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City Meadow Finally Ready for Its Makeover

Construction to start in late June


By Wiley Wood

The City Meadow project cleared its final regulatory hurdle at a public hearing on April 25 when the Planning and Zoning Commission approved an application for an earth excavation permit, as required by town statutes for projects of more than 250 cubic yards.

The construction plans will go out to bid in May, according to Pete Anderson, a member of the City Meadow Committee. Construction will start by the end of June and is scheduled for completion on December 1.

The project, which will turn the sunken wetlands below Station Place into a park, was awarded a $500,000 grant by the state in September 2014. Delays on the part of state and federal regulatory agencies kept the work from being completed by the end of 2016, as specified in the grant. Last fall, however, the state granted the town an extra year, until December 31, to finish the project.

The construction documents will be posted on the state website and advertised in a newspaper with statewide distribution by May 10, says Anderson. Bidding will close at 2 p.m. on May 31. The town’s Board of Selectmen will review the applications and award the project at its June 6 meeting.

The City Meadow park will have a small pond at the north end, new plantings and a boardwalk looping through its five acres. There will be two points of access, the first at Shepard Road near the firehouse and the second along Route 44 next to the former Haystack Pizza building.

As City Meadow was always meant to facilitate access between the neighborhoods surrounding it, an important feature of earlier plans was a ramp or staircase down the steep hillside from Station Place to the meadow. This was abandoned in the current plan as too challenging and expensive.

“In a second phase, using private funds,” said Anderson, “some kind of access device for getting down from Station Place will be built.”

Photo by Bruce Frisch: City Meadow from Station Place.

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