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4-YEAR PLAN IS PROPOSED FOR CITY PARKS

Common Council President John T. Pitrello unveiled a four-year plan for further city parks improvements Tuesday.

Pitrello, the Democratic at-large councilman, intended to have the schedule discussed at a Council work session Tuesday, but only one other alderman showed up for the meeting, which was canceled.

The plan calls for a $300,000 improvement package at Dolan Park next year, if a state grant application is approved. If it is rejected, the other parks on the schedule will move up a year.

The plan calls for improvements to Dudley Square Park in 2003, Grossi Park in 2004 and Rogers Avenue Park in 2005.

Improvements are also planned at Kibler and Outwater parks, but with no firm timetable. Work at Kibler Park is subject to another grant process; Outwater Park, which has its own trust fund, will undergo improvements as the opportunity presents itself.

Pitrello said he worked out the schedule with Mayor Thomas C. Sullivan, Assistant Director of Engineering Jerry Sullivan, Public Works Commissioner Gary M. Andes and Highways and Parks Department foreman Kevin Norris.

Pitrello acknowledged the schedule still could undergo some changes at the hands of the other aldermen, but he said, "We feel pretty confident."

The Dolan Park plan calls for expanded and resurfaced parking, construction of a new basketball court and enlargement of the existing one, removal of the sprinkler pool and the outdoor skating rink, replacement of playground equipment, and new fencing, including two new baseball backstops.

Dudley Square is to become a "tot park," with the basketball court and the adult ball diamond removed. New playground equipment and swings will be installed, along with a pavilion and picnic tables. The price is estimated at $35,000.

Grossi Park would also receive a $35,000 makeover with new playground equipment and swings, picnic tables and a pavilion, which would be built on a concrete pad that now holds a spray pedestal, which would be removed.

At Rogers Avenue, which could be renamed Fireman's Park, a $35,000 job would also include a new play structure and a pavilion on an existing concrete pad, with the existing spray pedestal and play equipment removed.

Pitrello said the city is scrapping the proposal to take out the baseball diamonds at Kibler Park and replace them with soccer fields, as proposed last year by a team of University at Buffalo urban design students.

"We're going to spend a lot of money to make it one of the most beautiful parks in Niagara County," Pitrello said. "We're going to make Kibler Park a real tribute to Joe (Kibler) Sr."

Pitrello is running against Kibler's son in Tuesday's election for alderman at large.

There is no price tag for Kibler Park nor for the work proposed at Outwater Park.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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