This letter was read into the record at last Thursday’s Town Council Meeting by Nancy Vest.
I appreciate all that each of you and our wonderful town employees does to make Cape Charles such a special place. I am very grateful for the concern you have for our town and for the time you spend in service to our community.
I come to you today with concerns regarding maintenance issues in our Central Park, specifically the death of the Melvin Dudley Christmas tree and the use of oyster shells as mulch on the east and west nodes of the Park. I understand that the Town Employees are not responsible for these areas as they are covered in a contract the Town made with a maintenance provider.
According to the Town’s Shrubbery and Tree Care plan for the Park:
“monthly observation should occur during the growing season (March-November) to scout for pests, determine water/nutrient needs and prevent machinery damage.”
As you know, the Melvin Dudley Christmas succumbed to a severe infestation of bagworms. I understand it, bagworms take about 8-10 months to develop and can be controlled when caught in time. I believe that if the contractor had made monthly observations as stated in the plan, the tree would not have died. As you may remember the tree was paid for with the donations from many different people and organizations to honor Mr. Dudley.
Also noted in the Town’s Central Park Plan, “Mulch should be natural shredded brown hardwood or pine straw free of debris.” Oyster shells do not seem to fit into this description.
With all that the Council and Town Employees have to do, I am wondering if the Town needs to create an official Board (like the Library Board or Historic Review Board) to review issues, rules, and use of Central Park. Citizens for Central Park helped to build the Park as a gift to the Town but they have little or no input into maintenance and regulations.
Again, thank you for your time and your service.
Diane D'Amico says
I agree that better oversight of the Park is necessary. I do not think we need another Board to do that. The Park is maintained by a private company that is contracted by the Town. Therefore the Town has the responsibility to ensure that the contract requirements are met. I would imagine this falls under the purview of Dave Fauber, Public Works. He needs to answer to this.
Nancy Vest says
The Town does have quite a few Boards. However, I believe that citizens should have input when there are changes to Central Park. If concerned citizens had been consulted in the decisions to plant roses on the east and west nodes of the Park, they may have made a different decision. When the park was still in the dreaming stage, Virginia Savage was involved. As a member of the Garden Club of the Eastern Shore, she was instrumental in the application for The Common Wealth Award in 2002. With her work, the award (a grant for a community project) was given to help in the establishment of Central Park. The grant money was used to build the pergola and to purchase climbing pale pink roses for the structure. As pale pink roses were Mrs. Savage’s favorite, Citizens for Central Park dedicated them to her. Sadly, when construction began on other areas of the park, the contractor removed the roses.
If someone with knowledge of the history of the Park had been involved, they might have remembered this. Planting pink roses on the east/west nodes to honor Mrs. Savage would have been more appropriate and would have served to honor her work.
Mike Kuzma, Jr. says
Would have been SO EASY to see the problems…….if the Old School was turned into a Town Hall/Community center. Bet the Library it could have held wouldn’t smell so badly, or cost so much either.
But I guess the developers over there paid better………….