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The draft design plan for the new village park.

Town and Village

Saxtons River reveals revised park plan

JMMDS accepts feedback on the design until May 15. Comments can be sent to the Park Committee at saxtonsriverpark@gmail.com or relayed to any village trustee.

SAXTONS RIVER—The Saxtons River trustees and the village’s Park Committee have revealed a revised, lower-cost design for the development of a park at a brownfields site in the center of the village. The project is scheduled for completion by fall.

The Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) team of LE Environmental, Grover Engineering and Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio (JMMDS) presented the plan at the village’s annual meeting April 13. They have estimated the final cost for construction as $400,000, about two-thirds of the original estimate.

The plan calls for a grass-terraced amphitheater, curbed by granite, overlooking the river. Above at the street level, shade trees will overtop “vestiges” of stone foundations that will mark the location of the two historic buildings that once stood there. These will act as both benches and gateways, one leading to a granite stairway that bisects the grassy terraces below.

Rebuilt sidewalks and an accessible parking space, along with perimeter screening of native trees and shrubs, will complete the design along the street.

An accessible path enters the site from River Street, above the foundation of an old mill that will be stabilized with existing stones and then capped with new soil and planted with native plantings.

The village received a $275,500 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remediate the brownfields, caused by contamination by a former gas station at the site. The remediation will happen according to a Corrective Action Plan that has been developed. The village will apply for additional EPA brownfields funds from the Windham Regional Commission to meet the balance of the remediation costs.

Park features such as benches, trees, and signs are estimated to cost $44,000, and the committee is applying for grants from other sources for these. Donations in memory of former Park Committee member Ryan Ostebo and other donations have raised $18,000 to date.

The project timeline calls for completing the final design and CAP by the end of May. A required 30-day comment period and public hearing will follow. Construction is scheduled for completion by October.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #304 (Wednesday, May 6, 2015). This story appeared on page D1.

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