Eyeing expanded recreational opportunities, the Greencastle Park Board Tuesday night finalized a proposal seeking $210,000 in grant funding for proposed improvements at Big Walnut Sports Park.
The proposal was due Wednesday at Indianapolis in order for the city to qualify for the possibility of a 2011 Land & Water Conservation Fund Grant.
Tuesday night the Park Board unanimously passed Resolution 2011-05-31, authorizing the department to submit an application to the Land & Water Conservation Fund program.
The city's proposal would:
-- Create a new asphalt parking area near the Greencastle Youth Baseball field at the northwest corner of the park. The new parking area would accommodate 85 vehicles at an estimated price tag of $140,000 (including curb, gutter, sidewalk and five ornamental tree plantings).
-- Create an off-leash dog park on the south side of Big Walnut Sports Park, just north of County Road 150 South. The dog park would be designed with two 125-x-150-foot cells along with a five-foot-high fence and connecting sidewalks. Other amenities would include pet waste stations, benches and drinking fountains. Total cost estimated at $30,000.
-- Expand the existing disc golf course by nine holes with three new holes within the existing course at the southeast corner of the park. Total cost estimated at $10,000.
-- Add a stand-alone Infinity Climber system and safety surfaces to playground area at an estimated cost of $8,200.
So-called soft costs associated with the project, such as engineering, bidding procedures, environmental costs and construction administration, have been estimated at $31,000.
Big Walnut President Adam Cohen endorsed the proposal.
"We need a better playground out there for the kids," he said at a special Park Board meeting Tuesday night. "And people have been bugging us for years about a dog park. This would get the dogs off our fields."
City Park Director Rod Weinschenk agr-eed.
"A lot of people are taking their dogs out there and letting them loose to run inside the fenced fields," he said. "This would help put an end to that."
The local matching portion of the grant would be covered by $10,000 from the Park Department budget and the donation of land to the city by the Big Walnut Sports Park Board of Directors.
The Big Walnut land involved consists of 4.91 acres to accommodate the parking area and 8.23 acres for the dog park and disc golf additions. The combined 13.15 acres has a preliminary value of $480,000, according to the grant application.
While Wednesday was the deadline for the grant application to be submitted, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources will ponder the various municipal applications through September, Weinschenk said. He was unsure of when the grant recipients would be announced, but noted that the projects are supposed to be completed by the end of 2013.
A resolution authorizing the city's grant application was approved following a motion by board member Russ Evans, a second from Tim Trigg and agreement by Kara Thomas. Board Presi-dent John Hennette was absent.
Also attending the brief meeting were ex-officio board member Wes Wilson and Troy Scott, assistant director.