Rarely at city council meetings do you see applause follow when the town engineer is going through the tedious process of getting Master Plan approvals from the council.
But last Monday night’s Medley meeting (Feb. 3) brought some applause from the council chambers when the council voted unanimously, 4-0 (Vice Mayor Griselia Digiacomo was absent) to approve the design for the Danny Meehan Recreational Field Improvement Project.
The park, which sits directly behind Medley Town Hall between town hall and Northwest South River Drive, had gotten quite run down over the years. Other than the basketball courts, the area has gone virtually unused.
But with an eventual price tag of $900,000, the council, with Edgar Ayala making the motion and Susanna Guasch issuing a second, gave Town Engineer Jorge Corzo the green light to contact Atkins Architectural Firm this week to get to work on the final design phase for Meehan Field.
“It should take them approximately 120 days to complete, at which time it will be put out for a competitive bid for interested contractors,” said Corzo. “Ultimately it will be up to the council for final approval on a contractor.”
Right now the town has $220,000 budgeted for the 2014 fiscal year. As far as where the remaining $680,000 will come from? Corzo said that the town is in the process of finding possible grant money and after that would have to dip into the town’s general fund.
“I have seen nobody from the public who is against this very worthwhile project and make a motion to approve,” said Ayala.
When it’s done, the park will look state-of-the-art, including a potential art mural, perimeter fence, hard court, batting cage, three fitness stations, a playground, two soccer fields, an event lawn, a municipal services center, bleachers, a seat bench, a wide sidewalk for a walking track, bus parking for drop-off, and lots of greenery and landscaping to add the final touch. In addition, the existing softball field will be given a facelift as well. And, of course, there will be plenty of lighting for night use.
When all said and done, Medley will have its own modern recreational facility.
“This is going to be a magnificent new asset for our residents when it’s done,” said Mayor Roberto Martell. “The idea from the outset was to not only create something for the kids of our community but something the adults could use as well.”
Indeed, not only will the kids enjoy the soccer and softball fields along with the playground, but the adults will be able to get maximum use out of the walking track for exercise.
“We want this to be a place of real pride for the town, where our residents can be proud to go and really enjoy the facilities,” said Martell. “Tonight was an important step for the council in getting this process moving along.”