Council Considers Appropriations for Park Projects

More park improvements are on the way for the city of Chelsea.

At its next meeting, the City Council is expected to take up funding for a major renovation project at Bosson Playground at 50 Bellingham Street. In addition, the council is also expected to accept grants to help with the development of a public park at 88 Clinton Street.

“Recently, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), notified the city that the Department of Housing and Community Development has secured a PARC grant for Bosson Playground, pending execution of the state grant contract and fulfillment of all pre-award program requirements,” said City Manager Thomas Ambrosino. “For this grant, the proposed renovations of Bosson Playground include replacement of the playground’s rubber surfacing, introduction of new playground equipment, installation of a new water feature and splash pad, installation of a multi-sport goal, installation of new site furniture and passive recreation areas, and lighting and reconstruction of all site utilities.”

Once completed, the playground will better serve the community’s youth and improve the quality of life in the city.

The city will complete the design of the renovations by the end of June next year, a process that will involve input from many stakeholders in the neighborhood and the city, according to Ambrosino. The goal is to complete work on the playground by the end of June, 2024.

The state PARC grant will reimburse up to $400,000 of the cost of the project, however, Ambrosino said the current estimate for the renovations stands at $1,800,000.

To help cover the additional costs, Ambrosino is requesting the City Council appropriate $1,450,000 from the city’s stabilization funds.

The EEA also recently informed the city that it had recently secured a Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant of just under $350,000 for the creation of a new riverfront park at 88 Clinton Street.

“Proposed elements include seating areas, walking paths, a rain garden and other plantings, a water feature for children, a shade structure, and potentially a boat launch if this is found to be feasible, as well as lighting and utility construction,” said Ambrosino. “Once completed, the park will offer a space for residents of all ages and abilities to encounter Chelsea’s natural resources along Mill Creek, create better recreation and transportation connections between Mill Creek Riverwalk and the Mill Hill neighborhood, and offer opportunities for flood resilience and a respite from rising temperatures.”

The city is expected to complete its design and construction of the park by the end of 2024, according to the city manager. As with the Bosson Playground project, there will continue to be community input about the final shape of the park.

Ambrosino said he expects the total cost of the project to come in at $875,000, which he is asking the City Council to appropriate from the city’s general stabilization fund. Once the project is completed, the LWCF grant will reimburse the city for nearly $350,000 of the cost.

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