On Tuesday, the Mattapoisett Holy Ghost Grounds Reuse Committee met to review the results of a public survey taken to determine what the people would like to see at the former Holy Ghost Grounds off Park Street.
All were surprised that 553 surveys were submitted. Of that number, 80 were identified as non-full-time residents or nonresidents from surrounding towns. The average age from respondents identifying between 18 and older was 41 years of age with the largest group responding falling between 60 to 75 years of age.
Participants in the survey were also asked to share how frequently they might use the proposed renovated space. Then came the possibilities. What did they want to see come to the 5-acre, town-owned property?
A dog park and pickleball courts rated high, but a study of the data showed it was a tie between the wants and the definitely no. For instance, those wanting pickleball courts came in at 137, but the “no” responses were 163. The dog park was nearly a tie with 182 wanting one and 183 registering “no.”
Three passive recreational-use options came out on top. Those suggestions were a picnic area (225), a playground (224) and a walking loop (270.)
The committee is chaired by Mike Rosa, who said the data needs further analysis and that write-in suggestions from the public should be included in final data tallies. Member Greta Fox, director of the Recreation Department, concurred the data needs further scrutiny because, even if a respondent liked a suggested use, declaring how often they might use it was low.
Other suggested uses included an amphitheater, an indoor public pool and a sports stadium.
Rosa made it clear that the committee’s role is not to suggest to the Select Board what should be built on the site, but to present all the data for their deliberations and selections to go before Town Meeting at a future date. He said the committee is also charged with holding a public session, inviting the town to discuss the future of the parcel vis-à-vis (with possible zoom access.)
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Holy Ghost Grounds Reuse Committee is scheduled for Thursday, October 19, at 6:00 pm at which time the members will prepare a presentation for the public meeting.
Mattapoisett Holy Ghost Grounds Reuse Committee
By Marilou Newell