A verbal commitment from city council to allocate $50,000 means the potential for $400,000 for the project should the city be awarded money from Kate B. Reynolds Foundation and the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant, Parks and Recreation Director John Simeon told the panel Tuesday night. “That is a very good investment on taxpayer dollars to get $4 for every $1 spent.”
The city wouldn’t officially allocate the money until the next budget year, City Manager Joseph Scherer said.
Simeon told council the department will apply for $150,000 from Reynolds and $200,000 from the trust fund. The deadline for the Reynolds application is February 13 and the deadline for the trust fund grant is May 1. “Both grant representatives are very supportive of this project and have recommended that the city of Roanoke Rapids fund $50,000 towards this project. This will show our support and commitment when preparing these grants.”
Councilman Carl Ferebee made the motion for the verbal commitment and Carol Cowen cast the second. It passed unanimously.
Improvement plans include a splash pad and spray park for the center, which became the top priority following a stakeholder meeting in October and after council in August determined its funding options for a new pool at Chaloner were all but exhausted.
Part of the plan includes removing the failing pool at the recreation center and replacing it with a splash pad.
Preliminary conceptual plans for the park include a new playground away from a flood-prone creek, a new shelter near the recreation center, a new shelter near where the splash pad would be and new parking.
The Highway 158 masterplan also targets eventual improvements at Wheeler Park and Martin Luther King Park.