Already a popular spot, Park and Recreation Commission chairwoman Rebecca Andrews envisions more for Mills Pond Park.
With amenities such as fields, a pond, a pool, tennis and basketball court, a skatepark, trails and more, the park, with some proper planning and upgrades, could become even more of a community asset and attraction than it is already, she said.
"It has the
opportunity to become a jewel of the town," she said.
Park improvements haven’t always been an area of universal agreement but commission members are working to further long-range planning for the facility. That effort could get a boost if the town moves forward with an idea discussed by the Board of Selectmen Wednesday night.
The town is considering park improvements for a 2014 state Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant application, which could, if awarded, potentially bring in as much as $500,000 for the project.
Canton is considering submitting a package of improvements that could include approximately $306,000 for code work and partial renovation at the pool house, $60,000 for a revamped skate park and $40,000 to $50,000 for resurfacing of tennis and basketball courts.
After the state
did not award the town STEAP funding this year connected with an effort tied to
trying to bring hydropower back to Collinsville, town officials said they have
learned that the state is more likely to award “shovel ready,” projects.
While selectmen discussed the idea of applying for funds toward the Lawton Road Park Plan and at least one wanted improvements at a town fire station on the list, many members leaned toward Mills Pond Park. Some said the STEAP grant would not cover the Lawton Road project and that the town should perhaps upgrade its existing amenities.
Selectmen asked Chief Administrative Officer Robert Skinner to come back with a more formal proposal for that effort but no final decisions were made.
Andrews said most commissioners agree with seeking STEAP funding for Mills Pond Park. Fields are a priority and greatly needed, she said, but Park and Recreation officials have also advocated the Lawton Road project be done as a whole.
mean it's less important to us; it's just a much larger project," Andrews
Selectmen asked Chief Administrative Officer Robert Skinner to come back with a more formal proposal for a possible Mills Pond Park STEAP application.
Skinner did caution that the town might need to spend some funds for pool house design prior to submitted the grant application.