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Watertown recreation officials get town council's OK to renovate park behind police headquarters for $457k

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  February 14, 2013 04:20 PM

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A rendering from the city shows improvements they hope to make to the park at 552 Main St., including installing a new spray park, a gazebo, and adding more picnic tables and benches.

Watertown park and recreation officials received a unanimous go-ahead by Watertown Town Council this week to spend $457,000 to renovate a park at 522 Main St. behind police headquarters.

Department officials said they hope to break ground by April and complete the project by late summer.

Recreation officials want to redo the park, which offers a small basketball court with one hoop and a playground, to include a spray park, a centrally-located gazebo, and a multi-purpose court to accommodate street hockey, soccer, dodgeball and basketball.

The proposed plan also include adding picnic tables and benches, bike racks, landscaping, drainage improvements, and making the park handicap-accessible.

According to a presentation given by parks director Peter Centola to Watertown City Council this week, the town has been planning to renovate the park since 2010, when the new police headquarters was completed.

The parks department already has $300,000 to use toward the renovations from previous appropriations, according to the presentation. The remaining amount would have to be funded through the town.

The parks department has consulted with residents over the past two years, Centola said, keeping in mind their comments and concerns.

"The purpose of a neighborhood park is to allow the local children to play in an area of relatively close proximity to their home for convenience, and safety concerns," Centola wrote in the presentation.

He also said the department took pains to design space between the neighbors and the proposed amenities, as well as to propose buffer with additional plants and trees, after some residents expressed concern.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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