Site of the future Dover Town Park. (Chris Mays/Brattleboro Reformer)
Site of the future Dover Town Park. (Chris Mays/Brattleboro Reformer)
Tuesday May 7, 2013

DOVER - Economic Development Specialist Ken Black said a committee for creating a new park has been focused on planning one that would have something for everybody.

"We as a committee have been working on this Dover Town Park," he said. "The committee has worked on the design and just how it should be laid out."

Last month, Black led a presentation that showed residents and other town officials the plans for Dover Town Park at the Town Hall building. He said the park should appeal to a wide demographic, especially families with small children.

The park will be located on Route 100 and Country Club Road, between the 7-11 and Dover Forge restaurant. The land had been owned by Eddie Barber and was sold to the town last year. Black said the park will hopefully be opened sometime this year.

There will be trees along Route 100 and Country Club Road. Rhododendrons and lilacs will be planted along the street that runs by 7-11.

"There'll be some additional rhododendrons flanking the play area, keeping it a closed section so the kids don't run too far away," said Black.

A gazebo will be in the approximate middle of the acre of land it will be on. It will be 16 feet in diameter with three steps to get inside or a handicap accessible ramp on the backside by the Valley Trail.

"We took some time to look at different gazebos in our area," said Dover Economic Development Assistant Specialist Linda Anelli, mentioning ones in Brattleboro and Townshend. "The gazebo in Brattleboro is actually 12 feet ... It sounds small but it's actually substantial."

There will be power inside the gazebo, so musicians would be able to plug in amps or other electronic equipment. The color of it will be traditional white with vinyl clad for maintenance purposes.

"Maybe sometime in the future, we'd talk about a summer concert series," said Black.

Picnic tables and benches will be near the gazebo. The benches will be six feet long. The legs and frame will be made of metal, while the rest will be made of vinyl or recycled material.

Eight parallel parking spaces will be placed right on the side of the greenspace. Those spaces will be on the property of the park, not Country Club Road.

A separate path from the Valley Trail made of gravel will lead users of the trail into the park if they'd like to enter.

There was some concern over dog droppings and how to maintain the area. Dispensers are going to be available as well as baggies. There will also be three trash receptacles, one of which will be for recycling.

No water fountain will be installed at the site just yet. Although there is a well, which will be used for watering flowers, a water fountain did not make the design plans.

"The idea of a drinking fountain is something we kicked around quite awhile ago," said Anelli. "But it's not on the front lines right now. We're going to get the basic elements in now."

She added that this is "an evolutionary process."

The bike rack that is currently on the Valley Trail will be moved closer to the park area.

Four lights will be installed along Country Club Road. Each one will have a concrete base and will be 12 feet high. The lights were compared to Bennington's Main Street light fixtures. The tops are shaped like acorns.

"(The lights will be) relatively low intensity lights," said Black. "So it won't look like Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park."

Adding other lights could happen in the future.

"I cannot comment on that right now," Black said. "Anything's a possibility I guess."

The playground design calls for "barrels, little things for kids to walk on with different heights, a rock wall and balance beam."

"We gauged it as ages 2 to 12, but recognizing once kids get to be 9 or 10, instead of being on here, they're going to be on their cell phones or a variety of other electronic equipment," said Black. "This area will also have a wifi spot on it."

Black mentioned that the committee designing the park decided to go with putting wood chips in the playground rather than rubber. The price played a big part in that.

The guidelines include no private use, dawn to dusk time limit, use at your own risk, clean up after your animals and the park will not be maintained for winter use.

When asked about the budget, Black said his Economic Development Committee recommends how much to spend, then the Selectboard appropriates the funds. His committee is responsible for coming up with a reasonable cost.

Although the equipment has not gone out to bid yet, Black presented the numbers for the park. The total price is estimated to cost about $92,881.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.