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Beach Renovations Move Forward

After years in limbo, the Weed Beach renovation project is finally moving forward. But not to worry, the project shouldn’t interrupt many summer plans. The Board of Selectmen approved $18,300 in funding for the Parks and Recreation Department to complete their construction drawings for their final proposal.

Parks and Recreation director Susan Swiatek said that these final preparations will be done over the coming weeks, and they will make their plans “shovel-ready.” Once they are completed, they will take their plans back to the town for final approval. “We’d like to see movement on these [drawings] this summer, so we can get moving on the construction by this fall,” Swiatek said.

The Weed Beach Building Committee originally started work on this plan back in 2004, and received approval from the town’s Planning and Zoning board, the Board of Finance, the Representative Town Meeting and the Board of Selectmen. But the project was put on hold in 2008 because of the economic situation. The plan has 21 components, and will affect nearly all aspects of the beach.

The department managed to complete on portion of the plan in 2009, the new playground in the park. When the larger project was put on hold, the nonprofit group Playground by the Sound raised about $250,000 through private donations to build it.

The group also plans to renovate the park’s bath house and restrooms near the playground. They will also want to add a new paddle tennis court, a nature walk with educational signs, a boardwalk and new picnic pavilions. Another main feature is an environmentally-friendly redesign of the parking lot, which will limit the amount of asphalt. “The plan really is to recover more green space, and to update some of our buildings,” Swiatek said.

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