Telford Bor­ough wraps up ren­o­va­tions at Fran­co­ni­aav­enue Park

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Meghan Ross

What used to be a 1950s-style play­ground at Fran­co­nia Av­enue Park be­tween Branch Av­enue and Third Street in Telford has trans­formed into a bright, mod­ern recre­ational area thanks to Bor­ough Man­ager Mark Fournier and Parks and Re­cre­ation fore­man Gary Yoder and his team of work­ers.

The park is open to the pub­lic and now fea­tures a climb­ing wall, new slides and swings, a walk­ing path, pic­nic tables and benches.

There are still a few things that will be added, such as a se­cu­rity lamp, a hand­i­capped ramp, rail­ings and some land­scap­ing.

The park project started the sec­ond week in Au­gust, and Fournier ex­pects the park to be done in Novem­ber or De­cem­ber, when the bor­ough will host a lunch in the park with hot dogs, snacks and so­das.

“We’re go­ing to have a lit­tle meet-and-greet and rib­bon-cut­ting,” Fournier said. “We just don’t have a date for it yet.”

Telford Bor­ough ac­quired a Community De­vel­op­ment Block Grant from Mont­gomery County for $162,940, but Fournier ex­pects the bor­ough will not need to use the full amount for the park. The rest of the money will go back to the county to be re­al­lo­cated. Fi­nance Di­rec­tor Craig Davies han­dled the grant ad­min­is­tra­tion for the project.

The bor­ough was re­spon­si­ble for the engi­neer­ing plan of the play­ground as well as the la­bor, while the grant money was used for the ma­te­ri­als.

“The goal was ba­si­cally to build a park in the neigh­bor­hood that it serves that would im­prove recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties for the chil- dren of the community, make the park a safer and bet­ter play­ground en­vi­ron­ment and keep it cost ef­fec­tive,” Fournier said.

The feed­back about the park has been “very pos­i­tive,” Fournier said.

“It’s full now,” Yoder said. “You hear that from the neigh­bors.”

Liz Wal­lace, a res­i­dent of the area who goes to the Fran­co­nia Av­enue Park about once a month, said she re­ally liked the new park.

“It has a huge walk­ing path,” Wal­lace said, adding that she

takes her dog there.

Ac­cord­ing to Fournier, in the past 10 years or so, the bor­ough has made ren­o­va­tions to three other recre­ational ar­eas in ad­di­tion to the one at Fran­co­nia Av­enue Park. The other play­grounds at Stover Park, Sum­mit Av­enue Park and the Telford Community Build­ing have all dif­fer­ent de­signs and lay­outs.

“We’re get­ting pretty good at this,” Fournier said. “These guys are get­ting to be pros at putting to­gether play­ground equip­ment.”

Yoder said some community groups, such as a mom’s group and a nurs­ery school group, have held meet­ings in the bor­ough’s parks.

The ren­o­va­tions at the Telford Community Build­ing are still on­go­ing, and Fournier said the project is about 75 per­cent done. Bucks County gave the bor­ough a grant of a lit­tle more than $18,000 for ren­o­va­tions, which will in­clude some ex­te­rior paint­ing and work on the kitch­enette and drop ceil­ing inside.

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