Safford to use CDBG funds to continue restoration of Glenn Meadows Park

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Safford will use roughly $220,000 from CBDG funds and will contribute another $44,000 to continue to renovate Glenn Meadows Park so it will be more ADA compliant/friendly.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – When the city is done, the only sand in a play area of Glenn Meadows Park will be in its sand volleyball court.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald

The restoration of Glenn Meadows Park that began with an $83,800 grant from the Freeport Community Investment Fund in 2016 will continue as the Safford City Council chose the park to be the recipient of roughly $220,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

The funds will be used to renovate the public restrooms to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations and install a rubber playground surface to provide ADA access to playground equipment. The city adopted a resolution at its March 12 meeting to leverage approximately $44,000 to contribute to the project.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Blade Johnson, 3, climbs onto a play structure. Safford will utilize CDBG funds to remove the sand and add a rubber playground surface.

The park previously reopened in September 2017 after an extensive renovation that saw new playground equipment and shading, grass, landscaping, lighting and surveillance cameras.

According to Safford Councilor Chris Taylor, the main reason the park project was chosen was because it does not require a special income survey of residents in the area like other proposed projects and, since it was part of the city’s Capital Investment Plan (CIP) already, funds that were earmarked for the park may now be used for one or more of the projects that applied for the CDBG funds.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: The previous renovation included new playground equipment and landscaping.

“Any organization that we would give the CDBG funds to would have to be wrapped up in 15 years of oversight from the city and the federal government,” Taylor said. “We felt the guidelines of that were too cumbersome, so we picked a project from the CIP and we will free up $200,000 from the CIP to grant to the halfway house or homeless shelter. That way, they won’t be subject to the CDBG guidelines.”

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: This is an aerial shot of the park before the first renovation began.

Two projects the council is looking at giving that funding to are to the CHAPS Ministries homeless shelter and the proposed sober living house that has already received a donation of land from Marge Schade and Ted Prina.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: The restrooms at Glenn Meadows Park will also get a makeover to become ADA compliant/friendly.

The CDBG Glenn Meadows Park project will now be sent to the Southeast Arizona Governments Organization for it to submit to the Arizona Department of Housing due to it being a federal program that is administered through the state.