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Massena mayor waiting to learn about costs before committing to playground support

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MASSENA — Even as Mayor James F. Hidy says he expects the town of Massena to pay for a new playground to replace the wooden one on Danforth Street, Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said he has yet to address it with the 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. He added that he will wait to learn how much the new playground will cost before having that talk.

“Just the installation is $30,000, from what I’ve been told, but I don’t know what the final budget is,” he said. “I’m trying to get a handle on a price tag.”

Mr. Gray said he’s not against using gaming compact revenue to pay for the playground, which can be considered development and in line with the money’s intended use.

“I would hate to tear down the old playground and not have plans ready to replace it,” he said.

Mr. Gray also said he has heard that not everyone is sold on replacing the playground. He noted that some people would like to see the old wooden playground torn down and then wait six months to a year to see the impact on use of other community playgrounds.

“That’s where I turn to the expertise of the rec commission,” Mr. Gray said. He believes that they should lead 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 ready to open by the fall.

So he asked Massena Joint Recreation Commission Superintendent Richard A. Boprey to come up with three designs for a new playground. Those plans were presented to the mayor last week.

The mayor said he will call a joint meeting shortly for the three boards to 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.”

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