Wood, Riverside parks get new playgrounds

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Wood, Riverside parks get new playgrounds
Wood Park Playground (Photo/Courtesy)

HUDSON — The playgrounds at Wood and Riverside parks will be getting an upgrade as new equipment will be installed this spring.

The Hudson Select Board approved Feb. 5 two contracts with New England Recreation Group to purchase and install playground equipment at the parks.

The cost for the installations will be $69,450 and $48,295, respectively, for Wood and Riverside parks.

Hudson Recreation Director Steven Santos explained that the history of the playground installations date back to 2016 when they received funding to do assessments and repairs to the existing playgrounds through a Town Meeting warrant article.

He said, “We completed those inspections in 2017. We started doing some minor repairs.”
Santos said they created a list of projects that needed to be completed regarding the playgrounds in town. Into 2019, they continued work on playground repairs and “then COVID hit,” he said.

In that time, the recreation department had run out of funds from the warrant article, and Santos went to the Community Preservation Committee to ask for more funds for the Wood Park playground installation, which will have an Americans With Disabilities Act-complaint swing.

He said, “It’s a traditional-looking playground: six-and-a-half swings. There’s two belt swings. There’s a mom-and-me swing.”

Select Board Clerk Judy Congdon asked if the cost was for equipment only or if it included installation and assembly. Santos said they would be going out to bid through the contract and can directly secure the installation through the contract as well.

The pricing is not “always the best” through this mechanism, he noted. The quote they had received was $35,000 for installation, and he said the recreation department can work with the vendors to get the cost down to $25,000.

The total amount of funds they requested from the committee was $90,000, so a portion of those funds would be used for installation of the playground equipment.

He said, “This is just to actually secure the playground equipment. And, the lead time on equipment is about 10 to 16 weeks. So we want to get this going ASAP, and then we can procure the installation services separately.”

Santos said the installation costs for the Riverside Park playground equipment, which was estimated at $25,000, would follow the same strategy. He said the industry average for installation is 50% to 60% of the list price of the equipment itself.

He said, “We have a vendor that we have worked with for years, and they’re really good to us. They provide us with some really great prices at prevailing wage – the way it’s supposed to be done.”

The funding for the Riverside Park installation would come from monies given to the recreation department from the Tighe Hamilton Regional Funeral Home after the death of Tom Hamilton in 2015.

The Park Commission decided, knowing that several playgrounds across town needed replacement, to put aside the $50,630 in funds and allocate them toward Riverside Park. It will be named after Tom Hamilton, in a nod to the source of the funds for its completion.

The Select Board also approved a transfer of ownership of class I, II and III licenses from Durand Chevrolet, owners Steve and Richard Durand, to Copeland Chevrolet of Hudson, owner Todd Copeland, for the dealership located at 223 and 329 Washington St.

The applicant David Turner, who is the chief financial officer for the Copano Group, said, “As a group, we’re … very excited to come up here to Hudson and get going as soon as General Motors allows us and approves the application.”

He said they are looking forward to doing business in the Hudson community.
Select Board Chair Scott Duplisea said they have “some big shoes to fill” as Durand Chevrolet was an established and long-time business in Hudson.

Although the Durand family would not own the dealership, he added he was glad to hear someone was coming in and taking over the business to keep it going.

He said, “It’s been a great business for this town.”

Turner said Durand met with other people besides the Copano Group and believed that Durand felt the group ran the same family-type of business as he had.

He added of Durand, “(Richard) felt comfortable with us taking over to continue this work that he does in the community. We’re looking forward to meeting all of the employees.”

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