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Borough to map future recreation needs in study

June 26, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A state grant will allow the borough to complete a comprehensive park study that could map out future recreation needs.

Recreation Supervisor Herb Dolaway said he found out last week that the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources had approved his request for a $22,500 grant. The Recreation Department will match the grant with its own funds to conduct the $40,000 study and a $5,000 master site plan at Mike Waters Park, Borough Secretary Tanya Mickey told the Chambersburg Borough Council at its meeting Tuesday.

Dolaway said he expects it to take about six months for the borough to award a contract to a firm to do the study, and then another six months until it is completed.

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"They will have to interview people in the communities, and all that takes time," Dolaway said. "It's not just developing a plan to build something. We're getting feedback and input."

He said he anticipates holding at least three public meetings to give people the opportunity to voice their opinions on the borough's recreation needs.

The study will take into account the borough's current policy of recreation land dedication by developers. Residential developers can either pay a fee to the borough or dedicate acreage for recreation use within the development.

Council is considering changing the policy to possibly increase the requirements.

"It will also look at the fact that a high percentage of people who use facilities are non-borough residents and whether the townships or school district will have a role," Dolaway said.

A comprehensive plan completed by an outside consultant will make it easier for the borough to receive future recreation grants, he said.

"One nice thing about having state money to do a comprehensive plan is it will enable residents to do some prioritizing on what the community feels is important," he said. "It gives us the potential in the future to use the plan as justification in applying for additional grant money to accomplish the goals."

The master site plan for Mike Waters Park is on the same time table, Dolaway said.

He envisions having a meeting specifically with the neighbors of the South Second Street park to talk about what improvements they would like to see done.

In the meantime, work on the park is moving forward.

Another grant the borough received at the end of last year for $25,000 is going toward repairing and upgrading the deteriorating building at the park.

The borough will receive bids for the work on July 15, and plans will then go forward.

The square 20-by-40-foot building at one time housed public restrooms, but damage and a leaky roof have limited its use to storage.

Dolaway said the funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development should cover the costs of installing new handicapped-accessible bathrooms and doors, a new roof and an upgraded electrical system.

Some of the work will be done with the borough's summer maintenance crew, but the majority will be completed by a professional company, he said.

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