Progress at Ninigret Park
The following letter appeared in local newspapers and is shared with us here by the author George C. Tremblay. Mr. Tremblay is Vice President of the Charlestown Town Council.
Last June, Charlestown voters approved a citizens’ initiative for a $1million bond for improvements to Ninigret Park, but they did so without knowing how the money would be spent. Specific projects and priorities were not identified in the language on the ballot referendum. So where do we start?
We began with workshops between the Town Council and the Parks and Recreation Commission to identify projects for which there was broadest agreement among us. To date, we have authorized commitment of $250,000 in bond funds toward renovation of four tennis courts, and $100,000 for installation of new equipment in “A Kids Place”, a playground very popular with young children and their parents and grandparents. The town has committed additional money to the park from its general fund and other sources. These include replenishment of sand on Little Nini Beach ($18,000), restoration of basketball courts ($75,000), installation of interior flooring and exterior lighting at the Senior/Community Center ($80,000), design of a bicycle pathway ($7,500) and improvement of roadways in the park ($84,775).
Ninigret Park is getting a much needed face lift. We anticipate further improvements in the playground, specifically for handicapped children. Also under review are new or improved walking trails, installation of picnic tables and grills in the new park pavilion, design and construction of a new entrance, and a signage theme throughout the park. This account is a report on progress to date that lets the taxpayer know where in the park their money is being spent, where that money comes from and, in general terms, what it is paying for.