WILTON — Residents and town officials turned out Tuesday for the grand opening of a new public parking lot next to Bass Park that was donated to the town by a couple wishing to remain anonymous.

Taylor Construction also donated a bulldozer and operator for an entire day to complete the work on the lot, which is designed to accommodate about a dozen vehicles. Town Manager Rhonda Irish also credited the town highway department for its work on the project.

Irish said about five years ago a group had shown interest in buying the land behind the park but had no plans for its use. Irish said Recreation Director Frank Donald came up with the idea for a parking lot, as most current parking for the gazebo and playground was along a paved loop that runs through the park.

Irish said that’s when the anonymous couple in town caught wind of the idea and approached Donald with the intent of purchasing the property for the town. Money was donated, and not only was there enough for the land, but there was enough left over to begin construction of the parking lot.

Construction began in 2013 and finished last week.

“As time goes on, we may use another part of that (property) for a few small trails,” Irish said.

Irish said beautification and functionality will continue at Bass Park.

“We’re going to put a barricade up at the circle,” Irish said. A sign will direct people to park in the new lot instead. Irish said the ultimate goal is to remove the paved circle and create more grassy area in the park.

“We would like to replace that gazebo with a new, larger gazebo that could be used for events,” Irish said, adding that the existing gazebo would be moved to Bishop Park in East Wilton. A larger grassy space and gazebo would make small concerts or “art in the park” events possible, she said.

Irish said the town also would like to replace a couple of pieces of playground equipment with more modern pieces. She said the town would seek donations, volunteers or grants for those projects and ideally leave tax money out of it.

Douglas McIntire — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @CD_McIntire


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