DOVER -- The Economic Development Department is ready to invite the public to the newest attraction: the Dover Town Park.
"It really focuses on everything down here in the business district," said Dover Economic Development Specialist Ken Black. "It will drive people in and will be a central meeting place for families. That was our intent and I think we have achieved that."
On Sept. 21, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its grand opening. However, it was officially opened to the public on Sept. 18. The park is located on Country Club Road off Route 100, between the Dover Forge restaurant and 7-Eleven.
[SLIDESHOW: Take a closer look at the new park, here.]
The fencing that currently surrounds the park to keep people out will come down, signs will be posted and a bag dispenser for cleaning up after dogs will be set up near the shed on the side of the property. The benches and picnic tables will go in on Monday and Tuesday. A bike rack that currently sits at the end of the Valley Trail in the Mountain Park Plaza parking lot will also be put at the site of the park.
Black believes there's something at the park for everyone. For example, he said that musicians could use the gazebo to play inside. Friends could meet for lunch and utilize the picnic tables, and the playground could be a place for parents to meet other parents while their children play on the equipment.
The material below the playground equipment, which was chosen to improve the safety of the children, was made of "ground up tires without the steel belts," said Black. The material is dyed maroon and provides a safer landing for children if they were to fall.
The park is located in a wifi hotspot zone, which covers from Dover Forge to Sticky Fingers Bakery and Fresh Trax Sports Shop.
The Dover Economic Development Department decided to go with the larger gazebo option after discussing the matter with local residents. It has electrical outlets, a handicap access ramp and stairs. The gazebo is made with vinyl over pressure-treated wood.
The lights located along Country Club Road are meant to help with the parking area next to the park. Those lights will operate from dusk to dawn along with the one that lights up the Dover Town Park sign.
"We want it to be visible," said Black.
There is also more than enough room for ball playing and frisbee throwing.
Black mentioned a concern that was raised several months ago during a presentation addressing the construction of the park. A resident wanted the Economic Development Department to think about putting up netting or fencing that would prevent children from chasing balls out onto Route 100. Black said that a green, plastic material will likely be used for the low area on the fence along Route 100.
Feedback so far has been very positive for the park. People have been expressing amazement at how quickly it went up and how good it looks.
"People very enthusiastically want to use it," he said.
When asked during a Selectboard meeting last month about any flooding issues, Black assured the board there were none. The park handled a large amount of rainfall that occurred in August without incident.
The Town Highway Department has been hard at work at the Dover Town Park to get it prepared for its opening, which involved mowing and other jobs.
The Landscape Committee had also assisted with the project. That committee is made up of several people in the community, including Economic Development Specialist Assistant Linda Anelli, Linda Kersten, Selectboard member Linda Holland, Phil Gilpin Sr., Road Commissioner Bobby Holland, Planning Commission member Nicholas Wallaert and former Town Administrator Nona Monis.
"It's a joint effort. Everyone deserves a lot of credit," Black said.
The option for a watering system, which had been discussed at a Selectboard meeting, has been chosen. There are sprinkler heads and hoses set up around the park to make sure the newly laid grass will be watered regularly.
The rest of the details will evolve in the coming months and years, Black told the Reformer.
"We'll see what people like and don't like and make adjustments as time goes on," said Black. "From a dirt lot to this, it came out amazing. To me, it was just amazing."
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.