'Begging' for park funding

April 19, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - Fifty thousand dollars worth of state grant money being requested to renovate Memorial Park would go toward replacing swings, creating a better and longer walkway, and making the park more accessible for wheelchairs.

The Waynesboro Borough Council, in its grant application, will agree to provide matching funds to money provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

"This grant does not deal with anything green - no plants, no trees, no grass, no bushes," Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said.

The application will be sent before next Friday, and Hamberger said he does not know how long a response will take. He already has talked to the board of directors of the borough's Memorial Park and Recreation boards in hopes they reach out to nonprofit organizations for fundraising connected to the local financial contribution.


"The borough will get matching funds if we beat out the other 450 communities that are applying," Hamberger said wryly.

"Engineered" premium mulch required by new safety standards will cost tens of thousands of dollars alone, Hamberger said.

Part of the financial obligation can be offset by work done by municipal maintenance staff, Hamberger said.

"Parts of the park are not handicapped-accessible, so we'll be expanding parts of the walkway into the tot lots and seating areas," Hamberger said.

On Wednesday, a few residents briefly thanked the borough staff and council for their proposals to improve walkability at the park.

The council did address the buzz that has been developing about possibly removing aging, and in places dying, trees that line the park's main walkway. Those trees were planted to honor World War II veterans, and their roots have pushed up the walkway and caused it to be paved crooked.

"We're not interested in harming those trees," Councilman Craig Newcomer said.

"Right now, we're just begging for money," Hamberger said. "We'll figure out how to deal with the roots later."

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