published Monday, October 15th, 2012

Kimball receives grant for park

by Ryan Harris

KIMBALL, Tenn. — After waiting a year, city administrators learned they will get some state grant money for Kimball Park.

Gerald Parish, director of the Recreational Education Services Division of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said the grant is for $158,000 "based on [Kimball's] application score."

Parish said the grant recipients did well on scoring criteria and the projects "expressed the greatest local recreation need."

The grants must have a match commitment from the city, Parish said, and that means Kimball will spend a total of $316,000 on additions to the park.

Originally, city leaders had planned to use the money to install lights on the remaining unlit baseball fields at the park and construct a new boat dock on the nearby Tennessee River.

In August, Kimball Mayor David Jackson said the state made it clear the grant would not be approved with the boat dock in the plans.

City officials went back, dropped the boat dock from the application and added two ballfield scoreboards, roofing for the baseball field dugouts, a new pavilion, picnic tables, batting cages and an additional playground to make up the difference.

City leaders recently discussed borrowing the money to install the boat dock from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Rural Development office.

The dock construction will cost $500,000 to $750,000, officials said.

Jackson said he was happy the city got some money to help put some finishing touches on the park, but he would have preferred that money go to the boat dock.

"It was some good news that we finally got the grant money," he said.

Parish said almost $6.9 million was awarded across the state during the grant cycle.

"We are pleased to support [Kimball's] commitment to enhance the quality and diversity of [its] recreation delivery system," he said.

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