Winter’s Park may be getting new playground equipment with the help of county grant money, after the township council approved a request from the township’s administration last Thursday to apply for the funding.
According to township Business Administrator Brian Campion, Mahwah is applying for $132K from the Bergen County Open Space Fund for Parks and Playground Improvements. If approved, the grant would be matching, so Mahwah would need to pay the same amount for the improvements from its open space fund.
The money would be spent to make improvements to the playground and picnic areas of the park, which Campion said is part of the revitalization of the Winter’s Pond area. The
The exact plan for the park, which is currently in the works, has not yet been cemented. “I’d like to find out how much money we can get before we finalize any plans,” Campion said.
A resident at the council meeting, Robin Larsen, expressed her concern about spending money to upgrade the park. “At a time when people are hurting financially, should we be doing the nice-to-do things in life, as opposed to just the have-to-do’s,” she asked the council, adding that she feels upgrading Winter’s Park is a “nice-to-do” project. “Even though I’m sure it’s something we’d all want…I wonder if this is the right time to do it,” she said.
Town Council President John Spiech responded to Larsen, saying that both the county and municipal money potentially spent on the project would come from funds earmarked for improvements to open and recreational spaces. "Every year we apply for state or county money, and it is usually a matching situation,” he said.
Larsen still questioned the move. “Grant money is still taxpayer money,” she said. “And, times are tight.”
Continue to follow Patch for updates on the plan for Winter’s Park improvements from the township and resident committee helping formulate the design.