NASHUA — Following months of debate and lots of meetings about where to place the state’s largest fully accessible playground, city officials on Tuesday finally granted permission for the play ground to be built at Greeley Park.
Despite a moratorium on new development at Greeley Park, the Nashua Board of Aldermen voted 8-6 to allow Legacy Playground to be built on the east side of Greeley Park.
“I think that it is time to look at this (proposal), pass it and move on,” said Alderman Richard Dowd.
There has been considerable division from the public and aldermen on whether to allow the playground — spearheaded by Leadership Greater Nashua and paid for by donations — to be built at Greeley Park.
Alderman David Schoneman said the existing moratorium at the park should set precedence, and that the park should be preserved rather than developed.
Alderman Paul Chasse voiced different concerns, maintaining the actual cost to taxpayers has not yet been determined. Although the playground is a gift, he said there will be unknown infrastructure costs that the city will likely have to incur.
“This is not a final vote for us tonight,” said Alderman Lori Wilshire, explaining aldermen will have the last word on what the design of the playground will actually look like.
“We still have the final say,” said Wilshire, who supported the Greeley site.
An independent study was conducted to determine the best site for the future playground, and three of the seven sites suggested included various locations at Greeley.
“This playground does not need to be in Greeley Park,” said Alderman Dan Moriarty, maintaining there should be a compelling reason to override a building moratorium.
Since there are other feasible sites within the city, Moriarty said he could not support Greeley Park as home to the playground.
Alderman Ken Siegel stressed that Legacy Playground will not soil the integrity of the park, but may actually increase the park’s integrity and usability, which he said is the project’s whole purpose.