While the town’s Parks and Recreation department waits with bated breath to find out whether they made the cut for a massive grant, they’ve received some good news in the meantime.
Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Polaski applied for a Play and Park grant earlier this spring and recently found out that the town was awarded $40,000.
The funds will be on top of the $90,000 that the town is applying for with a state Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant.
“It’s going to be huge – you’re talking almost double of what we were originally thinking,” Polaski said. “It’s a big difference. We’ve already got our design, (including) swings and slides and climbing structures.”
He would also like to move the playground from its current location near the parking lot closer to the ballfields.
Kristie Pate, with the playground company Bliss Products which awarded the town the grant, told town staff that this was the largest grant they had awarded in the region.
The grant will be used directly for playground equipment, Polaski said, and can’t be used for any other services.
If the town receives the PARTF grant, they will essentially have the ability to construct a $130,000 playround at Wendell Park.
Of that portion, the town would be paying at least half of the $90,000 from the grant, which matches funds with the town.
There will be two separate playgrounds, a tot lot and playground for older children.
The new playground will also have a handicapped-accessible swing and be ADA-accessible, meaning there will be ground play and an access ramp, Polaski said.
“This is a huge aspect for us, our playground now is not ADA-accessible,” he added.
Polaski said he still doesn’t know when they will find out about the grant, since it is dependent on the legislature’s budget decision, which is still up in the air.
“Even now if we don’t get the grant I still want to move forward with the playground,” Polaski said.