DESHLER — Pirate Park will receive more updates with matching funds approved by the Ohio legislature at the end of 2020.
Within Senate Bill 310 was a state capital funding program with funds earmarked for local parks, recreation and conservation projects.
Deshler’s Pirate Park was approved for $21,000 in funding. Work at the park includes three sidewalk corners, with each corner featuring two walkways; sidewalks in front of the parking area of the library; and three exercise playground equipment devices through the Wensink family.
Deshler Community Development Coordinator DonL Parsons told the Northwest Signal the idea for the update at Pirate Park began in December 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic stalled the plans until September. He said the application was submitted to Sen. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, and Rep. Jim Hoops, R-Napoleon, to include it for consideration.
Parsons said the overall project costs are estimated at $45,000. It was reported the library and Wensink family will also share in the project costs, and Parsons said the village is covering approximately $16,000 of the work.
Parsons said it was a bit of a surprise the village will receive the funds, as he noted the funding process was very competitive.
“It’s really exciting for us to receive this,” Parsons said. “We sent in the application and hoped.”
More than 290 parks, recreation and conservation projects were approved overall. Six projects from metropolitan areas were approved at $1 million or more, and projects were approved in amounts down to $4,124.
Parsons said he was able to follow up with Hoops Tuesday and learned the funds will be run through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, similar to other grants the village utilizes from the department. He said the village will pay for and have the work completed and then receive approximately half of the overall project cost back when proof of completion is submitted.
Pirate Park stands at the site of the former Deshler Elementary School, which was demolished when the Patrick Henry Local Schools district consolidated to a single campus at the site of the high and middle schools. After finalizing the deed for the property in 2017, Deshler Village Council named the site Pirate Park after the mascot of the former Deshler school system.
Sidewalk projects were recently done at the main village park and the village has also utilized grant opportunities for a number of updates to Reservoir Park. Parsons said the village will continue to work on providing the best parks possible for Deshler residents.
“We’re very proud of our parks, and we’re doing our best to upgrade them,” he said. “We want the parks to be something the public wants to use.”
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