AMESBURY — Collins Street Park could be in for a new basketball court thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Greater Amesbury and the city’s Quality of Life Committee.
Kiwanis Chairman Ron Guilmette approached the committee last year because he hoped to have a full-size court built in the park.
“Newburyport has a couple of different basketball courts around the city,” Guilmette said. “Salisbury has a few and Amesbury has the one. So, we thought we should put up a full basketball court. We will make it look nice.”
Kiwanis received $800 in seed money from the committee, which promised to match any money raised through a club fundraiser held last fall.
“They did their fundraiser and raised $5,000,” committee Chairman Tim Osgood said. “So we’re going to get them $4,200, which is added to the $800 to match what they raised.” On Tuesday night, the City Council approved a $4,200 request from the committee to fund improvements at Collins Street Park, which Osgood said would go toward the basketball court project.
Guilmette estimates the club will need to raise an additional $10,000 to $15,000 to make the full court a reality.
“We’re halfway there,” Guilmette said. “We are looking into some Kiwanis grants from our district foundation and are pursuing other fundraising options going forward. We are trying to work with some local banks or anybody that’s willing to work with us to get it done.”
He said the club is happy to work with the city on the project.
“With the City Council’s approval, this just gets us one closer to doing it,” Guilmette said. “It’s great.”
The council unanimously approved a request from the committee to reduce a $50,000 appropriation from 2018 to build a tot lot in the Upper Millyard. Osgood said the committee initially planned to build the tot lot next to Flatbread Company, but the plan has changed.
“It’s moved right up the path and will be exponentially cheaper,” Osgood said. “In fact, the project is going to be probably $15,000.”
The committee also committed $36,000 to building a retaining wall at Lake Gardner Beach last year, but the project appears to be going over budget, according to Osgood.
On Tuesday, the council unanimously approved a request to earmark $20,000 from the Quality of Life Fund for the Lake Gardner project.
For more on the Kiwanis Club, go to https://m.facebook.com/KiwanisAmesbury/.
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.