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City poised to net 2nd grant for Coast Guard Park

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Several mortar racks holding hundreds of empty mortar tubes that will be used in tonight's fireworks show by the water at Coast Guard Park, Tuesday afternoon. The truck in the background is operated by the Zambelli Company, which is putting on tonight's fireworks show.

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Monday, September 10, 2018

Elizabeth City is poised to win a second grant for U.S. Coast Guard Park, bringing in nearly $300,000 for the project and freeing up local taxpayers’ dollars.

Last month, Gov. Roy Cooper’s office announced the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund has awarded Elizabeth City $146,000 toward improvements at Coast Guard Park.

In commenting on the news last week, City Manager Rich Olson noted the city also has a “very high probability” of winning a roughly $140,000 grant for the park from the N.C. Division of Coastal Management. The CAMA grant award winners should be announced in October, Olson said.

The grants would fund extensive work at the waterfront park, including construction of a bulkhead, a boat launch, parking lot, boardwalk and more. Olson noted the city has estimated the work will cost about $296,000. Ideally, the work would start around Dec. 1 and take 120 days or less to complete, Olson added.

Prior to the PARTF grant announcement, city officials were still budgeting for city dollars to cover about half the project’s costs. Barring unexpectedly high bids, the grant frees up more money in the budget to cover other priorities of City Council. That includes finding $50,000 to support reopening a homeless shelter.

Olson said it’s council’s decision how to spend any freed-up money in the city’s budget.

Notably, in developing Coast Guard Park, the city several years ago approached city resident Alice Redding about selling her adjoining property, 706 Riverside Avenue. The talks fell through, and Olson said this week that “the city has no interest in purchasing her property at this time.”

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