City Councilors Push for Repair Timeline at Haverhill’s Winnekenni Park; Fed Money May Help

A new memorial was placed this past spring at Winnekenni Park in recognition of late Haverhill Police Capt. Ronald Parolisi. The memorial is near an area of the park where tenuis courts are l slated for repair. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill city councilors say they hope $700,000 in federal money is coming to the city to improve hiking trails at Winnekenni Park and repair the tennis courts located there.

On a motion of Councilor Joseph J. Bevilacqua, the full body last night unanimously approved sending a letter to Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Human Services Director Vincent Ouellette, requesting a timeline for the start of repairs to those public tennis courts. Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan agreed, but told his colleagues there is a potential opportunity already in the works whereby Haverhill would receive federal money to make those repairs and other improvements to the popular recreational spot.

“We have an opportunity to get the funding for that replacement. There’s a $700,000 federal earmark pending in the U.S. Senate. The House has already passed it. What that would mean is $700,000 would come to the City of Haverhill for the purpose of improving trails at Winnekenni Park and replacing the tennis court floor,” he explained.

As only WHAV reported July 21, Congresswoman Lori Trahan shepherded the Winnekenni project along with seven other economic development and infrastructure projects across the 3rd District, totaling $13.6 million.

Sullivan said $500,000 would be used for trail improvements and $200,000 would go to fixing the tennis court. He also said there is a backup plan to use American Rescue Plan Act money should the Senate fail to pass the bill.

Fellow Councilor Melinda E. Barrett told the Council in addition to needing to replace the existing tennis court floor, there is a drainage issue beneath the floor, causing it to buckle. She said Ouellette has assured her repair of the drainage issue would be part of the reconstruction.

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