Back in September, chair of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee Pat Moody and director Linda Brooks presented a proposal/concept for a new community park to be located on the 9 acre lot where the skate board park and the community gardens now reside. In keeping with this concept, this past Tuesday’s council meeting agenda items included a motion to authorize the town manager to apply, on behalf of the town, for federal financing assistance under the provisions of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, Public Law 88-578 for the development of the community park.
“As we have an anchor in North Windham with the Lippman and Dundee Parks this would be something of an anchor public recreational facility here in the center of town. We have already started on the skate park with some development of the structures there and the community garden nearby. This would continue the process of developing that park,” began town manager Tony Plante.
Presenting materials relating to an application that’s being prepared for funding under the Land & Water Conversation Act was Brooks. “Just a reminder that the concept plan was just for grant application purposes. We still have a lot of work to do moving forward, but this gives us a launching point. We have initiated a survey that we’re encouraging folks to contribute to and get ideas about what our concept was for this plan,” she said.
To further stress the significance of the park Brooks added, “The key component that we are writing into this grant application is the close proximity to the schools and what the kids would like to do after school. This gives them the opportunity to walk there or on their skateboards or whatever gets them there.” But there’s more. “Since a retention pond would be required, that could be used for skating. Right now they flood Manchester School (basketball court) but it is not easily accessible.”
The grant requires a 50 percent match from the town for what has been put into place for the grant application, which will be submitted this coming Friday.
“As we move forward and get more community support we do anticipate that there may be donations coming forth and maybe volunteer support and that can all transfer into in-kind donations. So, the actual financial commitment may end up being less or can be applied to subsequent phases of the project. That’s what we have put together,” said Brooks.
Total grant asked for from the Land & Water Conversation is $168,750 with a town match of $181,250. The current balance of $207,000 of the impact fees would more than make up the difference.
When all was said and done the vote to proceed was unanimous. “You’re good to go!” concluded council chairwoman Donna Chapman.