REVERE – When someone says “if you build it they will come” most people think of baseball players, but at McMackin Field off Winthrop Avenue the ducks have come and it looks like the water that attracts them is here for awhile.
Monday night the city council, city officials, Little League leaders, and others met for the Water & Sewer Summit to discuss various areas of the city and water issues. At the forefront was the flooded Little League field that once was considered a North Shore gem.
The problem besides the water on the field is the fact that the field is privately owned and the city can do nothing but lend its support. Mayor Dan Rizzo said the field has always had an issue with water. Many people at the meeting blamed the construction of the condominiums behind the field.
Ron LaQuaglia, of 83 Sewall St., has been with Revere Little League for 40 years as a coach, manager and umpire. He admitted that water on the field has been an issue for 40 years and they have handled it. Even with the condo project he believes something happened when the city tore up Winthrop Avenue to work on the water and sewer system. In the 63 years to field has been there he said there have been thousands of kids who played there. He explained they were the first in the area with lights, dugouts and a concession stand. He said that the problem with the field means 350 children will not play this year.
“The condos were built and something changed and it (water) began to flow into the park,” LaQuaglia said. “It’s not fair to the kids. I know it’s private property, but it’s like when your next door neighbor sends water on your property you’d do something. We had the best field in Eastern Mass.”
Bob Button, an engineer with CDM Smith, Inc. Boston, said water drains from the condo parking lot and roof drains flow onto the field. He added that the light poles at the field are also not safe. Button said it would cost a couple hundred thousand for a pump and drain. He suggested the field could be rebuilt and raised up for where it is now.
Ward 2 Councilman Ira Novoselsky said the work on Winthrop Avenue was due to a collapse. The city had to reline the pipes which closed the street for a month. He suggested the league get together with the mayor to see what can be done.
City Council President John Powers said it is incumbent on the city to work with the Revere Little League.
Sue Ellen Woodcock can be reached at [email protected].