by Terry Rogers
At a recent City Council meeting, Brad Dennehy, Director of Milford Parks & Recreation, presented council with the opportunity for recreational grants for the city. The funding would be for a new playground and pickleball courts alongside the Mispillion River in Memorial Park.
“This is kind of a no brainer. We got some funding from the state bond bill,” Dennehy said. “We also applied for an Outdoor Recreation and Trails program grant through DNREC. We applied for the maximum grant of $150,000 and they came back and said “We’ll give you $175,000, contingent upon the adoption of a resolution. So, basically, you just have to say yes to free money from DNREC and we have to move forward with building a new playground and pickleball court.”
Councilman Andy Fulton pointed out that the city would also need to commit $58,334 from General Fund reserves in order to secure the grant.
“Yes, there is a match component to that, but not to dig into the weeds too much, we would still commit funding to it,” Dennehy said. “This was agreed as part of the Capital Improvement Plan. They are giving us more money and we can reduce the amount we have to fund as part of the match to it.”
City Finance Director, Lou Vitola, compiled a spreadsheet showing how the grant funds would save the city money, even with the match component. According to the document, council approved the spending of $250,000 for pickleball courts, land acquisition and a downtown playground. These projects were also approved in the budget. With $216,000 in bond bill funding and the $175,000 in grants from DNREC, the city would save $291,000 in 2022 and $150,000 in 2023 for the projects.
Council voted unanimously to accept the grant funding and to commit to the match funding.
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