At Tuesday night's Board of Selectmen meeting the Recreation in Norwood Committee (RINC) presented the town with a check for $45,000 to cover the expense of both a feasibility study and a traffic study on the proposed hockey rink construction project.
Representative John Rogers - a strong supporter of the project who secured the state funding of $5.6 million for its construction - joined the Committee in this presentation.
The rink would be a construction of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, and with the donation from the RINC for the required studies Rogers said moving forward would not cost the town of Norwood any money.
RINC co-chair Sue Brown said that the funds - $20,000 for the traffic study and $25,000 for the feasibility study - were all raised through private donors.
The donation comes with three stipulations: That the money be used solely for those studies, that any unused funds be returned to the Norwood Nuggets skating club, and that if it becomes clear prior to the studies being completed that the rink construction will not go forward, all the money be returned.
Selectman William Plasko noted that there is currently an article on the warrant for the Town Meeting Nov. 15 that calls for the appropriation of funds for these studies - which with the donation would be unecessary. However, he said, the discussion should still happen at the Town Meeting, "in case there is some kind of ground swell against the project," so that the money would not be spent and could be returned.
Selectman Helen Abdallah Donohue voiced some major concerns over parking at the proposed rink - which would be built in South Norwood next to the Coakley school - saying that there have been multiple proposals for where the lot would be placed in construction.
"It seems like we don't have anything defnite," she said.
"I think that the studies are going to answer a lot of questions," Board Chair Michael Lyons said, the Town Meeting question is basically conceptual and to hash out public concerns.
The Board voted unanimously to accept the donation with all stipulations.