Locust City Council receives updates on grant options

Published 1:54 pm Monday, April 15, 2024

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Locust City Council received a presentation Thursday from Parks and Recreation Director Emily Jones, who updated board members on grant opportunities available to the city.

Jones reported on three grant sources which could benefit the city in meeting needs identified in its recently-completed master plan, including the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF), the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Accessibility Grant and the Stanly County Parks and Recreation Grant.

“PARTF grants are available up to $500,000, and must be matched locally,” Jones said, noting that three projects had been identified in the master plan for which such funds could be used. These uses included trail development, installation of a splash pad and development of pickleball courts.

“Pickleball courts have been requested, and we have a group that is very interested in developing these,” Jones said, adding that four pickleball courts could be constructed at the south end of the existing football field at Locust City Park for a cost of approximately $140,000 to $180,000.

According to Jones, trails and a splash pad had also been identified in the master plan and requested by local citizens, but additional land would have to be acquired to develop them.

“Although not as highly requested as trails or a splash pad, the PARTF grant would give us an opportunity to develop these (pickleball) courts,” she said.

Jones also identified the NC Parks and Recreation Accessibility Grant as a potential source for upgrading aging playground equipment and surfacing, and providing equipment which would be accessible to all youngsters, including those with disabilities.

“This would be a much larger project,” said Jones, estimating a cost of $200,000 to $300,000, which would not include the cost of removing old equipment.

The Stanly County Parks and Recreation Grant, which funds local communities up to $10,000 (matched locally dollar-for-dollar), is an additional source, said Jones, who noted that the city had used funds from this source to purchase equipment for the city’s outdoor movies the previous year.

The council voted unanimously to authorize applications for the grants, as well as approving a required resolution of support for the PARTF grant, should it be funded.

Toby Thorpe is a freelance writer for The Stanly News & Press.