5 Year Plan For Avoca-Marshall Township Recreation Park Reveals over $1 Million in Needs Assessment
AVOCA - ( April 4, 2022) - The public was able to see a proposed 5 year plan for the Avoca-Marshall Township Recreation Park. The park was recently signed over to the township from the State of Indiana.
(The ponds and piping are leaking and are in need of repair)
Approximately 20-30 people attended the public presentation from Layne Elliott, Project Manager of Eppley Institute For Parks and Public Lands Indiana University.
Layne Elliott, with Eppley Institute presents a Five-Year Plan to attendees Monday night
" One of the main focus's of tonight plan since this is a brand new park, and new park board there is a lot of repairs from the former Avoca Fish Hatchery. Getting those things taken care of is probably is the biggest part of the plan," said Elliott prior to Monday evenings meeting.
During the presentation just over $1 Millon worth of needs assessments have been identified in the initial assessment of the park.
Critical needs - $154,730
Important needs - $198,615
Flexible needs - $736,504
Total needs - $1,089,849
The proposed plan is not finalized at this time, but a road map for the township and park board to address the needs of the park. There is still time for the public to have input on the plan, before being finalized. A master plan is required in the State of Indiana to be awarded grant funding.
(Renovations to the Hamer House will be a focus of renovation and beautification of the park)
" This is the first time I have seen the plan is tonight," said Suzi Evans Marshall Township Trustee. In fact, all the candidates for Marshall Township Trustee attended this evenings meeting which includes. Tony Barrett, Christopher Noel and Jan Kirk.
Evans did not seek re-election this year for Marshall Township Trustee.
Marshall Township has adopted a tax levy to township residents for park operations. " This only generates little revenue, we do not get very much money to operate the park. The first year of the tax levy, the Marshall Township park will receive about $9,100,"
The township maintains a line item for donations for the park, that is strictly spent on the park, and the cumulative fund for the park will start generating revenue in 2023.
Residents thought the park levy would generate approximately $27,000 which would have been a stand alone fund for the park. However, it was learned the Department of Local Finance and Indiana State Board of Accounts stated the money had to come from township funding.
The township has maxed out the amount of tax levy for the township. If any more funds were needed it would have to be transferred out of the other funds, which included fire protection, cemetery care, and poor assistance.
" The park fund will cover mowing expenses and a few other things," said Evans.
The park was able to receive Regional Opportunities Initiative Grant funding which will go towards the renovation and needs of the Hamer House. This includes window repair, and painting the exterior of the Hamer House to name a few.
The Avoca-Marshall Township Recreation Park also received $40,000 in funds from the Lawrence County Redevelopment Commission with those funds must be dispensed by 2025.
The dam is leaking and will require some work, cost estimates for that are around $500.
The other immediate need of the park is to make it ADA compliant for the facilities such as the playground, Hamer House and some trails for strollers and those with mobility issues to be able to enjoy the park.
The park board will be looking at ways to generate revenue, seek donations, and apply for grants that will address some of these needs.
" There is obviously a lot of needs here, we know there is a lot of work to be done. We like to get the house done. It will take time, and get funding to get complete. This is not going to happen overnight. The red brick is structurally sound, we are going to focus on the painting of the house, septic system, and renovation of the Hamer House," said Ed Franklin president of the Marshall Township Park Board.
According to Elliott there is certain parts of the park that are under the preview of the Indiana Historical Preservation Committee which must approve any work that is done.
Other areas that will be addressed in the plan; operations of the park, which is currently done by all volunteers, and how to generate more revenue.
There are plans for another public meeting before the plan is finalized. The township officials and park board encourages the public to reach out to them and voice their concerns.
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