ANDOVER — Selectmen decided Tuesday they will not ask voters at the annual town meeting June 15 to approve money for a recreation park because the committee planning the project needs more time to prepare the application for a federal grant.

Instead, an article will ask voters to approve spending up to $147,000 to renovate the tennis court on South Main Street, which was originally part of the grant request.

Andover Planning Board member Sidney Pew tells selectmen Tuesday at the Town Hall that an application for federal money to create a recreation park on South Main Street will be postponed until June 2025. Voters at the annual town meeting June 15 will decide whether to spend up to $147,000 to renovate the tennis court, which is related to that project. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

Sidney Pew, a member of the committee to create a recreation park, said the grant is fairly involved and members need time to “get all of the information together to have it so we can have a plan.”

Pew also said members don’t have the time now because the grant application must be submitted to the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund by June 28. They have agreed to reapply for the grant by June 2025, he said.

The town is applying for $170,000 to $200,000 for the recreation park.

Board Chairman Brian Mills said the June 15 article will specify that the money would come from town’s COMSAT Trust Fund and paid back over five years.


The fund was established in 1984 with money from a tax settlement from the satellite Earth Station built by AT&T in 1961. In November 2020, voters approved an ordinance to govern use of the COMSAT Trust Fund, allowing the town to borrow from it for infrastructure improvements.

Pew said there is $300,000 in the Trust Fund and $50,000 will soon go back in the fund.

In another matter, selectmen voted to create more parking and pavement improvements instead of a sidewalk in front of the Town Hall on Elm Street.

Earlier this spring $15,000 was approved to build a sidewalk in that area, however, Mills said Tuesday that he recently spoke with Swayze Excavation of Andover and the company “highly recommended that we do not put a sidewalk there” and that the existing sidewalk be repaved at the same level as the parking lot.

The total cost for the repaved parking area was estimated at $25,000, he said.

Selectmen voted to use the previously approved $15,000 and $10,000 from two other town accounts to cover the cost.

The annual meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at the Town Hall.

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