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May 06. 2013 10:16PM

Aldermanic committee recommends spending money to fix track at Manchester's Livingston Park

MANCHESTER - An aldermanic committee has recommended spending an estimated $265,000 to repair the track at Livingston Park.

The track had become so buckled due to tree roots that it had to be closed earlier this year to Manchester High School Central, which had used the facility for track meets.

The Committee on Community Improvement voted Monday to use up to $177,000, most likely from the city's one-time account, for the project.

Another $80,000 would likely come from the Manchester Oval Society, the North End citizens group that raised funds to support the construction of the track 14 years ago.

The project would entail removal of several trees believed to be the cause of much of the track damage. It would also involve replacing damaged sections of the track, the application of structural protective spray, and the installation of a drain along the interior perimeter of the track.

Parks Director Peter Capano said the proposal was aimed at not only making the track usable, but dealing with the underlying problems.

"We're looking more globally at the facility," he told the committee.

Capano said he believed the repairs could be completed in a matter of months and that the track could again be used by Central next year.

Ward 1 Alderman Joyce Craig, who is a member of the committee, said two members of the Livington Track citizens group indicated they would be willing to spend $80,000 in remaining funds, provided the money supports long-term repairs.

"They want to make sure the track doesn't just look nice. They want to have a quality track," she said after the meeting.

Another civic group that supported the construction of a fountain at the park would be willing to spend $8,000 on the repairs, according to Craig, who is herself an avid runner.

"When they're done there won't be the root issue," she said at the meeting. "So there will be wonderful new track we can use."

Capano interjected, "Almost new."

The proposal still must go before by the full Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

tsiefer@unionleader.com

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