ROCKINGHAM — The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund denied Richmond County’s application for a grant to fund improvements to East Rockingham Park, County Manager Bryan Land informed county commissioners last week.
The county submitted the grant application in April, asking the PARTF for $500,000 to help offset a project estimated to cost $1.9 million that would provide “major” renovations to the park — including upgrades to the swimming pool and pool house, as well as adding a batting cage, a sand volleyball court and two horseshoe pits.
The project also would have added new restrooms and changing areas, put office space in the pool house, turned an existing building into storage space for pool equipment and built a new parking lot.
Nate Halubka, manager of grants and outreach for the PARTF, said Richmond County’s project met the requirements to be funded, but with so many applications this year, the fund had to make “tough choices.”
“We had way more requests (for funding) than we had the ability to give out,” he told the Daily Journal on Thursday. “(The Parks and Recreation Authority) would love to see (Richmond County) reapply next year.”
Halubka said that the PARTF received $18 million in funding requests, but only had $6 million it could award. Out of 60 eligible applicants across North Carolina, 22 projects were funded.
Land said county leadership has been discussing upgrades to the park for many years but funds haven’t been available.
“I assure you we will be submitting again in next year’s cycle,” Land told commissioners.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or firstname.lastname@example.org.