by Jonathan Weaver
Even though not funded last year, East Franklin Township supervisors are still considering applying to build a playground in the village of Tarrtown.
In June 2015, supervisors agreed to electronically apply for a Greenways, Trails and Recreation Grant through the state Department of Community and Economic Development, but were not funded.
But, County Planning and Development Program Manager Sally Conklin said more grant opportunities are upcoming.
Last year, then-Community Development Division Director Jennifer Bellas estimated project costs for a swing set, aggregate walkways and a 16 foot-by-16 foot shelter would cost about $58,000, but Conklin estimated that material cost would rise to about $64,000.
Conklin said the Department of Community and Natural Resources grant would require supervisors to pay for 50 percent of the overall cost – or about $32,000.
However, there is another method.
“If we can get that (cost) below $60,000 – maybe cutting out a piece of playground equipment and doing it in the future-, the first $20,000 would be grant, the second $20,000 is matched dollar for dollar and the township would only have to pay $20,000,” Conklin said.
Supervisor David Stewart was optimistic supervisors could slim the overall project budget in order to minimize costs.
Up to 15 percent of the grant would pay engineering fees.
The property – purchased in June 2015 and located near the residential pump station on Tarrtown Road– was previously owned by Russell W. and Gary L. Johnstown. It was formally purchased June 8 of last year for $5,000.
Last year, supervisors also considered adding a half-court basketball court and an ADA-compliant parking lot.
Match cost can be supplied through Marcellus Shale funds or the Township General Fund.
Conklin will gather updated equipment quotes from Sports and Recreation Associates in Apollo and inquire if they also carry mulch.
Stewart estimated about a dozen children live in Tarrtown, but that the pavilion and walkways would also be beneficial to senior citizens and grandparents that walk the residential area. He also brainstormed installing benches
The grant round opens in January and lasts until March or April. Supervisors would receive approval or denial of the grant after about nine months.