Festival Park moving ahead
Published 4:49 pm Friday, September 17, 2010
By By MIKE VOSS
The effort to begin the development of Festival Park received a boost Monday when the Washington City Council accepted a nearly $300,000 grant to help kick off the project.
In addition to the $295,125 Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant awarded to the city by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the city is providing another $295,125 toward the project.
In January, the council added the Festival Park master plan to the citys parks and recreation master plan. Festival Park will occupy most of the green space between the N.C. Estuarium and the former Maola plant on Water Street.
That master plan calls for a performance venue, public restrooms, a childrens play area, picnic shelter and benches, among other things. Susan Suggs, who helped develop the master plan, told the council earlier this year she believes Festival Park will be a complementary addition to the citys waterfront.
Several private groups have said they are willing to help pay for Festival Park amenities, possibly allowing the city to decrease its obligation toward the project.
City officials believe Festival Park will support live performances, provide open space where people may relax, create play areas for children and provide opportunities for access to the Pamlico River.
At the Monday meeting, the council learned the state is recommending the city be awarded a $50,000 grant to help pay for building restrooms on the west end of Stewart Parkway. The state will update the citys proposal to build the restrooms and file a new application with the U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service for final approve, Phil Mobley, the citys parks and recreation director, told the council.
As for the restrooms project, the city had sought grant funding to help pay for restrooms on the west end of the parkway and next to Festival Park.
Earlier this year, Mobley said that if the city provided about $85,000, it had the opportunity to combine that with $385,000 in grant funds to help build permanent public restroom facilities at the west end of the parkway and next to Festival Park. The city has some of the grant funds in hand; the remaining grant funds are being sought.
The project on the west end of Stewart Parkway would be built by using a $200,000 Coastal Area Management Act grant, a $50,000 Boating Infrastructure Grant and $50,000 in city money, Mobley said then.
The project in the Festival Park area would be built by using an $85,000 Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant (which the city has been awarded), another $50,000 Boating Infrastructure Grant and $35,000 in city money.
The west-end facilities would part of a new dock masters office called for in the revitalization and redevelopment strategy approved by the city last year.