Portland seeks input about proposed parks & rec complex - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Portland seeks input about proposed parks & rec complex

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PORTLAND, CT (WFSB) -

The town of Portland is looking to build a new parks and recreation complex complete with things like playing fields, hiking trails and a splash pad, and are looking for input from residents about the idea.

The town owns 37 acres of land along Route 17 and Strickland Street in the center of town, and the plan is to use a large piece of the space for the town's recreation complex.

The plan currently calls for soccer and little league fields, a playground, a splash pad, picnic areas and hiking trails. There's no price tag for the hefty project as of yet, but Portland's First Selectman said the town is using a state grant to get the ball rolling.

"There is a lot of support, particularly among our very young families who have moved to town and they want to make sure their youngsters are able to enjoy the outdoors," Portland First Selectman Susan Bransfield said.

The proposal is a long time coming. In fact, Portland bought the property eight years ago, but with an adjacent neighborhood, not everyone was thrilled with the idea to put ball fields and parking lots there.

"It's ridiculous," Portland resident Joe Marino said. "As far as I'm concerned, it's a waste of money."

Marino has lived in Portland for 50 years and said he's not looking forward to potential of increased traffic in his neighborhood.

"The parking area, you've got Route 17 over there," he said. "It's going to cause a lot of headaches."

That's why the town wants to hear from residents. There's a meeting scheduled at Portland High School Thursday night.

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