A full upgrade of the main ball field on the northern half of Bingham Park is on hold, since less than half of an anticipated state grant was awarded to Hawley Borough.
HAWLEY - A full upgrade of the main ball field on the northern half of Bingham Park is on hold, since less than half of an anticipated state grant was awarded to Hawley Borough.
James Shook, a member of Hawley Parks & Recreation Commission, stated that only $70,000 was awarded from the application to the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED). The original application was for $250,000, which was due May 31st. Shook announced the award amount at the September 25th meeting of Hawley Parks & Rec.
After meeting with Superintendent Michael Silsby of the Wallenpaupack Area School District the next morning, Shook said that the committee decided to hold off on using the grant award, and file again for the remaining amount in 2019. He said they would rather not make only a partial upgrade to the ball field. The contract is for two years, so the committee has an opportunity to file a second time.
The school district is expected to partner with Hawley Borough to rehabilitate the ball field, with the aim to use the borough field for the district’s home field for softball games.
At the May Parks & Rec meeting, Hawley Council President Ann Monaghan stated that the school district is willing to provide the $80,000 match that was needed for the $250,000 grant application.
Shook said that the superintendent indicated he would take the update back to the school board.
Shook added that receipt of the $70,000 was great, but would be left with DCED with the hope that the remainder of the project funds will be awarded.
Rehabilitation of the ball field is part of the revitalization strategy for Bingham Park that was proposed by several local citizens last year and approved by the borough council in March 2018.
Among the planned improvements to the field is some new turf and an upgrade to the dugouts and bleachers.
A separate DCED grant application has been made to revitalize the tennis courts. Shook stated that they should be hearing about the outcome, “any day.”
The entire revitalization project also calls for eliminating the ball field on the southern end across from Borough Hall, and relocating basketball courts and the skate park to this area.
Many other features as well are also included in the revitalization strategy, to be completed in phases as grant funding and other fund sources permit.
For more information about the Bingham Park project, visit: www.binghampark.org.