MASSENA - While Mayor James F. Hidy has said he’s expecting the town of Massena to pay for a new playground to replace the wooden playground on Danforth Street, Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said he has yet to speak about it with his town board.
“I told the mayor I would speak to the town board about it and I have yet to do that,” Mr. Gray said, adding he is waiting to find out exactly how much the new playground will cost before having that discussion.
“Just the installation is $30,000, from what I’ve been told, but I don’t know what the final budget is. I’m trying to get a handle on a price tag,” he said.
Mr. Gray said he’s not against using gaming compact revenue to pay for the playground, as it could be considered development and in line with the intended use of those monies.
“I would hate to tear down the old playgrounds and not have plans ready to replace it,” he said.
Mr. Gray has also said he’s heard not everyone is sold on replacing the playground, noting some people would like to see the wooden playground torn down and then wait six months to a year to see how it impacts use at other playgrounds in the community.
“That’s where I turn to the expertise of the rec commission,” Mr. Gray said, adding he feels like they should be leading the project, not the village or town boards.
“The rec commission needs to be driving the car on this, not the mayor or me,” he said.
Mr. Hidy said he would like to see the old wooden playground taken down as soon as possible, with a new playground open by the fall.
Mr. Hidy said he asked Massena Joint Recreation Commission Superintendent Richard Boprey to come up with three designs for a new playground, plans which were presented to the mayor last week.
The mayor said he will call a joint meeting at some point in the near future for the three boards to meet and discuss the proposals.
“I’m confident that in the best interest of public safety and the well-being of our children the town board will find it in their hearts to fund the playground through gaming compact monies,” Mr. Hidy said. “The idea has been broached and now it’s just a matter of finalizing plans.”