ST. ALBANS TOWN — Officials are hoping to build a tennis court and basketball court right on the water for all to come, watch the waterfront, and play, according to an agenda from the town’s Development Review Board and Selectboard Chair Brendan Deso.
“Cohen Park has an enormous amount of potential and has been on the selectboard’s radar for the last few years,” said Deso on Monday. ”Our goal for the renovation plan would have been to offer more activities within the park for children and families without raising taxes to pay for it ... while we’re reconstructing the base of the parking area, we’re going to construct a base for one new tennis court and a new basketball court. They’ll be paved at the same time as the parking area. A few weeks after the paving of the parking area and courts is completed, we’ll have the courts surfaced.”
Town officials say that they’re building on what they see as an immense opportunity for the town to build up their recreational systems and draw others to build their tax base.
“We constructed a new pavilion/picnic shelter near the waterfront in 2019, have worked hard to keep it open as an ice fishing access when safe in the winter, and our team has done a great job maintaining it,” Deso said. “We plan to reconstruct the base of the parking area and pave it, making it easier for us to maintain in the winter months as an ice fishing access and parking area. We also plan to renovate the existing bathrooms with updated fixtures.
“Using one-time savings within our existing General Fund budget will allow us to not only enjoy these improvements by mid-summer 2021, but will also allow us to not have to utilize local option sales tax revenues and staff time to fund and plan a future renovation project. The project budget is almost finalized, but I can share that we expect it to come in around $75,000 all-in.”
The courts, if approved, will be built at 666 Maquam Shore Road in the Town of St. Albans and be state of the art, according to town officials.
“Our Department of Public Works director found savings in our budget after receiving a very competitive price for our 2021 paving schedule,” Deso said. “The selectboard agrees that utilizing these one-time savings to fast-track the park renovation is an appropriate course of action.”
Deso said the town is holding a meeting for public input at Cohen Park on May 3 at 5:20 p.m.