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Governor Gives Out Recreation, Local Revitalization Grants in Franklin Co.

Press Release from the Office of Republican Governor Bill Haslam, July 21, 2014:

Grants total almost $500,000 for downtown revitalization in Winchester, improvements in Tims Ford State Park and new lights for Decherd Babe Ruth field

WINCHESTER – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced three grants totaling nearly $500,000 for revitalization efforts in downtown Winchester, renovations to campsites and trails in Tims Ford State Park, and to replace the lights at the Babe Ruth field in Decherd.

“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 providing opportunities to experience nature and enjoy outdoor activities enhances the lives of Tennesseans and helps us attract more visitors to our state.”

A $372,299 transportation alternative grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to the city of Winchester will fund Phase V of the Downtown Revitalization Project, including improvements to North Jefferson Street. Motorists and pedestrians utilize this route to access the downtown district from the north side of Winchester. Sidewalks will be reconstructed and crosswalks will be added along with new signs and landscaping.

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.”

A $42,000 Recreation Trails Program (RTP) grant for Tims Ford State Park from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) will help support renovations to the popular Water Trail campsites, develop new backcountry campsites and rehabilitate miles of trail along the shorelines of the park.

The RTP is a federally funded program that distributes funds for the maintenance, construction, acquisition, development and rehabilitation of trails. Funds are awarded through a competitive process to eligible state, federal, and local government agencies, as well as private organizations. Recipients are required to put up a 20 percent match.

An $80,000 Local Park and Recreation Fund (LPRF) grant from TDEC will help the city of Decherd replace the lights at its Babe Ruth field.

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. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma), Rep. David Alexander (R-Winchester), and Rep. Billy Spivey (R-Lewisburg) represent Franklin County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

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