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New Playground at Memorial Park Up for Vote

One of the articles on the November 20 Mendon Special Town Meeting warrant is asking residents to approve the funding for a new playground at Memorial Park.

Article 19 is being brought forward by the Community Preservation Committee requesting residents approve a $130,000 transfer from Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding to pay for the new equipment.

The current playground, located adjacent to the Park's baseball fields, is approximately 20 years old and not ADA compliant, as a result, children with certain disabilities are unable to utilize the equipment now. According to Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Joe Flaherty, over the years, the current playground equipment has deteriorated to the point where it has become a safety issue. "We've put about $20,000 into it over the years to keep it up," said Flaherty.

The new playground will take up the similar amount of space as the current playground does now, and include all the same fun equipment including swings, slides, and monkey bars. In addition, there will be areas designated for two to five year olds and five to 12 year olds.

Community Preservation Committee Chair Anne Mazar said the Committee has approved using the CPA funds. "No new taxes will come out of this," she said. The $130,000 will pay for the new apparatus and its transportation to the site.

In order to save additional funding, the Highway Department will demolish the old playground equipment and haul it away. According to Flaherty, the Commission will be reaching out looking for volunteers to help put together the new recreational area. Flaherty estimates the volunteer efforts will help to save the project an additional $40,000 in labor costs.

If the funding is approved at the November 20 Special Town Meeting, the old playground will likely be demolished sometime around early spring with its construction efforts to follow shortly after.

The Community Preservation Committee has several other articles on the warrant including one to fund the hiring of an American with Disabilities Act Consultant for historical projects totaling $4,000. Another article seeks to hire an ADA Consultant for the CPC's recreational projects totaling another $4,000. The funding for both articles will come out of the CPA's administration account if approved.

The Special Town Meeting will take place at Miscoe Hill School and begin at 7 p.m. In total, 20 articles will be voted on.




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