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Council approves grant application

By Staff, 08/24/18 1:34 PM

PRESCOTT – In a special called meeting of the Prescott City Council, Friday, approval was given for Mary Godwin, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Office (EDO) to apply for a parks grant.

This is a 50-50 matching grant, which means the city will have to pay for half of the project and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism paying the rest. This is part of the state parks department’s Outdoor Recreation Grant Program, and would see improvements done at McRae Park, the Johnson Sports Complex, Bemis Field and the Prescott City Park.

Godwin said there could be an issue at Bemis Field as the grant requires power lines to be buried. She told the council if the power lines aren’t buried, that would be taken out of the grant and the city would have to find another way to do the fencing.

For McRae Park, she said, the plan, if the grant is approved, is to put in more sidewalks, security cameras and picnic tables, like the ones at the splash pad. According to Godwin, when a representative from the Parks and Tourism Department toured Prescott with Mayor Terry Oliver, he was concerned about the lack of sidewalks to the restrooms at McRae and the lack of handicap parking.

Work at Bemis Field would primarily be fencing, while plans for the Johnson Sports Complex are to remove the existing fence and replace it with new fencing, add a new scoreboard and security cameras. For City Park, the plans are to purchase playground equipment, primarily a swing set, add more security cameras and a scoreboard for the ball field. All of the fences would have yellow capping and all areas would get new trash cans.

Godwin said she doesn’t feel as confident about getting this grant as she has about others because most of these grants focus on activities, while this one is for a hodgepodge of items. Overall, the cost would be around $80,000 total, including engineering fees. The city would need to budget $40,000 from the sale tax next year.

Godwin said the council would also need to budget money for a sidewalk project from the sale tax next year, which would bring the amount to be budgeted from sales tax to around $100,000.