The Town Board agreed Tuesday to defer a vote that would have authorized Parks & Recreation officials to pursue a grant for a 5-acre park at the end of South Street near the Southeast Greenway. Instead, they agreed to re-evaluate the proposal along with other town needs at the Town Board retreat Jan. 16-18.
The board had been expected to give town staff the go-ahead to submit the application for a $446,000 state parks grant. If the town were to receive the grant, it would have to provide matching funds.
But newly-elected board member Laurie Venzon asked to remove the item from the board’s consent agenda, which includes items to be approved without discussion.
She and another newly elected member, Brian Jenest, raised questions about the location of the park and how it fits with other town priorities. Ms. Venzon said the project warrants a full discussion, especially in light of results of a recent citizen survey, in which residents expressed a desire for expanded town spending on such things as roads, sidewalks and traffic calming.
The previous board had been moving forward with the project and had approved a $1 million expenditure in the town’s long-range capital improvements budget.
The proposal calls for a “multigenerational park” on the site. The town would renovate the old brick sewer pumping station, add a playground and exercise trail aimed at people over 50, complete the Greenway trail out to South Street and build a bocce/badminton court.
The board could vote on the grant application at its work session Jan. 22. The deadline for this year’s funding cycle for the state Parks & Recreation Trust Fund grant is Jan. 31.