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Albion hires grantwriter to help with Bullard Park upgrades

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 January 2015 at 12:00 am

Focus is on splash pad, new playground

(Editor’s note: This story was changed from the original version to reflect that the Town of Albion won’t be giving $1,500 towards the grant as was originally reported. That town did give $8,000 towards Bullard, but that money wasn’t specified for the grant.)

ALBION – The Village Board intends to seek a grant for up to $400,000 for improvements at Bullard Park with the top goals a new spray park and playground equipment.

The village may also look to establish a recreational trail around the park and perhaps other improvements, depending on the cost.

Albion twice sought state funding for up to $600,000, but was denied in 2012 and 2013. A pared down application could sway state officials this time, Kim Remley, a member of the Rebuild Bullard Committee, told the Village Board tonight.

“The belief of the committee is there is no way this could happen without a grant,” Remley told village officials.

Rebuild Bullard met with grantwriter Jean O’Connell of Clarence. She said there are several pots of money that could be used for funding the park upgrades (which would also likely include a local match.)

The Village Board agreed to hire O’Connell for $6,000 to prepare grant applications. A music fest organized by the Lions Club last summer raised $2,000 towards a grantwriter. The Elks Club also is committing $1,000 to the grantwriter. The village will pay the other $3,000.

There will be some additional engineering costs to update the estimates for the spray park, playground and other improvements. The village would like a changing area/bathroom and concession stand near the spray park.

Albion had sought regrading and building up its ball fields with past grant applications. That likely won’t be part of the new grant application. The village plans to use fill from the Clarendon Street bridge to improve the field on the north side of the playground.

The bridge will be removed this spring and early summer, and the dirt for the approaches will be removed. That material will be used at Bullard, said Dale Brooks, DPW superintendent.

John Grillo, Albion’s recreation director, said the committee is enthusiastic about the project and other energy in the community, including the Metro 10 race on Aug. 22, a 10-mile running race that will finish at Bullard. There could be 3,000 runners in the debut event which is being organized by the Albion Running Club. Some of the proceeds from the race are planned for Bullard improvements.

“Albion is starting to pop,” Grillo said at the Village Board meeting. “The future looks bright.”