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December 08, 2016
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Esplanade plan dates back 20 years; design phase moves forward

Still, some have expressed concern about spending town money on the project at this time. Wingert said while the project is being designed over the next year or so, her office would be writing grant applications as the various design aspects become available. She said of future grants and funding, “If we obtain them, then we can build, if we don’t, then we put off building. We can’t afford to lay that burden on our taxpayers at all.”

Some have also expressed concerns that the town does not have all the easements in place to build the esplanade and amphitheater. Wingert said an effort to acquire those easements would be made during the design phase. She also said it is possible that the project could be done in phases. Therefore, the 100-seat amphitheater planned for the space where the deck is now located and reaching down the hill, is probably the most expensive part of the plan, and may be put off until last. The cost of the entire project has been estimated at anywhere from $700,000 to $2 million.

But, one way or another, Wingert clearly plans to press on. She said, “We’ve had this idea going for more than 20 years now, if it takes another 20 years to build it, then so be it, but first you need the design.”