Private funds will help build splash pad

Published 3:00 am Saturday, June 11, 2016


The City of Brundidge has a private investor who could funnel $100,000 or more into the half-million dollar proposed splash pad and recreation park.

The Brundidge City Council conducted a public hearing Friday morning at City Hall to give residents an opportunity to learn more about the proposed park and also the proposed grant to assist in funding the park. The parks would be built on city property on Veterans Boulevard and, if funded, would include a splash pad, a playground, walking trail, restroom facilities, a picnic table and a bench.

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Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage told those who attended the public hearing that the city council is considering submitting an application for a CDBG Community Development Enhancement Grant in the estimated amount of $583,000 with the city’s match at about $259,000.

“The city has a private investor – an anonymous investor – for the project, who could commit $100,000 or more, ” Ramage said. “This private investment in the project will give us a much better chance of receiving the grant and will reduce the city’s match for the project.”

Ramage said the city only has a short time to prepare and submit the grant application. The deadline to submit the grant is July 1, 2016.

Ashton Estees, South Central Alabama Development Council, is working with the city to prepare the grant application.

The Community Development Enhancement grants were announced the first of May, Estees said.

However, the city was not aware of the grants until two weeks ago.

“We’ve been working on the grant for about two weeks,” Estees said. “The council will vote at its June 21 meeting whether or not to submit the grant application.”

Brundidge City Manager Britt Thomas had discussed the grant application for the park with the council at its Tuesday meeting but no vote was taken.

Thomas said he was going to move ahead and prepare the grant application to have it ready for submission if the council votes in favor of the project.

Ramage said if the council votes to submit a grant for the park project, the competition will be stiff.

“About 50 applications will be submitted but only about 20 will be funded,” he said. “With the private investor our chances are improved.”

Ramage said the park would be constructed on a section of nine acres of city property.

“We’ll still have property available for other forms of recreation, maybe soccer fields, at the site later on,” he said.

The park will be located on the lower side of the city’s property with an access road leading from Veterans Boulevard to the parking area, which will accommodate about 20 vehicles. The splash pad and playground will be located beyond the parking area.

The proposed walking trail will circle the splash pad and playground area. Trees will provide shade along some parts of the trail.

Ramage said the park would not be supervised except by the Brundidge Police Department. There will be no lighting at the park and it will be closed at night.

Those who attended the public hearing viewed slides of the slash pad and park that is under construction in Ozark. Estees said the Brundidge splash pad and restroom facilities would be similar to those in the Ozark park. The estimated cost of the splash pad alone is $115,000. The city currently has two parks, Galloway Park and Ramage Park. Galloway Park, on the north side of town, has a ball field, basketball court, playground and community building.

Ramage Park on the south side of town has ball fields, a playground area, restroom facilities and a concession stand. The city is in the process of remediating a small park that was closed several years ago. The remediation plans include a walking trail, gazebo and picnic tables at Ramage Park.