Davidson receives grant for park project

East Davidson Hughes Community Park
Jun. 11, 2013 @ 04:50 PM

In hopes of defraying the cost of the East Davidson Hughes Community Park, Davidson County applied for and received $94,725 from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Charles Parnell, director of Davidson County Parks and Recreation, said the DENR funding — which is administered by the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund — has not been designated for specific aspects of the project at present.

"The commissioners made a decision to buy the park," Parnell said. "In the process, we were given an opportunity to apply for this grant, which is half of the purchase price of the property. We haven't made any plans yet as for how that grant money will be spent. We'll probably end up taking that to the commissioners to decide what we'll do with it."

Davidson County was one of 14 local governments to receive funding for parks and recreation projects statewide.

In November, the Davidson County Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of the Hughes Community Park property for $189,000. Zeb Hanner, assistant county manager, said staff was informed they stood a better chance of receiving the grant by purchasing land rather than simply making upgrades to pre-existing recreational areas.

In fact, the terms of these matching grants specify the purpose of facilitating land acquisition, development and renovation of public park and recreation areas.

"From that, we knew by purchasing we would be eligible for a parks and recreation grant," Hanner said. "Our folks applied for this grant based on what we spent to purchase it. The park has a couple fields that are unfinished for future expansion, so we're looking to possibly make some repairs and upgrades. That is ultimately to be decided by the Board."

Parnell said the county will wait to hear from the state on the distribution of the money and is eager to get started. The N.C. Parks and Recreation Authority considered 73 grant applications.

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or kennedy@tvilletimes.com.