Planning and Development Director Jamie Errickson told the City Council on Monday night that the city has been awarded a $400,000 PARC grant award from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, which will be used to rebuild and improve Sacramone Park.
Errickson was asked to appear before the Council to provide an update on a $50,000 state ear-mark that had previously been awarded to the city to build a concession stand and restrooms at Sacramone Park last year.
Errickson told the Council that because there is no requirement to spend the earlier funding within a prescribed deadline, it will be added to the PARC grant, as well as the city’s match share for the PARC grant to help fund the renovations.
“We’re at 50-percent design now,” said Errickson, “The plan is basically to build a better version of what is there now, a new tot lot, which is needed for that area, a new basketball court, add a concession stand and restrooms and we’re looking into the possibility of going to an all-weather field at that park, as a lot of other communities have done, to maximize its use.”
Errickson also acknowledged that there may be an opportunity for the city to expand the park by merging it with a neighboring parcel that is currently under private ownership.
“The goal is to complete design of the park in the next few months, but we want to be sure we know what our options are, that’s why we’ve stopped design at 50-percent,” said Errickson, “We’ll complete the design once we know which direction we’re heading in.”
According to Errickson, the PARC grant is a 60-40 matching grant, meaning that the city will have to come up with at least $266,666 of non-state funding to access the PARC grant, that along with the $50,000, would give the city at least $716,666.
However, Errickson told the Council that if the city decides to pursue a purchase of the neighboring parcel, that figure could go up.
“We’re going to have to come back to you to ask for the additional funding, but we don’t know how much that will be yet,” he said.
The city has already begin the process of having the adjacent parcel appraised, as a way of determining the cost, he explained.