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February 26, 2014

Park renovations proposed in Newton

Newton hopes to revamp town park

NEWTON — Greenie Park could be getting a big face-lift.

The Recreation Commission has created a five-year plan that includes a new playground, skating rink and climbing wall.

“The park now is very antiquated,” Recreation Commission Chairman Annie Collyer said. “It’s not interesting. It’s fairly ugly and, as a result of that, the usage is down.”

Collyer said the commission the proposed five-year plan would cost around $150,000 to implement. Money would come from the recreation budget, a savings fund, warrant articles and donations.

Voters will get their first chance to contribute to the project at Town Meeting March 11.

The town is asking voters to spend $19,000 to renovate the skate park and build a new outdoor skating rink.

“From the kids I’ve interviewed, it just doesn’t have the flow that it needs,” Collyer said. “It’s slow and it doesn’t have the ability to do the things it needs to do.”

Selectmen unanimously voted in favor of the article.

“(The skating rink) will give kids something to do during the winter,” Selectman Bob Donovan said. “They’ll get some exercise instead of causing trouble.”

Skate parks in Plaistow and Windham have both closed due to noise and vandalism, but that isn’t deterring officials from putting town money into the skate park in Newton.

“We haven’t had any problems there,” Donovan said. “We’re just looking to make it better.”

The commission hopes to expand the park from 4,500 square feet to 8,000 square feet.

Also included in the warrant article would be a new outdoor ice rink. The rink would be used in the winter, and could be used for bocce and horseshoes in the summer.

Collyer said they included those two items in the warrant article because they felt it had a great likelihood of passing.

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