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$371K awarded for Alle-Kiski Valley parks and recreation projects

| Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, 4:30 p.m.

Four Alle-Kiski Valley communities have received grant funds totaling $371,000 for work on parks and recreation projects.

West Deer, Jefferson and Winfield townships and Kittanning received funds for community park projects.

Butler County received a $400,000 grant to renovate the Alameda Park swimming pool.

Gov. Tom Corbett announced the Community Conservation Partnership Program grants this week.

West Deer received $200,000 for development in Nike Park, a former Army Nike missile site.

Work will include constructing an access road and parking lots near the West Deer Township Senior Citizens Center on Route 910. The current access road is inadequate and bisects the senior center parking lot, township officials said.

Township Manager Daniel Mator said the grant money will help fund the extension of a sewer line to the site.

He said the project, which includes the addition of pavilions, bleachers, handicap access and a walking trail, will cost about $1.4 million.

The township is completing the project in phases as money becomes available.

Mator said he was pleased to receive the grant.

“We applied for it and thought we had a good chance, but ... grant funding is so limited,” he said.

The Nike Park project in September received $200,000 in state tax money that was generated by the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh.

Kittanning plans to use its $36,000 in grant funding for design work and materials to build a handicapped access ramp between Jud Field and the YMCA of Armstrong County soccer fields on North Water Street.

“There's a lot of in-kind support coming for the development and installation of the project,” said Jennifer Bellas, Armstrong County Community development division director.

The project includes installing site amenities such as benches, recycling containers and bird nesting boxes along the trail.

In Winfield Township, officials are looking forward to improving the community park.

A $40,000 grant will pay for the construction of a restroom and installation of playground equipment.

“We've been getting a lot of traffic over at the playground with the new play structure, so having a public restroom I'm sure will be appreciated by those who take their kids there to play,” Supervisor Matt Klabnik said.

In total, the state grant funds will support 201 conservation and recreation projects in 62 counties, including 36 trail projects; 77 community parks; five river conservation projects; efforts to protect 2,718 acres of open space; and 35 projects for regional and statewide heritage area, park, greenway and trail initiatives.

The funding comes from several revenue streams, including the Keystone Fund, which is generated from a portion of the realty transfer tax, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, the ATV/Snowmobile Fund generated through fees for licenses and federal funds.

Staff writer Liz Hayes contributed to this report. Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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