Eastlake seeking block grant for park equipment, fitness court

The City of Eastlake is seeking an application for a Community Development Block Grant through Lake County, in order to purchase new equipment for city parks.
If obtained by the city, the block grant could help cover the cost of a new outdoor fitness court, playground equipment at Jakse Park and Central Park, as well as sand and playground equipment to be placed near Quentin Road.

City council approved the filing of an application for the grant during a recent meeting. Mayor Dennis Morley mentioned that the city will receive estimates for the projects.

“We’re just waiting for some estimates before we can hand it in,” he said. “With the application, we have to hand in the estimates for what the equipment and all that is going to cost. So we’re waiting on that from the company we’ve been talking to.”

The mayor said that the city received money from the block grant last year to help build the new skate park and to place trees and cement along Vine Street. In the past, grant money also helped the building of a kiddie pool at Jakse Park.

The block grant is through Lake County Planning and Community Development, whose director, Dave Radachy, said that the eligible block groups in Eastlake had changed last year. They were previously defined in 2015.

Block groups are determined to be areas where 51 percent of the population is low- to moderate-income. These groups are areas that are eligible for a block grant.

Morley said that there were plans to include locations that are now outside of the city’s block groups.
“We were going to try doing a playground in a couple of different areas, but they didn’t fall into the area where we could apply,” he said. “So we just had to look at a couple of different places.”

Funds from the block grant are for use during the 2019 fiscal year, between Oct. 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2020. Radachy mentioned that $1,346,768 is available for block grants this year.

Activities eligible for the block grant include public improvements, such as infrastructure, parks, recreation facilities and public facilities, according to a county Planning and Community Development list. They can also be used for public services, economic development and housing programs.

“Every year it gets more competitive and more people apply,” Morley said.

The Lake County Planning and Community Development website lists May 20 as the deadline for applications.

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