LEWISTON – Block grant money could be used to fix up Kennedy Park’s aging gazebo and replace the swimming pool changing house that was torn down two years ago.

Councilors agreed last week to allocate $200,000 in block grant money toward Kennedy Park over the next year. But councilors have not decided exactly how that money will get spent.

“They need to decide just what their priorities are and what they want to see happen,” Deputy City Administrator Phil Nadeau said. “For example, at the gazebo, they could go all the way. It needs a lot of work.”

The gazebo, in the northwest corner of the park, needs to be made handicap-accessible. That’s on top of regular maintenance work. That could involve installing ramps, an elevator or bringing the gazebo’s stage down to ground level.

Councilors will also consider what to do with the park’s pool house. It was torn down in 2006, after the previous council approved a plan for a host of renovations at the park. Those changes included a splash pad to replace the old wading pool, $267,895 for a new pool house and $250,000 for a master plan.

Councilors voted last April to deauthorize that funding. The splash pad had already been built, and the old pool house had been torn down. It was never replaced, and the city used a temporary trailer and portable toilets for swimmers last summer.

The temporary building and toilets will be back this summer. The pool is scheduled to open on June 22, and the trailer will be installed the week before.

“But the money we have set aside now is less than what we had set aside for the pool house alone,” Nadeau said. “So councilors are going to have to decide just what they want to see there and how elaborate they want things to be.”

Nadeau said councilors don’t have Kennedy Park on a workshop agenda yet, but he expects them to schedule discussions over the summer. Ideally, work on the pool house would begin in the fall.

“If they get a foundation or a slab down before the weather changes, they could work on it all winter,” Nadeau said.


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