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Halifax County is looking to enhance and expand recreational offerings at the 4-H Rural Life Center through two different grant applications.

Monday, Deputy County Manager Dia Denton told commissioners staff is moving forward with plans to further enhance amenities at the center located off Highway 903 outside Halifax.

In documents contained in the meeting’s agenda packet, Denton wrote BayWar.e. Solar Projects intends to contribute $110,000 and has agreed to let these funds serve as part of a match towards a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant.

The proposed enhancements to the facility include erecting a fence around the multipurpose court, finishing the pier at the pond and constructing multiple tennis courts.

The company’s proposed match would double the funding.

Denton also said in a memo staff has researched and wishes to apply for a United States Tennis Association grant which can be used as a match along with the funding from BayWa.

Joe Long, director of the Rural Life Center, said in supporting documents, “As part of the larger overall recreational improvements planned for the 4-H Rural Life Center, staff requests to submit an application for a USTA (US Tennis Association) Facility Grant to construct up to 12 tennis courts … Funds requested total $140,000, but it is unknown how much, if any, funds will be awarded …”

Long noted any funds received from USTA would be partnered with the PARTF grant application.

Meanwhile, Denton said staff is also requesting $10,000 from the county’s contingency fund which would allow for a park plan to be completed by an East Carolina University graduate student from the school’s Department of Recreational Sciences.

The new facilities at the center were completed in 2018 and were funded through Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, PARTF, Dominion Energy and the North Carolina Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program.

These new additions feature an 18-hole disc golf course, new playground equipment, a multi-use court and a pond for fishing and STEM environmental education.  

A walking trail approximately 1-mile long interconnects the new components.

Denton told the board the pond has been stocked with catfish and brim and will be stocked with bass in the spring.