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Chambersburg maps out designs for new, old parks

January 29, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The borough of Chambersburg has about $300,000 to spend on first phase improvements to Mike Waters Memorial Park and an equal amount of money to begin work on a new park, but plans for two others are unfunded at this point.

Money for the South Second Street park named after the late community activist comes from state grants and local matching funds, Recreation Department Superintendent Herb Dolaway said Monday night.

The initial funds for the Mill Creek Acres on the borough's South End is cash contributed by a developer in lieu of land, he said.

The crumbling asphalt paths, aging basketball courts and pavilion at the Waters park will be demolished and replaced with a handicapped accessible walkway, two full-size basketball courts and a larger pavilion, said Chuck Strodoski of YSM Landscape Architects. The first phase also would include lighting for the paths and courts, he said.

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Resident Eugene Rideout suggested pedestrian warning lights on Second Street.

Council President William McLaughlin noted Second Street is a state road requiring state approval for improvements. The important thing, he said, was to get the project out for bids, which the council approved.

Councilman Tom Newcomer said similar lights at the borough Rail-Trail street crossings do slow traffic and the administration was directed to look into improving the pedestrian crossing.

At 8.6 acres, Mill Creek Acres is the largest of three undeveloped parks for which the borough has had land given to it by developers and the only one to which developers also have contributed cash.

Ann Yost of YSM said three phases for the park would cost $1.5 million, but that the $300,000 available would be enough for the first phase. That includes a loop trail, 10 parking spaces, a multipurpose field and a small pavilion.

Resident Jay Lightfoot said people would not take young children to a park with no restrooms. If restrooms were built in the first phase, McLaughlin said, that would take almost all the available money.

The 6-acre John A. Redding Jr. Memorial Park would cost $862,000 to develop and the slightly smaller Nicholson Square Park about $1.2 million, Yost said.

"Any idea where the $860,000 will come from?" McLaughlin asked. He suggested the Recreation Department think big when asking for state grants.

"The worst they can say is no," McLaughlin said. "Don't be shy."

Construction on the Waters Park project is expected to be completed this summer, Dolaway said. The first phase of Mill Creek Acres could be done by fall, Yost said.

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