Parks and Rec. could salvage PARC grant
Date: 2/6/2012Feb. 6, 2012
By Chris Mazachrism@thereminder.com
WILBRAHAM — The Wilbraham Parks and Recreation Department may be able to use the grant money it received from the state for construction costs after all.
Bryan Litz, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, attended a training in January to get his questions answered about money the town received from the Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant offered through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).
The town applied for up to $500,000 in grant funding for the Spec Pond Recreational Complex renovation, but was given $39,000, which it was told was to be used for design purposes. The major design phase of the Spec Pond project has been over since 2006.
However, after the training, Litz said there is hope.
“The lady in charge of the grant told me that if we have it all designed, there is the potential for them to approve it to be used for construction costs,” he said.
Litz explained that there are still some small aspects of the project that need to be designed and part of the PARC grant funds will be used for that purpose.
“We don’t have $39,000 worth of designing to do,” he said.
The first step in the process is for the Board of Selectmen to sign off on the acceptance of the grant, which Litz said would take place at its Feb. 9 meeting.
After the town has entered into the contractual agreement with the Commonwealth, the design portions of the project that remain must be completed. Only when those are done can the town ask the state to release the remaining funds.
“We have to come up with a baseline of the remaining costs and then we can approach them with potential projects that we could use the remaining grant money for,” he said. “They will review that proposal and decide whether or not we can use that money on the construction.”