Haslam Announces More Than $730K in Grants for Overton Co

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; July 22, 2014:

LIVINGSTON – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced three grants totaling more than $730,000 to enhance the public square and create a new two-acre park in Livingston and to improve the Hanging Limb Recreation Center in Overton County.

“We want Tennessee to continue to be the very best place to live, work and raise a family, and projects like these are key to making that a reality,” Haslam said. “Making downtown areas more inviting and accessible and enhancing our parks and recreation areas improve the lives of Tennesseans.”

A $450,953 transportation alternative grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will fund the Public Square Enhancements Project located near the historic Overton County Courthouse in downtown Livingston. The project includes the addition of decorative crosswalks at each of the square’s four corners and the replacement of sidewalks and handicap ramps. Once complete, the project will link the courthouse to other public buildings, local businesses and a future park and amphitheater.

The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement and is administered by TDOT. A variety of activities, such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects, are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.

“Through these grants, TDOT has funded more than $306 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

Overton County is receiving two Local Park and Recreation Fund (LPRF) grants from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

A $250,000 LPRF grant will be used to create a new two-acre park in Livingston with a playground, splash pad, restroom facility, parking lot, vendor area, walking path, decorative lighting and fencing, picnic tables and benches.

A $32,000 LPRF grant will be used to improve the Hanging Limb Recreation Center, including building a basketball court, replacing a seesaw and merry-go-round, installing ADA-compliant surfacing throughout the playground area and constructing ADA-compliant parking and paths connecting various activities as well as ADA-compliant picnic tables and charcoal grills.

The LPRF is a 23-year old state program that provides local governments with resources to support development and improvements to local parks, greenways, trails and recreational facilities. Grant recipients were selected through competitive scoring with careful consideration given to the projects that met the selection criteria and expressed the greatest local recreation need. All LPRF grants require a 50 percent match by the recipient.

“From land acquisitions for new municipal parks to renovating and improving existing facilities, these grants help expand recreational opportunities for Tennessee citizens,” TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau said. “We are excited to work with each of these grantees and to see the future of these projects for this community.”

Sen. Charlotte Burks (D-Monterey) and Rep. John Mark Windle (D-Livingston) represent Overton County in the Tennessee General Assembly.