East Providence receives $125,000 grant from DEM for Central Avenue Park restoration

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EAST PROVIDENCE — Interim City Manager Paul E. Lemont and Ward 2 Councilman Helder Cunha announced Tuesday night, May 20, the city had been awarded $125,000 from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Local Recreation Grant program for improvements to the Onna Moniz-John Neighborhood Park/Central Avenue Playground. The pair did so during the City Council meeting at City Hall.

Improvements to be implemented at the park located in the center of the city include vandal-resistant LED lighting along the walkways and basketball courts, resurfacing the basketball courts, replacing the existing picnic tables and installing a play structure, chess tables and a 10,000 square foot skate park/ramp.

The K-Rob Foundation, a local community based organization with a mission to positively transform the lives of children in the East Bay and surrounding communities, will assist the City in the design of the skate park/ramp and will contribute $25,000 towards the materials and installation.

“The grant provides us with a chance to get the community involved in remaking Central Park,” Councilman Cunha said. “This is their park and I would love to hear their ideas in how we can make it a safer and enjoyable place for families.”

Councilman Cunha and At-Large Councilman Tracy Capobianco along with the East Providence Police Department, Public Works Department and Planning Department have been working closely with the residents of the immediate neighborhood and representatives of the Red Bridge Neighborhood Association to solicit ideas for improvements to the park that will increase the usage of the park for persons of all ages while discouraging vandalism and loitering.

The $125,000 DEM grant will be matched by an additional $125,000 of combined City funds, in-kind contributions and a donation from the K-Rob Foundation for a total project cost of $250,000.

A public meeting to formulate additional ideas and comments will take place during the summer of 2014 and the improvements will be installed during the fall of 2014.

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4 Comments

  1. David_P said:

    What a waste of money!! Everyone knows that your spending $125,000 of taxpayers (yes, even this grant is OUR money) money on what has always been and will just continue to, now, be a 125000 drug den. Are we going to set up some booths and visa machines for the dealers? This city is in desperate need of sports fields. The expansion at the high school is just pushing out soccer. Where will all these kids go to play? The money should be spent on fixing the fields we have and to start the plans for the soccer complex next to Kimberly Rock. Where is Mrs. Rossi? We were told that you were at the soccer meeting and promised our kids a soccer complex. This is money spent on a very small portion of the city to just get votes. When this type of money is available it should go to helping as many taxpayers as possible. Right now, that’s sports fields. By the way, you neighbors of the park had better go online and search what has happened when skate parks go up. Look at the stories in North Providence. You may want to rethink that idea.

    • Devlin Kero said:

      This guy David P knows absolutely nothing; Personally I know about 20-30 kids off the top of my head who would all benefit from a skatepark. I’m not a really strong skater but I and a lot of my friends would love a park put in East Providence, it’s something we’ve talked about for years. It would save us the hassle of having to go to places downtown, or all the way to North Prov, we usually have to find rides and if we’re with a lot of people there’s not always room. A skatepark would provide us all with a local area that’s easily accessible where we can skate in peace and not have to worry about traffic, cops, or being kicked out by angry people who claim we make “too much noise”. All the kids, the ones I know at least, are respectable, good natured kids that are passionate about skating and just want somewhere to shred without interruption. There are so many parks and fields already where kids can play soccer, but how many skate parks are there? Hm…zero? Screw another empty lot not being utilized, we deserve a damn skatepark, we NEED a skatepark.

  2. Robert Avellar said:

    This guys gotta be kidding me. we’ve been wanting a skate park in east providence since I was a kid. It was pretty much a dream to us. But that never happened and we were forced to go to places like silver lake and north providence. And from first hand experience from consistently going to said parks you’d know it’s the skaters that take care of the park. We do park clean ups consistently at neautakonutcut park ,everybody helps anyone when ever they need it and ive all around built relationships with some of the greatest people I’ll ever know. North providence wasn’t destroyed by skaters. There’s bad eggs everywhere . If skaters were there while anything was being destroyed it would of been put to a stop instantly. We take great pride in what we do and would not purposely destroy things for others to get hurt upon simply because we wouldn’t want it for ourselves. All it shows is you have no faith in the people of this city at all. Not even enough to give them the chance, the benefit of the doubt. All you care about is making what you have better instead of being content and giving the kids a place to go the cops will stop kicking them out of. So when officers are asked the question of then were can we skate they can finally gladly say the skate park down the st .Not take a bus to Kennedy plaza chance putting yourself in harm take another bus to another city since it’s illegal to skate there to. just to finally be able to skate in peace.be happy you’ve got your fields to practice on now because we have nothing and deserve something just as much as the next guy.

  3. Devlin Kero said:

    I wrote a long drawn out comment that didn’t save, but in short, I know a lot of kids who would benefit greatly from this skatepark. We wouldn’t have to travel so far just to skate in peace, and sometimes we have more people than cars, this would be a great local area that’s easily accessible for us to skate. Screw having another empty soccer field that won’t be utilized we deserve and need a skatepark. Most of the kids I know that skate are good natured, respectable kids who are passionate about what they do and are just looking for somewhere to skate uninterrupted; Hell, anywhere could be a drug den, it doesn’t mean they’re just gonna start taking away places where drugs are sold. Just because there are a few idiots skulking around shouldn’t mean that the rest of us won’t get the park we’ve been talking about for years.

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