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Public hearing Monday for Franklin whitewater play park study

Concord Monitor | Elodie Reed

Franklin City Council is asking for public input on whether $12,000 should be spent on studying a possible whitewater play park. 

A public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday. 

The project, called a “Whitewater Park and Play,” has been spearheaded by Outdoor New England owner Marty Parichand. Parichand envisions installing whitewater paddling amenities, a mountain bike pump track, an “eco-village” campsite and event space on a city-owned patch of land along the Winnipesaukee River. 

The cost for construction is estimated to be $45,000. Updates posted to the website for the project show that an Indiegogo campaign, a chicken barbeque fundraiser and a donation by Watts Water Technologies have all raised more than $20,000 thus far. 

Currently, the area is home to overgrown trails and mill ruins. In addition to sprucing up the riverbank, a New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development impact analysis shows that a Whitewater Park and Play facility could bring to Franklin $6.8 million in direct spending on an annual basis. 

Monday’s public hearing is on an application to the Community Development Finance Authority for $12,000 in planning study funds. At the end of the meeting, city councilors will vote on whether to submit the application.

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