PRINCETON: Mary Moss Playground renovation delayed

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By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
Renovating Mary Moss Playground on John Street will be pushed back to next year, as the job got knocked off schedule by internal and external delays that kept the town from even putting the job out to bid.
In 2016, the council approved installing a sprinkler-based play area for children, among other improvements, at a playground that used to have a wading pool. Then in January, the town said work probably would start in April and finish in time for the summer — neither of which happened.
“The original hope was that that was going to be open this summer,” Mayor Liz Lempert said Monday in pointing to delays in getting bids out.
Town engineer Deanna Stockton said this week that was due, in part, to a delay in receiving “biddable plans” from the town’s engineering consultant, NV5. She said there were design discussions going on internally within the municipality, such that NV5 “understood that there were discussions going on and did not push to complete plans.”
She said those discussions included, for instance, whether the water from the sprayground should be reused for the system.
“It’s always frustrating when things take longer,” Mayor Lempert said.
A representative of NV5 could not be reached for comment.
Councilwoman Jo S. Butler, at Monday’s council meeting, said the firm had indicated “they felt we weren’t go forward and so they, sort of, put it on the back burner for a while.”
The town will not disclose the cost of the renovation, but Stockton said the municipality does not “anticipate” the delay driving up the cost of the job.
Stockton said the town would put the project out to bid in October, with the town hiring a contractor the next month. Based on that timeline, work could start in early 2018 and, navigating the winter weather, be done in time for the playground to be ready in June.