taking over the far western portion of the park, located across Metropolitan Park Drive. The state, he said, would continue to operate the public boat launch at Bullock’s Cove.

Mr. Cunha also referenced other possible improvements the town might be able to make, including two new wells and more parking. He said the estimated cost of the project is $1.5 million.

Barrington Town Council member Jacob Brier asked if the plan that was drafted might change. He also said that officials are still expecting a recommendation from the Ad Hoc Athletic Fields Committee. Barrington resident Tom Rimoshytus said he would not want to see something get put in that has not been voted on by the committee.

Council member Rob Humm asked if there was a specific reason to sign the 30-year lease agreement now, or could the council wait and revisit the issue later. Mr. Cunha said the prior lease agreement had lapsed recently, and a month or two could make a difference.

Anthony Arico, a member of the Ad Hoc Athletic Fields Committee, agreed with the manager’s request to sign the 30-year lease agreement. He said there was support for that among committee members.

Mr. Brier then made a motion to enter into the lease agreement. Mr. Humm seconded the motion, which passed 5-0.

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