Use this search box to find articles that have run in our newspapers over the last several years.

Town solicits community input for upcoming projects

Date: 11/1/2013

By Carley Dangona

AGAWAM – An ongoing survey seeks input from residents to prioritize the open space and recreation projects for the town.

Planning & Community Development Director Deborah Dachos said that the survey is available online at

Hard copies are available at the Town Clerk’s Office in the Town Hall, 36 Main St.; the Agawam Senior Center, 954 Main St.; and the Agawam Public Library, 750 Cooper St.

The survey must be returned by mail to the Planning Department or deposited in one of the drop boxes located at the Town Hall, center or library by Nov. 30.

“The Open Space and Recreation Plan Committee has been meeting since September and started working on the survey almost immediately,” Dachos said. “We’re hoping to get a large response so we can tailor the plan to the community’s needs.”

Dachos explained that cities and towns are required to update their Open Space and Recreation Plan every five years. She said that locations have been assigned to each committee member to analyze the conditions and activities of each site.

In Agawam, there are more than 40 places to inventory such as School Street Park, which has benefited from state aid in the past, and Shea Field, the future sight of a dog park.

Once identified, the town can apply for funding such as Community Preservation Act monies, if necessary, to support the projects.

Dachos added that usually, if the update is in process by the expiration date, a city or town would still qualify for assistance for any open space and recreation projects.

The committee consists of residents Shelby Hall-Gibbons, Let’s Move! Wellness Coordinator; Ted Dobek; Jane Benerakis; Sharon Roulier; Nick Pandolfi, member of the Planning Board; Jill Messick, member of the Conservation Commission; Louis Russo, vice-chairman of the Community Preservation Act Committee; Chris Sparks, Director of the Parks and Recreation Department; John Decker, deputy superintendent of the Department of Public Works; and Dachos.

“I’m really pleased at the interest the volunteers have shown. We’re moving right along. The most important component is the five-year action plan. It identifies where public funds are needed,” Dachos said.

The committee’s next meeting will take place on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at the senior center. All meetings are open to the public. For more information, contact the Planning office at 786-0400, ext. 8738 or at