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Nashua's share for proposed playground is estimated at $86,000

New Hampshire Union Leader

April 24. 2014 11:46PM

NASHUA — For the first time since the debate started about where Legacy Playground should be built, the estimated price-tag for the city’s portion of the project was unveiled.

While Leadership Greater Nashua is fundraising to collect $250,000 for the fully accessible playground, the city will likely still have to provide financial assistance to pay for infrastructure costs regardless of where it is built, officials said.

Project organizers have said repeatedly that they would like the new playground to be constructed at Greeley Park, and introduced preliminary plans to an aldermanic committee this week highlighting the proposed layout of the structure.

Opponents and supporters of the Greeley Park location have attended numerous meetings to voice their opinions on the site, which must be approved by the Board of Aldermen because of a building moratorium at the park.

On Wednesday, Alderman-at-Large Diane Sheehan said it could cost the city upward of $86,000 if the Greeley Park location is authorized. That figure includes $36,000 for site work, $33,500 to resurface Carriage Road, $12,000 in upgrades to the stonehouse bathroom facility and $4,750 for four additional handicap parking spaces.

However, it was noted that Carriage Road may not need to be resurfaced, and that the bathroom renovations were already slated to take place this summer regardless of whether a new playground was built at the park.

Sheehan said the city’s costs for the related playground infrastructure needs are significantly less if the Greeley Park site is selected, adding many other locations in Nashua would be significantly more expensive because of asbestos cleanup, additional fencing and construction of bathrooms and utilities.

Eric Brand, project organizer, said that the Greeley Park site has far less costs associated with it than other locations investigated by Leadership Greater Nashua. In addition, he said various grants or other sources of revenue may be available to help offset some of the costs.

To date, $105,528 has been collected for the new playground that has yet to find a home. An additional $26,500 has been pledged, according to Brand.

The Board of Aldermen voted on Tuesday to hire an independent consultant to study numerous locations within the city to determine where the fully accessible play structure would be most feasible.

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