Town Manager James McKenna has unveiled preliminary plans for a nearly $8 million project to solve the drainage problem at Lewis Lake and Miller Field.
DPW head Steve Calla said the lake needs to be dredged, a new tide gate is needed and the drainage needs to be addressed. Miller Field next door is woefully out of date with a track that doesn’t meet MIAA regulations, flooding and drainage issues that turn the field to mud. In addition, the bleachers are old and need to be tested for lead paint. The track was deemed not usable for competition in 2006. The building at Miller Field also is not handicap accessible and is in general poor shape.
Miller Field drains into Lewis Lake. Calla added that one-third of the town’s drainage goes to this area of town. The project will also involve working with the Winthrop Golf Club and the replication of the wetlands. The project will also require permits from over eight agencies.
“The permitting will take six to eight months,” Calla said, adding that designs would take about six months.
Right now soil tests and data are being collected, said engineer Art Laventis of Woodard and Curran. He added that two-feet of sediment will be removed from the lake. The tidal gate would be automated.
McKenna said with the new high/middle school being built across the street the work at Lewis Lake and Miller Field would be a compliment. McKenna added that this is the largest area of open space in Winthrop.
“Half the project is on school property so we will have to get the School Committee involved,” McKenna said.
The preliminary cost of the work at Lewis Lake is $3 million and the Miller Field work is slated to cost $4,175,000.
“This is a substantial project,” McKenna said. “We will be applying for grants and looking for donations, even donations for naming rights.”
He added that a mere coincidence is that the town already saved $8 million when it refinanced the school building project.