By John Murray

   Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary (second from the right) listened to a consultant yesterday afternoon during a tour of Library Park in downtown Waterbury. City officials are hoping to use nearly $1 million dollars in federal block grant money to overhaul four neglected parks; three in the South End of Waterbury, and one in downtown, Library Park.

   The South End parks are Hopeville Park, River-Baldwin Park, and the Rivera-Hughes Park. There are discussions to fix basketball courts, install fencing, erect new playground equipment, and water sprinklers for children to cool off in during the summer.

   During the tour of Library Park the consultants from Wright-Pearce of Middletown said it was important to make the entrance to the park more inviting. In addition to upgrades in electricity, there were discussions about installing a fountain, building public bathrooms, offering free wi-fi, fixing up the patio in the back of the Silas Bronson Library, and removing a sea of hedges and a tree in front of the library to open up the space and make it more inviting.

For decades the entrance to the Silas Bronson Library in downtown Waterbury has been obscured by a labyrinth of hedges. In a plan now being developed by city officials the hedges will be removed and a new entrance will offer tables and a place to relax, read a book or enjoy free wi-fi service.