Frankford approves more improvements for town park

The second phase of improvements to Frankford’s town park is now in the works, after the Frankford Town Council voted on Monday to amend the original Delaware Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund Grant for the project, for a total amount of $35,000, under a 50/50 matching grant with $17,500 paid by the Town. The council then voted to accept a proposal in the amount of $31,221.20 from Game Time/West Recreation for the second-phase park equipment/enhancements.

“We are very grateful,” said Town Administrator Terry Truitt of the assistance.

Truitt noted that the grant funding accepted on Monday is actually an extension of the Town’s original DTF Park Grant in the amount of $25,000.

In the original application, the Town had to provide the state with a full outline of what they would like to see the grant funds used for and prioritize the list. The walking path was their first priority, followed by the basketball and volleyball courts and new equipment. Each of those items was finished earlier this summer.

The asphalt for the new walking path alone cost $23,900, which almost put the Town at the required $25,000 in expenditures to receive the matching grant funds. The Town had to spend the $25,000 first, in order to apply for the grant, and they could then receive up to half of that amount, or $12,500, in return.

Already, the Town has paid for installation of the volleyball and badminton courts, as well as the basketball courts, with additional funds spent on signage and plants. Under the grant extension, they have to spend the $35,000 first and can then receive up to $17,500 in matching grant funds.

“It started as a dream, and in two years, it is coming to fruition,” said Truitt of the park improvements earlier this year, referencing a survey the Town sent out in 2010, asking townspeople what they would like to see at their park. “We listened to the majority of those who returned it,” noted Truitt, reading off some of the requests: “a walking path, updated equipment, more plants and flowers, etc.”

According to the State of Delaware, the Delaware Land & Water Conservation Trust Fund (DTF) is a matching-grant program to assist with park land acquisition and outdoor recreation facility development. County and municipal governments and park districts are eligible to apply for matching financial assistance. Funding up to 50 percent of the projects’ cost is available for projects sponsored by municipalities or counties.

The grants have been applied to the purchase of new parks or conservation areas or additions to these existing lands, as well as the development of playgrounds, ballfields, trails, picnic pavilions and other active outdoor recreation facilities.

This summer, for the second year, the Frankford park hosted U.S. Camp, a Unite Sussex initiative for area children that wrapped up this week. The camp offers breakfast and lunch, as well as educational, recreational and character-building activities, for children ages 5 to 13.

Also at the Aug. 6 council meeting, the council approved purchase of a H3 Hydroguard automatic flushing system with an automatic timer, to be added to the Town water system. The total cost could be around $6,000 with materials and labor.

“There are certain areas where the Town does not have looped lines,” explained Truitt. She said they were possibly looking at installing two of the units, and they would either be placed on Frankford School Road near the G.W. Carver School or near the new Indian River High School.

The council also decided they would look into buying a dog-waste station for the park. Truitt said the estimated costs for one of the stations is about $380, plus shipping and handling.

The September council meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 10, because of the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 3.