Voters OK funds for Beacon Falls rec complex renovations

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By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

Basketball courts at the Pent Road Recreation Center in Beacon Falls are shown March 23. The town is planning a project to replace the basketball courts, tennis courts and playscape at the recreation complex. –ANDREAS YILMA

BEACON FALLS — The ball is officially rolling on a renovation project for the Pent Road Recreation Center.

Voters approved, 14-0, transfers and appropriations totaling $245,230 for the project at an in-person town meeting April 12.

The project will include a new playscape, new basketball and tennis courts, new fencing and work on the ball fields.

“I’m excited to actually get the project started,” First Selectman Gerard Smith said.

Voters OK’d transfers totaling $43,000 from the Parks and Recreation’s budget to the non-recurring capital projects fund for a new playscape.

“The playscape was actually in disarray and it wasn’t ADA compliant, so our insurance carrier advised us that we need to repair it or upgrade it,” Smith said.

Officials weren’t able get the parts to repair the playscape and couldn’t order a new one until the funds were approved, according to Smith.

Voters also approved appropriating $60,190 from the undesignated fund balance to the non-recurring capital projects fund and an additional $142,039 in Local Capital Improvement Program funds for the renovations. In total, $222,039 in LOCIP funds have been allocated for the project.

There are two full tennis courts, one full basketball court, two half basketball courts and a multipurpose court at the recreation complex. In a previous interview, Smith said the courts are cracked and buckling from weather and use, and are becoming a liability issue.

The basketball hoops, tennis nets and benches near the courts will also be replaced.

The Board of Selectmen voted at its regular meeting following the town meeting to waive the $20,000 competitive bid threshold requirement for the project. Smith said this will help streamline the process and make it easier to gets bids from companies that hire subcontractors.

Smith said the hope is the work will be finished by mid-summer.

“The plans are going and bids are getting put out, and we should see progress work down there within the next couple of weeks,” Smith said.