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Murfreesboro to apply for grant to assist park project

MURFREESBORO – The town of Murfreesboro will be submitting an application for a grant from the NC Division of Coastal Management Access following a public hearing here at their meeting on Aug. 12.

Jamie Heath, Lead Planner from the Mid-East Commission, presented the information to the council during the hearing.

The grant, if awarded, will be used for a variety of improvements at the Murfree’s Landing site, located at the end of Hart Street on the banks of the Meherrin River. The funding would cover expansion of the existing parking lot, the installation of LED light poles, construction of a canoe and kayak launch, and the addition of some erosion control methods on the river shoreline.

“These improvements are consistent with the town of Murfreesboro’s Comprehensive Recreation Plan,” Heath explained.

The proposed site improvements would total $189,000. The grant covers $170,000 of that cost and requires a local match of $19,000.

No citizens choose to speak during the public hearing which was broadcast on Facebook Live due to gathering restrictions stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Council member Craig Dennis motioned to approve the grant application, and Council member Sarah Wallace seconded. The vote passed unanimously without any further discussion from the council.

The town’s recreation plan, which lays out details for several park improvement projects throughout the town, was approved in November last year. It was compiled through a joint effort between the Mid-East Commission and Murfreesboro’s recreation advisory council, utilizing surveys and several community meetings to learn what kinds of recreation improvements were needed most.

In addition to suggestions for the Lakeview/Harrell Field and Riverside Park, the plan called for several different upgrades to the 25-acre Murfree’s Landing. Future improvements could include an accessible walking and biking trail, a picnic shelter, a gazebo, and more.