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Hempstead Town Board to vote on accepting playground grant

The Wynsum Avenue Park in Merrick, seen here

The Wynsum Avenue Park in Merrick, seen here on Oct. 7, 2017, is the source of some contention among neighbors. Credit: Johnny Milano

The Hempstead Town Board is slated to vote Tuesday on whether to accept grant money for a much-debated proposed playground at Wynsum Avenue Park in Merrick.

Board members will vote whether to accept a $75,000 grant from Nassau County to add playground equipment to the 2.9-acre undeveloped green space next to homes along Wynsum Avenue and Illona Lane in south Merrick.

The community group “Let’s Play 11566” had raised $25,000 for the project, and Sen. John E. Brooks (D-Seaford) also pledged $100,000 in grants to build the playground.

The playground was backed by two-thirds of neighbors in a survey, but opponents were concerned about traffic, noise and loitering if the playground was built.

While Supervisor Anthony Santino had requested the funding for the project in 2016 from Legis. Steven D. Rhoads (R-Bellmore), Santino in October urged the project be paused to allow residents to seek a compromise.

The Town Board last month voted 4-2 to table the vote, with council members Erin King Sweeney and Bruce Blakeman voting against tabling it.

The scope of the project has not changed in the pending resolution, and the town board is not expected to have any further discussion or public comment on whether to approve funding for the playground at Tuesday’s meeting.

The board meeting is set for 10:30 a.m. at Hempstead Town Hall, 1 Washington St., Hempstead.

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