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Recreation improvements made to Tri-Town Community Center

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BRASHER FALLS - The past year has been a good one at the Tri-Town Community Center, with more recreational opportunities now available, according to the chairman of the Tri-Town Recreation Commission.

“We’ve done a couple of little projects in the back of our arena,” Jeremiah D. Mahoney said.

A $10,000 grant from the local Lions Club to the Recreation Commission made one project possible, he said.

“We put in a picnic area with picnic tables, grills and one handicapped picnic area. It’s right down on the river by the trees. It’s very nice,” Mr. Mahoney said.

A new playground was also added to the landscape of the Tri-Town Community Center, and that was made possible through local donations, he said.

“We’ve been talking about doing a playground. We priced different playgrounds. We’ve been doing things at the arena and around the softball field, but wanted to do something around the St. Regis River area,” Mr. Mahoney said.

Volunteers cleaned up the area, but they were still lacking a playground. But not for long, he said.

The Head Start program had been located at St. Patrick’s Church Hall in Brasher Falls, but later moved to the St. Lawrence Central School District, leaving behind playground equipment, according to the Recreation Commission chairman.

“When they did the playground was left there. We contacted them and they said they were going to get rid of it, but we could put a bid. We did put a bid in,” Mr. Mahoney said.

As it turned out, their bid didn’t matter because Head Start officials decided to donate the equipment to the Recreation Commission, he said.

“In the end they called and said they were going to donate it to us,” he said.

The playground equipment, which is geared for kids up to ages 7 or 8, is now installed.

“We had it moved up to the site. Randy Thayer, a member of our rec board did a lot of the work. He pretty much took charge of getting it set up and getting it landscaped,” Mr. Mahoney said.

The Tri-Town Recreation Commission was also the benefactor of other donations during the year, he said.

Rayona Thompson and Larry Phippen presented members of the Recreation Commission with a $900 donation. That donation included $700 that was left over from the Town-Town Triplets baseball organization and two donations of $100 each from the Knights of Columbus Auxiliary and the Winthrop American Legion Post 511 Auxiliary.

“Rayona contacted David Stevens, one of the members of the rec board. She said they were involved with the Tri-Town Triplets baseball team which has been functioning for a number of years and had some money left over. That group made a donation,” Mr. Mahoney said.

“Plus she also got a couple of donations, one from the Knights of Columbus Auxiliary and one from the American Legion Auxiliary,” he added.

That money will be used to purchase a bench that will be placed near the entry of the arena and a protective netting for the softball field’s left field area.

“We’re going to buy a couple of benches to place around the area down there. We just want to make it kind of a family area. We have everything right there,” Mr. Mahoney said.

They plan to hold a dedication in the spring for the groups that have donated to the local recreation cause, he said.

But they also plan to do more work in 2013.

“We try to make some improvements every year. We’re looking at adding a little storage building in the back. We’re also looking at doing some upgrades to our ice-making equipment. We try to stay on top of things. You never know what comes up and money’s tight. We’re trying to make the best use (of the money) as we can,” Mr. Mahoney said. “We’re fortunate enough to get a lot of volunteer help. We get donations and raise money.”

They also receive contributions from the towns of Brasher and Stockholm.

“Without the two towns, one town couldn’t do it,” he said.

Mr. Mahoney said they’re always willing to accept more donations in memory of someone.

“If anyone would like to donate money, we would like to place benches on the river bank area. This area is a work in progress,” he said.

Anyone who wants to donate can contact Dave Stevens at 389-4965.

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