A $50,000 grant through the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will help with operating and maintaining North Dam Park, officials announced last week.
Phil Hansen, chairman of the Coulee Area Park and Recreation District, and Lynne Brougher, public affairs officer for the bureau’s Grand Coulee Dam Project, announced the grant at a chamber of commerce luncheon meeting at the Siam Palace last Thursday.
The park has been the recipient of much community support ever since the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce pulled area leaders together more than two years ago to figure out how to support it. The city of Grand Coulee had dropped it from its park budget after learning their lease with the USBR had expired.
The grant requires matching with funds or in-kind services, and also comes just as park district commissioners were trying to figure out how to repair bleachers at softball fields.
That subject had just been brought up at the meeting by Kevin Portch, who said 12 to 14 softball teams were about to get started in the local summer league.
He said players had met and agreed that “we really want to help do projects for the field.”
Brougher said the the Title 28 grant can be used for maintenance and for construction, and the Bureau, which owns the land, is very interested in upgrades that make the facility comply with the Americans with Disability Act.
“We hope to use the funding this spring and summer to do maintenance that we’re not able to do with our current funding,” Hansen said, such as fixing the bleachers.
The park district, which currently has no funding of its own, is dependent on contributions from local cities to support the park.
The Title 28 funding has been sought since the initial meeting with the USBR, whose personnel wrote the successful application.
Hansen said he had just gotten the news 10 minutes before arriving at the chamber meeting.