Playground on the way for downtown Riverhead

TIM GANNON PHOTO | The playground is envisioned for the piece of land next to the existing community garden (right).

Last year saw the creation of the River and Roots Community Garden on West Main Street near Grangebel Park.

This year will see the creation of a new playground right next to it.

The Riverhead Town Board on Wednesday awarded a $51,374 contract to Louis Barbato Landscaping of Holbrook to provide and install the equipment for the playground.

The money will come from a Community Development Block Grant, which comes from federal funds, rather than town property taxes.

The town had received six bids for the job, but town engineer Ken Testa and recreation supervisor Ray Coyne reviewed the bids and decided that the two lowest bids were not acceptable in accordance with the bid specifications. They instead recommended the town go with the third lowest bid, which was Louis Barbato Landscaping.

The first and second lowest bids came from Pat Corsetti Inc, and American Recreational Products Inc., respectively, according to the town.

Town officials said the idea for the playground came from community garden co-founders Amy Davidson and Laurie Nigro.

“One of our original intentions was getting some kind of playground in conjunction with the community garden,” Ms. Nigro told the News-Review in October. “Being a downtown resident, we don’t have any playgrounds in walking distance for the kids, and there’s actually quite a few young families living in downtown now. So Amy and I thought it would be a big attraction for downtown that would bring families here.”

Riverhead Rotary has also pledged to fund the cost of building a fence around the playground, which will be constructed by the same company that installed the wrought iron fence around the community garden.

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Additional reporting by Barbaraellen Koch.

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