Leachville public meeting held

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A public meeting was held in Leachville Monday, July 17, to discuss grants for park improvements. Ruth Ann Keith, city clerk/bookkeeper, informed those in attendance she had become aware of two matching grants.

One grant from the Arkansas Parks and Tourism would be used to construct a second pavilion at the city park.

It would be completely handicapped accessible and located in a spot closer to the parking area.

The pavilion would be equipped with lower grills and a table access for anyone in a wheelchair. Keith attended a meeting at the East Arkansas Planning Development. She said sometimes smaller projects are getting funded more than larger ones. Representatives from the EAPD said they would help with paper work, maps, etc.

Rodney Robertson asked what the last pavilion cost to build.

Keith said it had been several years ago and she thought it was about $30,000.

Questions about the pavilion included if it would be free to the public, size, etc.

Keith said it would be free to the public, first come, first serve. It will not be rented or reserved. It will be a public facility.

The deadline to file for the matching grant is Aug. 28.

Keith said she would have to get estimates on the concrete and other materials to be included in the grant application.

The second grant discussed was for three new pieces of playground equipment. The equipment included a climbing-type wall; a seesaw used for ages 5-12, and a bouncy ball type piece. All of the pieces are good for exercise, coordination and balance.

The total cost of the playground equipment is $21,829 which would leave enough for the drop zone and installation, if the city is awarded the matching $30,000 grant.

“We have the new basketball court, and if we can get the new equipment and a new pavilion our park would be in good shape,” Lisa Baldridge, interim mayor, said.

Robertson asked if the city had enough funds to match.

“If nothing major happens, we should be able to,” Keith said.

Several of the citizens attending the meeting expressed their approval for park improvements if the funds become available.

The deadline for the playground equipment application is Aug. 8.

The public meeting ended prior to the regular council meeting which started at 7 p.m.

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