Town Crier Articles

Enhancements Are on Their Way through the Volunteer Efforts of Our Community
Posted on October 1, 2020 7:00 AM by Mary Cheston, Chair, Communications Committee
Categories: Life in New Town
Notice anything new in Elizabeth Davis park? Well, it’s not really new, but refinishing has brought new life to one of New Town’s 24 wooden benches. Thanks to the efforts of Charlotte Park residents Mike Reilly and Bob Dennis, refurbishing our aging teak benches has begun. 
New Town’s benches were identified as an upcoming capital expense item on the Asset Maintenance Committee’s recent inspection of New Town common area property. Given an estimated replacement cost of between $24,000 to $30,000, President Chuck Stetler asked avid woodworkers Mike and Bob to look at what might be done to salvage the benches. After recruiting other neighbors with trucks to move the benches, Mike and Bob power washed, sanded and applied a special protective coating and shield which returned the bench to its natural teak color. They presented the refinished bench as a prototype for the Board’s consideration. (See photos) As an alternative to purchasing new benches, on September 14th the Board of Directors approved Mike and Bob’s proposal to refurbish all 24 of the NTRA’s wooden benches. A few benches have deteriorated to the point that they will require replacement of slats in the bench backs. Supplies for their entire project will run about $3,000.   
While this work has started, their efforts will largely be a winter garage project, explained Mike, since both the Reillys and the Dennises are brand new grandparents. Mike and Bob are donating their labor as a service to the New Town community. (If you’d like to be considered as backup or support for these grandpas, contact Mike at or 843 450-5665).
Kudos to Mike and Bob for stepping up and demonstrating that New Town residents are willing to be part of the solution! Their efforts are saving the Association about $25,000. 
By mid-October the long-awaited expansion of the pool playground will also be starting. The Board of Directors has approved the purchase and installation of a “Whistle Stop” play structure similar to the one pictured. This equipment addition is possible through a payment by the developer, New Town Associates, to the NTRA to satisfy James City County proffers.  Many thanks to Bill Voliva and all the members of the Playground Work Group who can finally see the fruition of their 2017 deliberations.  (See the March 2020 Town Crier for the full background on this playground project).
The Board has also approved the installation of a birdhouse on the greens of Magnolia Park. This architectural treat is currently under construction by another New Town resident. Stay tuned for the full story in our November Town Crier issue!
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