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Trousdale County’s Parks & Recreation Committee heard about two potential grant opportunities for Hartsville City Park during their Sept. 24 meeting.

The county had planned to apply for a Built Environment Grant through the Tennessee Department of Health prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state delayed the grant application window but it has recently reopened, County Mayor Stephen Chambers told commissioners.

That grant, which was estimated at $85,000, would be used to resurface the tennis courts and improve the basketball courts in the park. Committee members had voted at a February meeting to approve those uses if the grant was received.

Chambers also said he wanted to pursue a grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation to put artificial turf in the play area at Trey Park and also to purchase and install play equipment designed for children with disabilities.

“That makes it a little easier for people with mobility issues,” the mayor said. “We do have a ramp to get you down into the park, but once you get in there really is no play equipment for anyone in a wheelchair.”

Chambers presented possibilities such as swings designed to accommodate the disabled and a merry-go-round that sits flat on the ground and is wheelchair accessible.

The mayor did not have an estimate on the amount of a grant request as he did not have information on the cost of turf or the merry-go-round. TDEC allows grant requests of up to $1 million with a minimum of $25,000, but Chambers said Trousdale County would not go anywhere near the maximum.

If that grant were obtained it would be a 50/50 match, with the county and state putting equal funds forward.

“I’m just proposing to add equipment for those who have disabilities and also some sensory equipment for children on the autism spectrum,” Chambers said. “We have gone through the pre-application.”

Committee members approved having engineering firm Kimley-Horn prepare the application and budget for the proposed grant using funds already in the parks budget.

Public Works Director Cliff Sallee told commissioners his crews were repairing flood damage in the park but everything was repairable. He also updated the committee on plans to replace some of the light poles near the Little League fields.

Sallee said he had priced wood poles at $4,500 and metal poles at $7,500, but noted that metal poles would last considerably longer. There is a question of whether metal poles will be compatible with how the park is wired for electricity, but Sallee said he would update the committee next month on that.

The committee voted to authorize Public Works to move forward with getting prices on replacing with metal poles and present a report at its next meeting, which was scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 29.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.

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