A new petition began circulating Sunday to set the date for a Town Meeting to approve $350,000 to renovate Kids Kingdom if the fails.
The petition will be submitted on March 9 but only if the $500,000 proposal fails, according to Zoning Commission member Stanley Parker, who is helping to circulate the petition.
If the petitioners are able to obtain signatures from at least 3 percent of the registered voting population of Brookfield (293 signatures), then, by section C9-5 of the Town Charter, the motion would go to a Town Meeting, where residents can vote on the proposal.
If the measure passes at the Town Meeting, it will still need approval from the Board of Finance (BOF), whose chairman, Bill Tinsley, is also collecting signatures.
“The petition is for a special Town Meeting for the purpose of putting forth an alternative proposal,” Tinsley said. If the $500,000 proposal fails at referendum next week, “There’s an interest in making sure we get something new on the table,” in order to ensure that a new playground is installed before the summer.
Tinsley said he was confident that the same could be built for less than $350,000.
“The 350-number has plenty of padding,” he said. “It still has a contingency in it and it has a lot of things that I know will get donated,” he suggested, such as plants and benches.
The bulk of the savings would come from , similar to the one used in the original , but without the difficulties of fundraising and lobbying the town for the land, Tinsley pointed out.
“We have a list of about 120 names of volunteers to help us put this [volunteer effort] together,” Parker said, adding that even if the existing measure passes on March 8, “We’ll be able to show we have the volunteers to do this and maybe change things a bit” before the project goes out to bid.
According to Tinsley, he and “eight to 10” other people are putting together a steering committee to coordinate every aspect of a volunteer effort, including finding and organizing volunteers for bid package preparation, demolition and removal, site preparation and surfacing, assembly, landscaping and finishing, and a committee to organize hospitality for the volunteers and a grand opening party when the new playground is complete.
Tinsley said he expects to have this organization set and begin signing up volunteers before Tuesday’s referendum or shortly thereafter.
“It’s about being able to hit the ground running and get this done for the town,” he said.