POLAND Park update awaits approval

Council is expected to address the matter at Wednesday's meeting.
POLAND -- Plans to upgrade Fireman's Field here have been finalized, approved by council, changed, put out for bids, debated and changed again. They now await the approval of council and one village resident who is contributing to the project.
Resident John Scotford has offered to donate $10,000 to the project through the Scotford Foundation. Initially, the Poland Parks and Recreation Board rejected the offer, saying Scotford had placed too many restraints on the use of the money. At that time, board member Cloy Stewart said site plans had already been approved and could not be changed to meet Scotford's requests.
Stewart had said the plan Scotford suggested would require moving trees and a boccie court and removing some parking, landscaping and a handicapped-accessible driveway to the pavilion. Board members said this design could require additional funding in the future.
Village council accepted a different site plan recommended by the parks and recreation board that did not include any of the Scotford Foundation's suggestions, thereby forfeiting the grant money.
Negotiations: According to Scotford, shortly after accepting the plan, council contacted Scotford and suggested he and village officials work out a plan for the site that would be agreeable to both parties and put the $10,000 to use. He said it was decided to use the money for grass and tree landscaping.
"They have certain things they want to get done at the park and I am kind of a tree and grass man," Scotford said. "The first plan they gave us, as a donor, we were not interested in that plan. We were asked to look at a new plan, and everything looks like it is moving along smoothly at this point."
Board member Dru Marchese said the board had been somewhat stuck in completing the work for various reasons, but is now looking to advertise the landscaping changes for bids and start the work soon. She said the Scotford grant is now being accepted because the new plans concur with the board.
Details: Marchese said the main parts of the landscaping changes are to line Riverside Drive with trees and add more green space. She said parking areas will also be made to be more defined. Restrooms and a basketball court that can be flooded in the winter for ice skating also will be added.
Other upgraded areas such as the boccie court, volleyball court, children's playground and pavilion are already in place. Funding for that work was provided by Poland Rotary Club and Poland Women's Club, Marchese said.

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