The Barrington Town Council advanced four grant requests to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management recently, including one that would pay for additional improvements to the Legion Way ice rink.
Tom Rimoshytus has been part of a small army of volunteers who have completed various upgrades to the rink over the last few years. Mr. Rimoshytus said the next series of improvements will require some significant capital — about $150,000.
At its November meeting, the town council advanced the $80,000 grant request from the ice rink volunteers (and three other requests) to the state DEM. Mr. Rimoshytus said the grant, if filled, would be matched by a town contribution and allow officials to grind up the existing asphalt surface at Legion Way and re-pave the area. The surface would be painted, a natural berm would be built, and new lights would be installed.
Mr. Rimoshytus said the painted surface is key to the success of the rink — with a lighter color base, the ice-melting process is slowed. He said three drains would also be installed.
In addition, the upgrades to the rink would allow for the use of Legion Way as a skate and BMX park for the non-winter months.
Council president June Speakman praised the work of the Legion Way volunteers and all those individuals who work hard for the town without receiving a pay check.
"As is so often the case in Barrington, we're fortunate to have such a committed group of volunteers — it's really remarkable," she said. "We have better facilities and more facilities because of these volunteers."
• Ball wall: East Bay Lacrosse is leading the charge to construct a concrete wall that would be used by lacrosse players and other athletic organizations. (Players could play catch against the wall; throwing lacrosse balls or kicking soccer balls against the surface.) The league is reportedly committed to paying for 65 percent of the project.
• Walking trail: A new walking trail that would pass along the back side of the Kids Kove playground is being proposed. The trail was part of a 2007 plan to improve the town hall/library property. It would be 90 percent funded by a state grant.
• Well at Walkers Farm: Officials from East Bay Rowing are proposing that the hand pump at Walkers Farm be repaired, in part so that they can wash salt water off boats and to supply fresh water to the community gardens at the farm. Power would be needed to operate the well. Half of the work would be funded by a DEM grant, if approved. The rowing club agreed to pay the other half.