Lynnfield not ready to tee up clubhouse vote on King Rail Reserve Golf Course

LYNNFIELD — Although it’s only a few years old, the King Rail Reserve Golf Course is recognized as one of the most challenging nine-hole municipal courses around.

While the course itself is in good shape, it is missing a few things, namely a clubhouse, permanent bathrooms, and indoor equipment storage.

Residents were going to be asked to consider paying for a clubhouse and maintenance building at the Oct. 16 Special Town Meeting, but selectmen have indefinitely postponed that article. In postponing the article, selectmen noted that they and residents need more time to mull over the plans and the financial impact the project will have on the town.

This week, John Savasta of CSS Architects in Wakefield presented a nearly $3 million plan for a clubhouse, maintenance building, and pavilion at the golf course.

“We need to do our due diligence on a $3 million expense before we bring it before the town,” said Selectman Richard Dalton. “It’s hard to believe that a clubhouse for a nine-hole municipal course would cost $3 million, even though I understand there are unique conditions.”

Those conditions include the need to replace the soil on the proposed site of the clubhouse and maintenance building since the current soil conditions make the site unbuildable, according to Savasta.

Even with the delay in the town meeting vote, Selectman Phil Crawford said it would not necessarily delay the project if the article is brought back before voters in April.

“None of this is going to get done until late next fall at the earliest,” said Crawford. “We’re not going to do a construction project during golf season. This way, we have more time to vet the project and look at options. Timing wise, it’s not much different if we bring it back in April.”

Between now and April, selectmen will be looking at funding options for the single-story clubhouse and the prefabricated 95-foot long by 16-foot high maintenance building.

Town Administrator James Boudreau said the town has $1.5 million in real estate sale funds set aside for the project.

He said selectmen and voters could consider building just the maintenance building with the available funds and putting the clubhouse on the backburner. But selectmen voted to take all options off the table at least until April.

Golf course manager Don Lyons said business at King Rail has been steady, but that there is a need for amenities such as bathrooms, as well as road improvements and a parking lot.

“I do think that if we do not do something about the parking lot and the road in the near future, we are going to lose business there,” said Lyons. He added that an option could be to build the maintenance building with a restroom area, instead of the porta-potties that are currently used, and build the clubhouse further down the line.

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