City seeking grants for park upgrades

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 23, 2006

City officials are pursuing grants to provide a new city parkand improve two existing parks.

Terry Reid, director of the Brookhaven Recreation Department,identified the grants and recommended them to the board ofaldermen. However, because the department only manages and operatescity recreational facilities, the city must apply for andadminister any park grants.

Officials are optimistic about Brookhaven’s possibilities.

“There are grants out there that, basically, no one is applyingfor,” Reid said.

Alderman have selected three grants to pursue.

One would place a youth playground in the southeast area of thecity. However, to obtain the funding the park must be located oncity property.

“We are applying for the grant and, in the meantime, looking forproperty to put it on,” Reid said.

The city needs a half to three-quarters of an acre for the newpark, he said.

The grant is the same as one used recently to refurbishBicentennial Park on Main Street in Pearlhaven.

“They give you enough (money) to buy the equipment and you haveto come up with the labor (to build the park),” Reid said.

Other funding being pursued through the Department of Wildlife,Fisheries and Parks would allow officials to construct a sprayfountain at an existing park. The city hopes to secure two grantsthrough that program.

If successful, spray parks would be added to City Park andBicentennial Park. The parks feature colorful attractions thatspray a mist of water to allow children to play under and staycool.

Reid said officials have not decided which park would receivethe fountain should only one grant be approved.

The DWFP grant would fund 80 percent of the cost. The city’s 20percent of the cost could largely be paid with labor by preparingthe park for the fountain and running the necessary waterlines.

“We can probably do it with very little out-of-pocket cash,”Reid said.