Park selected for improvement grant

Morris News Service

ATLANTA - A network to increase greenway space in Athens and a recreation park in Barrow County could see extra funding after state officials selected the projects from a lengthy stack of applications.

Antoinette Norfleet, director of grants for the state Department of Natural Resources, said Wednesday that the Victor Lord Park in Barrow County and the greenway network plan in Athens could each receive $100,000 in federal land and water conservation funds.

Raiford Peacock, Barrow County's director of leisure services, said the money would help with major upgrades and renovations to the park that include replacing aging lights, repositioning some of the baseball and softball fields, and refurbishing concession stands and restrooms to make them handicap-accessible.

He said the work is expected to start in the next 15 months.

State officials chose 14 projects out of 80 applications submitted by local governments throughout the state asking for $6.1 million. Norfleet said the department had only $1.2 million to spread out when making its recommendations for local government projects.

The department now will pass along the recommendations to federal officials.

Norfleet said that because of reductions in the federal grant program, only $600,000 might be made available to the state next year.