Payson Park Committee members expressed some concerns to the Warren Board of Selectman Oct. 25 on a couple of projects they are working on.

The projects, carried over from 2016, include improvements to the area around the swing set, as well as a proposed set of stairs along the canal path that would go up and over a berm.

"When asked when the projects would be done, the head of Public Works said he did not know and he did not have time," Anne Nichols, committee member, said.

She said she was advised to contact Bill Lawrence, town manager, to request a timeline on the projects.

"We were told they would be done in the spring, then in the fall," Nichols said, adding that nothing has been done.

She asked if the committee should put the project out to bid to be done, and requested clarification as to who should be doing the work and a timeline for completion.

Nichols explained the committee has other projects that need to be addressed, such as memorial benches that must be relocated — hopefully close to the river — so they can be used, as well as relocating a picnic table and grill.

"Nobody uses them up on the hill, and we would have informed them of that had we [the committee] been contacted when they were installed," Nichols said.

She said the committee had been dedicated to the town, and requested open communication from the town and its departments as well.

"I agree communication is a two-way street," Lawrence replied. "I'm used to committees supporting town endeavors."

Lawrence said the work could not be done in the spring, because of the amount of water the park gets during that season. He said he had hoped to get them done in the fall, but that Public Works was still behind on other projects.

"Their main area of concern is our roadways," Lawrence said, noting paving, ditching and culvert replacements that have been keeping the department busy.

"I do believe I have a solution," he said, recommending hiring an outside carpenter, who has been doing some work for the Recreation Department.

"That way you can show him exactly what you want, instead of us trying to fit something into the schedule," Lawrence said. "I think that will work better for us and for you, because I think we both want the same thing."

Lawrence said the committee had been working off a reserve that had approximately $18,000 in it, which is now down to $16,000.

Committee member Terrence Benner said it would be nice for the committee to have at least some input, noting that a functioning double cooker was thrown out when the new grills were put in.

"It's shameful that there's no communication," he said. "It's the biggest part of the matter."

The committee has separate funds that have been donated for use on various projects, as well as materials that have been donated — such as the picnic tables that were an area Boy Scout project, and teepees and a seesaw that were Eagle Scout projects.

After meeting with Lawrence Oct. 26, Nichols said, "I think we got it all ironed out," noting that he was very accommodating.

"We still do a lot of the stuff on a shoestring budget," she said." I think we're on our way to bridging the gap."

One other problem Nichols sees is that committee members are "aging out." She said she would like to see some younger people get involved, as they are the ones who use the park.

Nichols said 30-year veteran Joan Winchenbach is stepping down, and joked, "We need somebody under 80."

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Payson Park Committee or in volunteering should contact the Town Office.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at