City seeks funding for Havens Gardens

Published 6:43 am Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Contributing Editor

To improve its chances of being provided grant funds to help pay for improvements to Havens Gardens, the city is trying to find $25,000 as its contribution to the project.
The Havens Gardens project, with the preliminary estimated cost at $406,750, is among the “ongoing” projects in the city’s capital-improvements plan. The project calls for replacing the existing fishing pier and 600 feet of existing bulkhead.
“The City is not required to match the grant monies awarded. However it will help the City in the ranking process if the City will offer a match. I proposed the City offer a $25,000 match,” wrote Phil Mobley, the city’s parks and recreation director, in a memorandum to Mayor Archie Jennings and the City Council.
During its meeting Monday, the council endorsed Mobley’s proposal.
“It’s time for us to try to do something with the park,” Mobley told the council.
Mobley then said that $25,000 match was not in the city’s budget.
Mayor Pro Tempore Bobby Roberson said he supports the project, but he said he wants to know where the $25,000 will come from.
Councilman William Pitt said Havens Gardens needs improvements, in part because it’s one of the city’s few public-access areas to the Pamlico River.
The council and mayor indicated it would benefit the city to come up with the $25,000 “match” to improve its chances of being awarded a grant from the Marine Resources Fund to help pay for the Havens Gardens improvements.
In a brief interview Tuesday, Roberson said he’s confident the city will provide the $25,000 match, but that allocation likely will mean taking $25,000 from somewhere else in the budget.
The city’s Recreation Advisory Committee, at its July meeting, endorsed seeking the grant, supporting the project and the city providing $25,000 for the project.
The grant application is expected to be submitted Friday, according to Mobley’s memorandum.
In April 2009, the Washington City Council authorized further development of an improvement plan for Havens Gardens. At that meeting, the council endorsed Concept C, the preferred plan for modifying the waterfront park, which abuts the Pamlico River and Runyon Creek.
Since then, the city has been seeking money to implement Concept C, or at least some of its components.
Concept C includes the following features:
• Safer realignment of the Main Street-Hudnell Street intersection and removal of confusing traffic patterns that will result in additional park area.
• Creation of a landscaped entrance into Washington using park property and the N.C. Department of Transportation right of way.
• A modified layout of the park that includes tree-lined parking, walkways, a boardwalk connecting the north and south sides of the park, picnic shelters and fishing piers.
• Improved walkways near the park that connect neighborhoods, Jack’s Creek greenway and public facilities such as Veterans Park.
For additional coverage of the council’s meeting, see future editions of the Daily News.