MEXICO — A major project to improve the town recreation park and add a playground, a splash pad, a pickleball court and a nine-hole mini golf course will be the subject of a public information meeting Tuesday, May 16.

It is set for 6:30 p.m. in the Calvin Lyons Meeting Room downstairs at the Town Office and will include a preview on the proposed 2023-24 municipal budget.

The goal of the project is to improve the health of people in the River Valley area through outdoor recreation.

The town is applying for a federal grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund that could pay for up to half of estimated $150,000 for the first of four phases.

Recreation Director Wayne Sevigny, landscape architect Mike Gillis of Acadia Landscape + Design in Bar Harbor and grant writer Tina West of Yarmouth and Worthley Pond are involved with the process. The final application must be submitted by June 30.

Town Manager Raquel Welch-Day said Sevigny plans to break ground this summer “as soon as he knows he’s got that grant money.”


The park, which is off Roxbury Road, will remain open while the work is being done, she said.

Phase 1 includes repairing the multiuse fields, hard-surface courts, access road and parking areas. It will also involve building a handicap-accessible viewing and picnicking platform and a handicap-accessible riverside picnic area. Additional parking areas for bikes and equipment, five more picnic pavilions, a playground, a splash pad and a pickleball court are also part of the first phase.

Lighting and landscaping will be added throughout the park to extend park use, minimize erosion and improve the park’s aesthetics.

Welch-Day said officials are looking to use $145,000 left from the federal pandemic relief fund as a local match for the grant.

Residents will vote on using that money June 13.

The Board of Selectmen voted to support of the project, Welch-Day said.


“I think it’s awesome,” she said. “We have nothing around here for kids. We have a rec park that offers a great playground.”

She said the idea a splash pad is intriguing.

“So many grandparents are raising their grandchildren now, and they can’t get down to the river or have access to a pool,” Welch-Day said. “But there will be park benches around these splash pads and they can sit and watch these kids play in the water.”

The town manager said the director of the grant program came to Mexico and said “we have one of the best locations in the whole state and it was too bad we weren’t taking advantage of the program for the funding.” The director also told her the town is pretty much guaranteed to get the money if the paperwork is done correctly, she said.

“With this grant, you can apply for it yearly,” Welch-Day said. “I think that’s why (Sevigny) has the project broken into four phases.”

The other phases are:

• Phase 2 — Rebrand the facility the River Valley Recreational Park to gain support from neighboring towns, improve multiuse sports field, possibly add zip lines and a rope course, and design and install nine-hole miniature golf course.

• Phase 3 — Improve and widen the multiuse trail network for walking, biking, snowmobiling, in coordination with Rumford, and consider a bridge to connect to Rumford parks, and apply for a recreational trails program grant.

• Phase 4 — Possibly acquire a parcel on the north boundary of the park for a possible Tough Mudder course, BMX pump track or frisbee golf, and expand the trail network.

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