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April 16. 2014 10:45PM

Nashua panel backs study of state's largest playground

NASHUA — An aldermanic panel on Wednesday supported a proposal for a $5,000 study on where the state’s largest, most accessible playground will be constructed in the Gate City.

The Finance Committee voted 4-3 to recommend initiating an independent study by the Institute for Human Centered Design in Boston to review about 10 potential sites for the future Legacy Playground being organized by Leadership Greater Nashua.

Although Greeley Park is being recommended by playground organizers for the play structure’s future home, the location is not favored by some neighbors and some local residents.

When a difference of opinion exists — as it does with the playground site issue — it is common to seek out a mediator, said Alderman-at-Large Daniel Moriarty, maintaining a third-party study could provide more information to help officials make an accurate decision.

While there is no perfect location, there should at least be one site that meets most of the criteria necessary for the playground, and city resources could be used to make it more accessible, said Alderman-at-Large James Donchesss, who said a professional should review the issue.

Alderman Pamela Brown, Ward 4, voiced an opposing opinion on the study.

“I believe the study is a waste of taxpayer dollars,” said Brown, maintaining Leadership Greater Nashua has already done extensive research on various sites, and is offering the city a gift.

Mayor Donnalee Lozeau said she also disagrees with the study. Legacy organizers have asked for it to be placed at Greeley Park, and aldermen should vote on the matter, she said.

“I think they deserve a yes or no vote,” she said.

The full Board of Aldermen will still vote on whether the study should officially be initiated at a cost of $2,500 by the city and $2,500 from donations. The Friends of Greeley Park have already pledged to pay for half of the cost of the study.

khoughton@newstote.com


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