Proposals for the future of Ajax Basketball Park on Cross St. were submitted by the Recreation Commission to the Town Council during their August 17 meeting.
The Recreation Commission has been working with local businessman Frank Rhodes to put together a comprehensive plan to make long-term improvements to the park.
Commission member Harold Somerville has already begun assembling core members of a new community group to try to raise the necessary funding to make the ambitious plan a reality.
Of the two proposals designed by Recreation Commission member Jim Bogden, the full-court design would require an easement of the railroad right of way which extends 30 feet on both sides of the Gilchrest Rail Trail, a process that could take some time. The Commission promised that the existing playground equipment would not be removed until the new playground is opened at Wilmer Park.
The alternative plan, in case the easement issue does not succeed, calls for a half-court.
Council Member Tom Herz (Ward 2) suggested that the Commission work through phases of the proposal starting with the easement negotiation and determining how to fund it. At this point, the Council has made no funding commitments.
Since the 1970s, the Ajax half-court has been a popular community activity spot although in recent years it has experienced a decline in use. With a new playground to be located at Wilmer Park, the option to consider the future of Ajax has stirred interest in its renovation.