Iron Rail Commission
The mission of the Iron Rail Commission remains the same today as it did at the time the Iron Rail Property was first purchased by the Town in 1974:
- To maintain, repair and protect the property.
- To aggressively plan for rental, gymnasium and meadow use in order to create income, revitalize the land and encourage active use of the area for educational enjoyment by all townspeople.
- To work with other town groups in arranging for the orderly use of the land, including the layout of roads and the negotiating of locations for specific site use, safety and scheduling.
The Commission provides the following on a continual basis:
- Custodial services to ensure building security and safety, including keeping walkways clear of snow and ice.
- Cleaning of the common areas of the buildings, including lobby and washrooms.
- Grounds keeping around the buildings, including grass mowing, fall and spring clean-ups.
- Periodic maintenance of the building and its heating, electrical, plumbing and septic systems.
- Necessary repairs to keep the buildings sound and all systems running properly.
- Necessary maintenance of the conservation areas, including tree work and brush clearing.
- Coordination with tenants.
- Coordination with town departments using the property.
- Coordination with the Hamilton-Wenham Youth Soccer Association (HWYSA) to maintain the cleanliness and security of the soccer fields.
- Ensure all rent payments are received on time.
Presently, the Iron Rail Property is utilized as follows:
- The Department of Public Works maintains its headquarters and main garage on the property.
- The Water Department has a water storage facility adjacent to the Highway Department.
- The Cemetery Commission has been given control of the "orchard section" of the property for a new cemetery and has established an access road.
- Hamilton-Wenham Youth Soccer Association has been granted a 20 year lease, expiring in 2015, and is operating three soccer fields. Under a license agreement with HWYSA, Landmark School has limited use of the fields, assisting with maintenance and paying rent to the Town.
- The gymnasium is rented by Iron Rail Gymnastics Academy under a 5 year lease, expiring in 2006. They have moved gymnastics and martial arts activities to another location, but still occupy part of the building and sublet other areas to Provost Personal Training and Firm Up Fast Studio.
- Galkin Automated Products Corporation rents a small office in the barn. Other office space in that building is available for rent.
- Boy Scout Troop 28 holds its regular Monday evening meetings and other activities in the barn and also runs a redeemable bottle and can collecting operation on the site. At times, the Scouts assist with maintenance, including such tasks as painting and brush clearing.
- The Boy Scout meeting room in the barn, which measures 40x40 feet and has kitchen and bathroom facilities, is available to Wenham residents for meetings and other gatherings except when the room is being used by the Scouts. Permission must be obtained from the Commission prior to any such use.
- The remainder of the property is being maintained as conservation land. Roads and trails in that part of the property are available for use by townspeople. Permission must be obtained from the Commission for any overnight camping and campfires require permission from the Commission and the Fire Department.
In the absence of interest by other town department and the Regional School District to utilize the buildings, the Commission has been successful in deriving substantial rental income for the Town from the property. For the last ten years, net income after all expenditures has totaled $859,000; net income for this fiscal year is expected to be $90,500.
Ted Batchelder (2017)
Jim Romano, Chairperson (2017)
Jason Wachtel (2019)
The commission holds regular public meetings on the first Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Wenham Town Hall, 138 Main Street. If the first Monday falls on a holiday, the meeting is held on the second Monday.