PARTF funds aid Aulander

Published 5:29 pm Friday, September 2, 2022

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AULANDER – The Town of Aulander has been awarded a second state grant for improvements to its municipal park.

Town officials were notified earlier this week that their application for a N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant was approved. The town will receive $142,650 for its Municipal Park Phase 2 project.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant,” said Bobbi Parker, a member of the Aulander Town Council. “We will use this PARTF grant in a manner that will benefit our citizens and those who visit our town.”

Parker said Phase 2 of the project includes adding playground equipment, resurfacing the walking track, building restrooms, and adding picnic tables and benches at the park on Rice Ave. It also includes cosmetic upgrades to the gym and the senior citizens nutrition site inside the Joseph Acree Gymnasium, located adjacent to the park.

“We were keeping our fingers crossed that we would receive funds to help us with Phase 2 of this project and we got it,” Parker exclaimed.

She offered praise for those that worked on this funding effort.

“I give a big shout out to Emily Miller who wrote the grant we submitted to the state,” Parker noted. “We also need to thank Assata Buffaloe [a local attorney]. On the day before the deadline to submit the grant, we realized we needed a legal document. Our [town government] attorney was out of town. We reached out to Assata and she was so kind to help us. She devoted her time to help us meet our deadline to submit the grant.

“I also thank the other members of our Town Council, our town administrator, and our town maintenance staff for everything they do,” Parker added. “And I thank our former mayor [Larry Drew]. He resigned last week due to health reasons, but he’s always been a champion for our town. Improvements to our park, the ballfield, and the gym have always been his dream.”

In 2018, the town received $129,300 from PARTF for Phase 1 of the project, which led to a splash pad at the park and new lighting for the ballfield.

In addition to Aulander, 38 other communities across the state were awarded PARTF grants, according to a press release sent from Gov. Roy Cooper. He said the total amount of grants awarded were in excess of $17 million.

The North Carolina Parks and Recreation Authority approved the grants at its meeting held on Aug. 26 at the Nature Research Center in Raleigh.

“Our parks and recreation areas are so valuable to our communities and they’ve become more popular than ever,” Cooper said. “These projects we’re funding today will give people even more opportunities in North Carolina to build healthier and happier lives.”

Each year, the Authority is required to allocate 30 percent of PARTF’s total funding to local government projects.

Awardees must match funds dollar-for-dollar for the awarded amount.

“Congratulations to the local governments that received Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grants to invest in the health and quality of life of their communities,” said D. Reid Wilson, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “The historic increases in funding by the legislature and Governor Cooper will result in more North Carolina families having ready access to outdoor recreation.”

The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund is administered through the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, which is part of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Local grants are awarded annually by the Authority at their quarterly meeting in August.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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