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Marlborough Supervisors Receive Good, Bad News on Skymount
Written by Ernie Quatrani, Correspondent
2024-02-21

            Issues related to Lake Skymount took up a significant amount of time at the Marlborough supervisors regular monthly meeting on Feb. 14.

            The good news at Skymount was that Public Works Director Steve Fulmer uncovered an unused asphalt basketball court and a full-size tennis court at the park. The courts have been covered by vegetation and sediment for years.

           "It's not in as bad a condition as you would anticipate," said Fulmer.

           Supervisor Brian Doremus stated that the courts were constructed when Skymount was used as a summer camp. "They're going to take some work, but I think they're salvageable," he said.

            Burt Shive, a member of the park and recreation board, related that the committee has been discussing using space in the Quonset hut on the property for tennis and/or pickleball and as a picnic area.

            But that is where the bad news comes in. Fulmer found that the hut has come off its foundation, and there is "significant" rust along the bottom of the hut.

            "It's going to require some machinery to get it back to where it is supposed to be," said Marybeth Cody, the township's manager/secretary

            Cody suggested that the supervisors might instead want to authorize the construction of a pavilion instead of repairing the hut. She told the board that grant money might be available for such a project and could also include new equipment and restoration of other parts of the park.

            Cody delivered a ballpark cost of a new pavilion as at least $100,000. "Do you go after this grant, or do you stay with the Quonset hut and hope that you can put it back to where it's supposed to be and do the clean-up on the outside and inside and try to salvage what you have?" she asked.

            Fulmer opined that the hut is repairable. "It can be fixed, but like Marybeth said, do you really want to go through fixing it," he said.

           Fulmer also broached the possibility of selling the Quonset hut to offset the cost of a pavilion. "I'm 99 percent sure that we would get a lot of money for that building."

            Shive broached the idea of a concrete "curb" to keep the hut in place, but also noted that the parks board members would probably be open to the idea of a pavilion.

            "The vibe that I got from the parks board, we were all excited about having an indoor activity area versus a pavilion or an open area," said Shive, citing the advantages of a closed building to protect against inclement weather.

            Shive pointed out that the hut has historical value dating back to the 1970s when the US Women's Olympic tennis team used it for practice and wondered if that could be a factor in applying for grants to preserve it.

            Supervisors Billy Hurst, who phoned into the meeting, and Bill Jacobs were clearly in favor of pursing a grant and Doremus was open to the idea.

            Since the deadline for the grant proposed by Cody is May 1, and because the application is time-consuming, the supervisors and park board will meet at the supervisors work session at 6 p.m. on Feb. 26 to set a direction for the park.

            In a related matter, earlier in the meeting, Jacobs said a letter recently sent to residents bordering the township parks has created some minor controversy. The letter expressed the township's concerns related to vandalism in the parks and unauthorized use of the property.

            Jacobs said he had heard from some people upset with the communication, but Cody responded that she had received a reaction from a resident expressing gratitude for the township's awareness of the problems.

            Doremus added, "I did get a couple of questions. Mostly people didn't understand it, and when they realized we were asking for their help, it was a different situation."

            At the Jan. 22 workshop session, by a 2-1 vote, the supervisors approved a wildlife management application for beaver control efforts until March 31 after Shive noted that the water levels at Skymount were high and that he had "found beaver dams blocking the water flow." Doremus opposed the application.

            Also at the workshop, Joseph Skoda was appointed to a five-year term on the parks and recreation board.

            In other township matters, the supervisors discussed establishing snow emergency routes in the township. The potential ordinance was stimulated by problems the township is having plowing around cars in Candlewyck Estates. This is the first year the township has been responsible for the development since taking dedication of it.

            Further action will take place after Solicitor Mark Cappuccio issues a report on the necessary parameters for the ordinance.

            Keith Long, of the Upper Perkiomen Valley Ambulance Association (UPVAA), told the supervisors that the organization's subscription drive will take place in May. UPVAA is currently honoring the commitments from other organization's subscriptions. Long described the transition to covering Marlborough as "smooth" and "normal."

            The next supervisors' monthly meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13.


 

 

 

 

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