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New park progressing

Plans for starting work on the new park in west Lincoln County are on hold until officials find out about two grants.
The Recreation Commission has applied for two grants, said Erma Deen Hoyle, director of the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Parks and Recreation department.
One from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund could bring in $500,000. Lincoln County didn’t receive the grant the first time it applied for it.
The second grant is for $250,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and will be awarded in September.
Hoyle said if neither of the grants is received, the commission could move forward and use money already budgeted for the park. About $100,000 has already been appropriated, and another $150,000 is included in the county’s 2005-06 capital improvement plan. That still has to be approved by commissioners.
“We would like to use that money to begin development even if it is nothing more than a shelter, just to get something started,” Hoyle said.
The park will be located on a 54-acre tract on Hull’s Grove Church Road.
Elements of the park include a picnic shelter with restrooms, playground, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, amphitheater, mountain bike course, open field space and walking trails.
There are also fields for baseball, softball and soccer.
If the $500,000 grant is received, officials hope to put in a splash park, Hoyle said.
“That would give some water play elements for the kids,” she said.
The additional grant money, if approved, could also go toward longer walking trails.
No construction can start before the grant recipients are announced. But volunteers are needed for smaller projects like clearing trails and minor construction, especially if the grant isn’t received.
Anyone who is interested in helping out can contact the Recreation Department at (704) 735-2671.
by Alice Smith

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