East Haven Secures $200,000 Dollar Grant to Open Skate Park in June of 2017
Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. announced today that, having secured a $200,000 dollar State grant, East Haven will be constructing a 10,500 square foot skate park and basketball court at the Joseph Melillo Middle School Complex which the Town intends to open this June.
Maturo explained, "For some time now, residents have requested that we build a skate park to give our children a safe place to congregate and skate. We are thrilled to announce this project, especially because it is being made possible through a State grant and at no direct cost to the taxpayers."
The skate park, which will include a custom poured concrete bowl, ramp, rails, and other elements will comprise approximately 6,500 square feet and will be complemented by a regulation basketball court. The Town intends to locate the skate park and basketball court at the Joseph Melillo Middle School Complex because of its central location.
Maturo continued, "The Town is about to begin a sidewalk installation project on North High Street that will connect Route 80 to the center of Town. With this skate park conveniently and centrally located at the middle school complex, children and residents will be able to bike or skate safely from any part of Town to the complex."
The Town is pursuing this project through the newly-created "Priority Capital Project" program of the Mayor's Office, which was formed to quickly identify and fulfill small to medium-sized capital projects directly through the Mayor's office.
Maturo explained, "Residents frequently come in my office and ask for small streetscape, landscaping, and recreational improvements. For quite some time, we've had to show restraint and put those projects on hold for budgetary reasons. However, with our finances stabilized, we've created this "wish list" capital program which we intend to run directly out of the Mayor's office to make meaningful quality of life improvements around Town."
Maturo noted, "In fact, in the upcoming budget, I intend to create a new "Priority Capital Project" line-item as part of the Mayor's Office department which will allow us to quickly fund, supervise, and complete small to medium-sized infrastructure and capital projects"
Although there is no specific line item for priority capital improvements in the current budget, the Town has obtained a $200,000 grant through the State's "Local Capital Improvement Program" (LOCIP) to finance the combination skate park and basketball complex. Additionally, the Town has also obtained $100,000 dollars to re-construct fencing at Memorial Field to increase safety at the park and prevent fly balls from damaging neighboring homes and cars. The Town intends to complete both projects around June of this year.
Maturo explained, "In the coming weeks, the Town will pursue this project through an RFP or through the competitive bidding process. Our goal is to have the skate park and basketball complex open by June of this year."
Maturo concluded, "We've spent the last five years squaring away our finances and reducing our debt to historically low levels. Residents have been patient as we've shown restraint and made tough choices. Now, we want to reward everyone by starting to complete some of the projects we've put off. This project, which has been widely requested, is just the first of many exciting quality of life improvements that residents can expect to see around Town."