At the last meeting of the Barrington Parks and Recreation Commission meeting on Thursday, Jan. 23, the board discussed an additional volleyball court at Latham Park, a skate park at Chianese Park, usage of a portion of town-owned land at the end of Andreozzi Drive and environmentally-safe turf policies.
Chianese identified as better skate park location
Barrington High School senior Alex Raad presented an updated proposal of bringing a skate park to town.
Mr. Raad, an avid BMX bike rider, has identified an underutilized area at the Chianese Park, located off Maple Avenue, that would be a better fit for a skate park than his original idea of a skate park on Legion Way. Bringing a skate park to Barrington is Mr. Raad’s senior project as well as a concept he hopes will come to fruition in the near future.
The area in question, meant for street hockey but rarely used, is paved and, according to Mr. Raad, would be used year-round.
“This location a good fit. It’s close to town and would add to the park to make it like a super sports complex,” Mr. Raad said.
The skate park would be about the size of a basketball court and would cost approximately $28,000. Mr. Raad is working closely with his senior project mentor John Taylor, the former director of the Barrington Recreation Department.
The committee commended Mr. Raad for his efforts and unofficially endorsed his updated plan. They suggested he do some fund-raising research before bringing his proposal to the town council. He said he would do more research and possibly go before the town council with his proposal in March.
Town owned land
The commission also heard from resident Keith Strickland about a land issue regarding his property line. Apparently Mr. Strickland built an in-ground swimming pool on his property and the pool apron and fence surrounding it was mistakenly erected on town property. He lives at the end of Andreozzi Drive, abutting Chianese Park.
The board’s charge by the town council was to determine if the area — a 360 square foot parcel — was of any use to the park and a unanimous vote determined that it is not of use to the park or to the commission.
Mr. Stickland said he was guilty of not obtaining a property survey before he had the pool put in more than 10 years ago and realized his error when a new development abutting his property went in a few years ago. He has offered to purchase the parcel from the town. The council wanted the commission’s recommendation (among other town groups) before deciding if they will subdivide the land and sell it to Mr. Strickland.
The parcel is assessed by the town at $1,200. The matter is on the council’s March agenda.
Additional volleyball court at Latham Park
The commission heard a presentation by park and recreation member Patrick Sullivan about adding an additional volleyball court at Latham Park. The Barrington Town Council has given the green light to make long-awaited improvements to the Bay Spring neighborhood park located on the corner of Latham Drive and Shore Road.
Mr. Sullivan proposed adding one additional volleyball court which would be located adjacent to the existing court, stressing that time is of the essence since work is scheduled to begin on the park upgrades this spring. Mr. Sullivan said that with two courts the town could offer youth leagues and tournaments at the site.
“There is a sense of urgency to install this while the park is under construction. It’s a relatively easy — topsoil and sand and the DPW (Department of Public Works) could do this. It was unanimously decided that this concept be recommended to the town council for consideration.
Safe turf update
Residents Cindy Fuller of the Conservation Commission and Tim Faulkner of the school district’s Green Team made a short presentation regarding town fields and the move to treating them, especially at the elementary schools, with more environmentally-friendly products.
It was their intention to ask the commission for support in this initiative, although the commission did not take any action.
The Barrington Department of Public Works has been working with Ms. Fuller, and last year markers were put in place on town fields identifying the method of treatment.
The commission members said they are not in the position to make decisions regarding turf maintenance and the matter should be taken up with the council and town manager.
— By Joan D. Warren