Marked Tree Council approves seeking parks grant

Monday, August 21, 2017

The City of Marked Tree has conducted several surveys recently to get public input on what's needed at the parks in preparation for grant applications to update the parks in several ways. The Marked Tree City Council reviewed the results of those surveys during Monday night's meeting and heard a presentation on plans to use grant funds at both the sports complex and Carver Park.

Park improvements the city plans to pursue with grant funding include security cameras at the parks as well as--for the sports complex: netting to catch foul balls, two fields in 2018, two fields in 2019, more shade, more stationary activities for children, and three adult park benches. Additionally, the children of Mayor Mary Ann Arnold will be donating a pavilion. For Carver Park, to be eligible for state funds they have to remove the overhead wiring, put it underground, and make the park wheelchair accessible. The plan is to have a walking trail, which is wheelchair accessible and will connect to the different activity areas, more stationary actitivities, and children's benches.

For the walking trail, they plan to apply for a grant from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, which will only require a 20 percent local match. For the other improvements, the city will apply for a 50/50 matching grant from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism in the amount of $50,000 for 2018 and will apply again for another $50,000 grant next year for 2019 to finish the work. City Clerk Pam Wright said the maximum amount for the grant is $250,000, but cities are more likely to be awarded grants if they apply for lesser amounts, so the plan is to do the work in phases. Wright also said the $50,000 from the city to match the grant can come out of the 1996 sales tax account, which currently has $218,000 in it and has to be kept above $136,000.

The council approved a resolution to seek a 50/50 matching Outdoor Recreation Grant in the amount of $50,000 as the deadline to apply is this month. They will apply for the Highway Department grant at a later meeting.

The council also adopted a resolution officially naming the park at Deacon Jones and Industrial Street Carver Park. Everyone has always called it Carver Park, but the name had not yet been officially recognized in the council's minutes.

The council also approved an ordinance to purchase a 2016 John Deere cab tractor from Greenway Equipment for $68,500, approved the water audit, and approved paying bills out of the Industrial Fund for mail outs which totaled $54.90.

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