RUMFORD – Tim Gallant and the Parks Commission have a vision to transform the popular Hosmer Field complex from a primary focus on sports to a family-oriented recreation center.

And that vision has support from the town’s chairman of the Board of Selectmen, Greg Buccina.

“It would be good to have everything centrally located, to have several opportunities for recreation,” Buccina said Friday afternoon.

Gallant presented a plan to the board last month that included such things as establishment of a skateboard park, additional picnic tables near the Swift River, a nonmotorized bicycle path, an extension of the walking trail at the rear of the complex and a toddlers’ playground near the main athletic field.

Also being considered is construction of a swimming hole near the Swift River.

All it will take is lots of volunteer work and money.

A committee of adults and young people recently organized to get moving on a skateboard park. Tentative plans call for setting up such an area in space occupied by two of the four basketball courts.

The cost, at about $30,000, will be paid through a series of fundraising activities as soon as town officials can devise a plan to separate money raised for the recreation center from the municipal general fund.

“The plans are very preliminary,” Buccina said. “We would earmark money for those projects and take legal steps to make sure it is done right in accordance with the charter.”

He said a plan for how to sustain a park must also be worked out.

Gallant hopes to have a decision from town officials by Feb. 13, the date for the next Skateboard Park Committee meeting, on how to separate funds for the recreation center from the town accounts.

He said more than three dozen adults and young people have shown interest in trying to establish the skateboard park.

Fundraisers have been discussed and tentatively launched to get the money needed for the skateboard park and other improvements at Hosmer Field.

Gallant hopes to sell signs to businesses and individuals that would be erected around one or more of the athletic fields. Bottle drives and other events would also be held.

He plans to have one section of the skateboard park by May, which would be moved to retail parking lots and school lots showing people what could be when sufficient money is raised.

He also expects the young people who will use the skateboard park to help raise funds.

“If no kids, we won’t do it,” he said.

Buccina added that the goal of officials is to develop the recreation center without using taxes.

“It should be a community effort,” he said.

Anyone interested in taking part in the development of the skateboard park is invited to attend the next meeting at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Parks Commission building at Hosmer Field.


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