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DCNR grants to help upgrade Butler County parks

| Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, 8:02 p.m.

Butler County will spend nearly $600,000 in state grants for upgrades at five parks in the next year, with about two-thirds of that toward renovating the Alameda Park swimming pool in Butler Township.

The grants came from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and are among 201 that went to conservation and recreation projects in 62 counties. The total amount awarded statewide was $38 million.

The Olympic-sized pool at the 422-acre Alameda Park is one of the largest in the county.

“The pool opened in 1972 and has had no renovation since 1998,” said Gary Pinkerton, director of parks and recreation in Butler County. “The pool is an important public asset and very popular.”

Work will include renovation of the main pool, installation of a zero-depth entry to the children's pool and installation of filtration and recirculation systems. The renovations also will make the pool compliant with the Americans for Disabilities Act.

Work is scheduled to start in September and finish before Memorial Day 2015, when the pool opens for the summer.

The county will match the state grant to pay for the improvements, Pinkerton said. The total project cost will be about $900,000.

Almost $200,000 of the county's state grant funds will go to four other projects in the county.

In Marion, $35,000 will renovate Marion Township Park. New playground equipment with required safety surfacing will be installed, along with new fencing, pavilion improvements and landscaping. The park also will be made ADA-compliant.

In Petrolia, $28,000 of state funds will be spent on Petrolia Park. Improvements include installation of a modular play structure and playground equipment. The park also will be made ADA-compliant.

In Winfield, $40,000 will be spent at Community Park on a restroom, playground equipment and making the park ADA-compliant.

State grants are a great help in smaller municipalities with a small tax base and limited resources, said Lois Fennell, secretary at Winfield.

The 70-acre Community Park is regularly used by four organizations and has four soccer fields and six baseball fields.

“This is a very important park, the center of the community in a way,” Fennell said.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at

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