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Plans for $400,000 Delano playground discussed by council

By Evan Belanger
Ebelanger@decaturdaily.com 340-2442

Plans are moving forward this month toward constructing an estimated $400,000 playground at Decatur's Delano Park.

To be located near Prospect Drive Southeast and Eighth Avenue, adjacent to the Splash Pad, the playground will include ramps and equipment making it accessible to children with disabilities.

During a work session Monday, the Decatur City Council discussed accepting a $200,000 state grant for the all-access playground.

The measure is on the agenda for consideration at the council's next meeting, 10 a.m. July 16 in the council chambers.

According to council members, the grant is larger than expected, which could push completion of the project up, but no target date for groundbreaking or completion was released Monday.

"It's a pretty sizeable grant," said District 2 Councilman David Bolding, whose district includes Delano Park. "We were thinking we were going to get about $100,000 and we ended up getting $200,000."

The grant, which comes from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, requires the city provide $200,000 in matching funds.

To help fund the match, city officials have partnered with two private organizations, the Friends of Delano and the Junior League of Morgan County. The groups will raise a combined $100,000 for the project. The rest will be funded by the city.

According to group organizers, some whom have been pushing for the playground since 2001, the playground has been a longtime coming.

"We're just real excited because we know we need this facility in this area," said Barbara Kelly, a Friends of Delano member. "The closest one right now is in Sheffield, so this is going to be great."

In addition to the playground, organizers are proposing that a botanical garden with reading and educational areas for children be built at the park.

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