Prescott awarded parks grant for playground cover, parking lot, and more

A collaboration between the City of Prescott, the Economic Development Office (EDO), and the Prescott Parks Commission is seeing results in the form of a parks grant to be used for various items at Prescott City Park and McRae Park.

This grant will be used at Prescott City Park to provide a sun shade to cover the playground area for those hot summer days when the local kiddos come to play at the splash pad and also want to play on equipment. Council members reported that various citizens voiced concerns that the playground equipment was so hot that it was almost unsafe to allow children to play, so they requested EDO and the parks commission look into alternatives. Also at city park will be the installation of basketball goals at the asphalt area.

At McRae Park, the concession stand will be remodeled so it can be functional again and also to be compliant with ADA requirements and make it handicapped accessible. Also at McRae, new lighting will be installed around the park, as well as a chain link fence installed around the basketball goals for safety so balls won’t roll out into the streets and citizens have to reclaim them. The last item to be added at McRae with this grant will be a 110×220 gravel parking lot. Citizens will now have more options for parking when events are held at the park.

Planned in partnership with Southwest Development and Planning, the grant is funded through the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism and is one that EDO Director Mary Godwin said the city and EDO have utilized many times over the years to enhance facets of public works for Prescott citizens. “We’re always happy to assist the City of Prescott and the Parks Department with trying to find grants that will enhance the quality of life for our citizens,” Godwin said. “From and economic development standpoint, when we’re trying to recruit new and retain current businesses, quality of life is an essential component that is considered by these companies and organizations. We’re glad to do our part in providing additional opportunities for our Prescott parks system.”

The total project cost is $73, 372 and since this is a matching grant, the city will pay their part which is around $36,000 by utilizing funds from the one cent sales tax. The project began with former Parks Director Steve Crow and has continued with new Parks Director Carlos Vanhook. Mayor Terry Oliver said he is proud of the accomplishments achieved by all involved and that he looks forward to the finished product. “I appreciate the work of EDO, the Parks Commission, and our Parks Director in order to bring about these enhancements,” Oliver said. “I look forward to this time next year, seeing our city’s citizens and children being able to enjoy these new elements in our parks.”

Vanhook agreed by saying, “These new features and upgrades to the parks will be a great benefit to our citizens. Our goal, as always, is providing a safe, and family-friendly environment for our community’s children to play and enjoy recreation.”

The grant has been awarded and the mayor has signed the contract, so now city officials are waiting on the “Notice to Proceed” from the state office. Then, the purchasing of equipment and materials can begin, followed by installation. This project is expected to be completed within a year.

Since the Economic Development Office was created in 1998, the organization has procured over $22 million in grants for the City of Prescott and Nevada County.

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