As the bricks pile up on Central Park’s stage area, the city turned its focus to Marion’s East Park on Monday, approving the application for a grant that could net the city $150,000 in improvements for the price of $15,000.
A refund to the state of unspent Community Development Block Grant funding provided the opportunity, City Administrator Roger Holter said. The project would redo existing equipment and upgrade the park facilities.
Holter said the state is channeling the refunded grant money into rural areas.
“All of our major metropolitan areas in the state have been excluded from this,” Holter said.
Holter said the alternative choice for applying would be to fix sidewalks.
The park is near the Sports and Aquatic Center, and so the renovations would repurpose the park somewhat to better complement the athletic facility.
The skate park currently sitting on the basketball courts would be resurfaced, Holter said, and the tennis courts would be revitalized. Two racquetball and handball courts would also be constructed, complete with lighting. Holter said money could even go toward restoring the softball fields near the elementary school.
“We’ve got an opportunity to revitalize the tennis courts there, recommission the basketball courts, and it would add (Americans with Disabilities Act) parking and sidewalk accessibility to the court area,” Holter said.
An electrical substation in that park will be removed later this year irrespective of whether the city receives funding for the grant project, Holter said.
If the city is awarded the grant July 15 when winners are announced, it will have 18 months to complete the project.
In other business:
- The property owner at 530 Walnut St. was given two additional weeks to procure a buyer for her home and proceed with a plan to demolish the property.
- Software enabling online utility bill pay was approved for purchase.
- A total of $11,800 was given to 23 city employees in the form of pay raises and bonuses. Holter said the pay raises were budgeted for conditionally, and the city had enough in its budget to give them out.