Village looks to land ODNR grant for park

SALINEVILLE – Village officials are looking to land a Ohio Division of Natural Resources (ODNR) NatureWorks grant for Kiwanis Park.

On Monday, village council members granted approval for Mayor Mary Smith to apply for the grant on behalf of the Salineville Kiwanis Club.

The Natureworks Grant Program is a fund for assisting townships, villages, cities, counties and park districts in improving local parks according to the ODNR website. This year alone, the program is anticipated to grant 3.9 million dollars to communities all over Ohio. Those communities that are awarded the grant could see work begin as early as spring 2015.

The Kiwanis Park property, located off Main Street, behind village hall, is owned by the village and leased to the Salineville Kiwanis. Smith has been working with Kiwanis board members for several months gathering estimates for labor and materials to see if the project is feasible. The village has until the end of the month to apply for the loan.

“We kind of just put some of the logistics together to see if we can do it,” said Smith.

Tentative plans for the money, should the village be awarded the grant, include new park benches, a new swing set and resurfacing the basketball court.

The exact dollar amount the village will apply for has not yet been determined. However, Smith estimated the total cost of the project to be about $22,000.

Members of Salineville Kiwanis have offered to donated the labor for the project saving about $8,000. The grant requires the village to produce 25 percent matching funds. Smith noted that the Kiwanis have agreed to cover this cost.

Smith also referenced the possibility of local businesses donating materials to further reduce the cost of the project. Overall, no village money will be used on the project, said Smith.

At Monday’s council meeting, council members voted to establish a separate fund for the grant money should the village be selected to receive it.

“This money will be completely separate from any other monies in the village – it will have a separate fund,” said Smith.