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Park super, board focuses on finding grants

December 18, 2013
By JO ANN BOBBY-GILBERT - East Liverpool Reporter ( , The Review

EAST LIVERPOOL - Discussion at the recent Thompson Park Board meeting focused on grant funding, with several options for securing funding proposed.

Superintendent J.C. Blackhurst reported he is awaiting information from state Rep. Nick Barborak about the application process for more than $2 million in grants available through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, including for development of playgrounds.

Board President Burl Warrick reminded Blackhurst about submitting an application for a Blue Grass Pipeline Grant that will be available next year, and member Betsy Wells reported the Home Savings and Loan will be offering grants in 2014 as well.

She said the application deadline is April 20 but that an application should be submitted as soon as possible.

Member Samantha Kinemond had voiced her concerns about the board appearing greedy in applying again after already receiving some grant funding, and Wells agreed to contact Home Savings and Loan for an opinion.

Audience member Lenna Lockhart advised the board that the Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center had recently received a grant from the Toyota Corp. after finding information online about applying.

The board learned that $1,000 has been received by an anonymous donor toward cost of building dugouts at the new softball field, with Tri-State Community Bank also approving a $500 donation toward the construction and another $2,000 donated by the David Mason Charitable Foundation to the East Liverpool-Fawcett Community Foundation for the dugouts.

Blackhurst said he had been asked about offering horseshoe courts at the park and also thought the locally developed game of doorknob tossing might be something to offer.

He proposed that a deposit could be required to play the game, which would be returned once the doorknobs were returned. Wells will look into whether or not molds are still available at Homer Laughlin China Co. for making the doorknobs, and Lockhart advised the board that they are sold at the Museum of Ceramics.

The board also discussed the need to rid the barn of junk, with Blackhurst directed to scrap it.

Blackhurst told the board the former superintendent had begun collecting old bicycles and repairing them during the winter months then placing them at the park for visitors to use.

Currently, there are about 50 bikes in the barn, according to Blackhurst, and the board discussed the possibility of giving some of them away.

Blackhurst also reported he had attempted to decorate the upper circle of the park for Christmas but found that most of the lights and decorations were inoperable and will require a considerable amount of time to repair.

He said he hoped next year a Circle of Lights can return to the park.

The board will meet next at 4 p.m. Jan. 23 in council chambers at City Hall.



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