Westcott Park

The site of the future Westcott Park on the Woonasquatucket River.

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Two state grants totaling $500,000 would pay for major upgrades to local recreation spaces if approved.

The projects, including a new riverfront park, Westcott Park off Adams Lane, as well as new athletic fields at the Coletti Farm property, will service different parts of town and continue a trend of such improvements being made by town officials across North Providence.

Leah Cardillo, representing grant writer Lisa Andoscia and Rosewood Consulting at the Dec. 7 Town Council meeting, detailed the specifics behind both a $100,000 small recreation grant from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for the Adams Lane park and $400,000 large grant for the Coletti Farm property.

Both grants will require 20 percent matches from the town.

The council approved applications for both grants, with a deadline of Dec. 17.

The $100,000 grant would be used to create a new boat launch on the Woonasquatucket River, walkway to the boat launch, benches, a picnic pavilion, landscaping kiosks, educational signs, ADA parking spaces, and parking lot improvements.

The $400,000 grant would pay to develop new athletic fields as well as landscaping, lighting, a new parking lot and other upgrades at the Coletti Farm property, which is bordered by Verdi, Hamlin and Elena streets off Mineral Spring Avenue.

Town resident Ruth Bucci told the council she wanted conditions placed on the town doing the match on the grant for the field, including reviewing the contract prior to it being signed to ensure that no artificial turf is included in the project.

Bucci, a frequent critic of plans to develop an artificial field behind the high school, said town officials should be considering maintenance requirements, a warranty, construction price, and the composition of the field including any chemicals that might be part of the materials. Bucci said the neighborhood needs protection, including on any potential contamination, drainage, or overheating caused by the turf field. She said the council should also ensure access by the neighborhood to the field, noting how fields in town are often locked up to the general public.

Bucci said another condition should be that if there’s any money left once the project is done, the council should be able to review how it is spent. She said the council exercising oversight of the project would lead to a better product.

Councilor Ken Amoriggi said the council is only granting permission to seek the grants, and then Mayor Charles Lombardi’s administration would later present plans that the council could put limitations on.

Bucci said she’d like the council to place a condition stating the type of surface they’d like on the field, reserving the right to make the decision.

Council member Mario Martone made a successful motion to authorize seeking the grants, but placing a condition that any final approvals or use of the money be presented back to the council for its approval.

Also at the Dec. 7 meeting, the council approved Town Planner Brent Wiegand’s request to spend $23,600 in North Providence Land Trust funds to perform work at Westcott Park on Adams Lane. The money, coming out of the Land Trust’s account, will pay D’Amico Engineering to do preliminary engineering and create permit-ready drawings, said Wiegand.

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