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City Meadow Project Looks Forward to Next Phase



The new park in the center of town, City Meadow, is shut down—for its annual closure from November to May. The looping boardwalks lie under a treacherous layer of ice and snow. A sign warns visitors away.

An official ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Dec. 9 to celebrate the on-time completion of major construction. All state funds have been received, according to First Selectman Matt Riiska. Some landscaping and drainage issues are still to be addressed this coming spring, but phase 1 of the City Meadow project is done.

On Jan. 9, the City Meadow Committee met to discuss phase 2, the design and construction of a staircase from Station Place down to the boardwalk below. The vertical elevation is about 50 feet, and the bank steep and potentially unstable.

“I met with an engineer today to take a look at it,” said Matt Riiska. “He said it wouldn’t be easy.”

Pete Anderson, an architect and committee member, estimated the cost at $50,000 to $150,000. He expressed the hope that fundraising, design and permitting could be completed in 2018 and construction in 2019.

The park, which has cost $750,000 so far, was funded by a $500,000 state grant, supplemented by contributions from Norfolk organizations and individuals.

A local fundraising effort to raise a final $55,000 was successful. One hundred thirty-four donations large and small were received at Town Hall by mid-January, according to Barbara Gomez, assistant to the selectmen, surpassing the target amount by $12,000, which will be applied to remaining phase-1 costs and to phase 2. More contributions continue to trickle in, said Gomez, at the rate of 10 per week.

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