FRAMINGHAM – Mayor Yvonne Spicer’s first budget for the City of Framingham suggests the closure of one of the three public beaches.
The Mayor unveiled her $287.7 million budget to the Framingham City Council last Tuesday.
The budget is a $6.6 million increase from the current fiscal year budget approved by Town Meeting in May 2017. The proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget, which begins on July 1, is a 2.8 percent increase over the current budget.
Framingham’s 11-member City Council will have final say on the budget.
Framingham Parks & Recreation Department was asked to submit a budget with a 1% reduction to the Mayor. (Not all departments were asked to submit a 1% reduction budget.) The Mayor submitted that 1% reduction budget from Parks & Recreation to the City Council.
The City would save $38,003 by closing Lake Waushakum beach this summer. The savings comes from reducing the lifeguards’ salary line item.
Framingham operates three public beaches – Saxonville Beach, Learneds Pond, and Lake Waushakum beach. Families have to pay to have beach access.
In her budget the Mayor wrote “factors considered in closing Waushakum over the other two beaches include the number of parking spaces, handicap accessibility, beach closings due to poor water quality and average attendance over the past 5 years. Waushakum Beach only has 16 parking spaces versus 40 for Saxonville and 93 for Learneds.”
Lake Waushakum is shared with the Town of Ashland.
Framingham has closed all three of its beaches over the last couple of years for water quality problems. Lake Waushakum has been closed the most of the three due to water quality issues, both from geese and evasive plants.
Editor’s Note in full transparency: Framingham Source has advocated for at least one of the three public beaches to be open longer than mid-August, and specifically called for it to be a beach on the south side of the City. Source proposed one beach, with lifeguards, stay open daily through the opening of school, and weekends only through Labor Day weekend.
Last year, and in previous years, the beaches opened in late June and closed in mid-August, as a majority of the lifeguards have to return to college.
Beaches are open Sundays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Beach tags must be shown to the gate attended to enter the beach.
Beach tag fees:
- $15 per resident or $40 per family (maximum 6 people)
- $30 per non-resident and $70 per non-resident family (maximum 6 people)
A family consists of 2 or more people who are related directly by birth, marriage, or adoption and are living and functioning as a single household at a single address – extended family members are excluded, according to Framingham Parks & Recreation.
Last year, one-day passes were sold at each beach gate at $3 per resident and $6 per non resident.
Framingham Parks & Recreation does not offer a reduced rate for beach use for those considered low or moderate income.
Photo of lifeguard at learneds pond