RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — Village Square Park in New Boston will be closed, said Village Administrator Steve Hamilton, while Rent 2 Own employees complete park renovations to install new equipment and landscaping.
Formerly on Gallia Street in Portsmouth since 1992, Rent 2 Own built a new store in the New Boston Kmart shopping center in September. Assistant Store Manager Brittany Tatman said the new store has been much busier than they were in Portsmouth, with a location along the main highway.
The New Boston store now has volunteered to spend up to $30,000 and countless employee hours cleaning up the park which is right across the street from its store on Rhodes Avenue.
“I’m from this town, and when you go to a lot of stores people are from a lot of other areas. But I know this community has been through a lot lately, and I look at this park and see kids in the neighborhood playing. I know our funds are limited, but I wanted to give them something good this year. Something they can keep for years to come,” Tatman said.
The store plans to strip the chain fence and paint it red — the color of New Boston Schools and Rent 2 Own. They’ll dig out dead bushes and tree stumps, repair holes in the grass, and install a large wooden sign with the park’s name and history inscribed. Mulch will be added around all new playground equipment, and they will also add a new roof to the shelter house, new park benches, new basketball equipment, and soccer goals.
Tatman brought her idea to New Boston Village Council in May to ask their permission to clean up the park and install new playground equipment. Council unanimously agreed, with a vote of five ‘yes’ and one very emphatic vote of ‘absolutely’. Because the store is donating so much of its own time and money, the park will also feature Rent 2 Own branding on some of the equipment. The sign outside will read, “New Boston Village Square Park, sponsored by Rent 2 Own.”
With council’s approval, Tatman and others at Rent 2 Own immediately started discussing plans for the park and they began work on Thursday. While the park is being renovated, its gates will be locked and Hamilton said New Boston police will actively be patrolling the area for people trying to get inside.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.