Town is seeking state funds for recreational projects

Town is seeking state funds for recreational projects

CUMBERLAND - Town Council members this week were expected to approve submitting four applications in the newest round of Department of Environmental Management open space and recreational grant funding competition along with one for $6,570 to the state Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission for the town's Franklin Farm.

The DEM requests of up to $400,000 each are:

* Valley Falls Community Park, the land adjacent to B.F. Norton School on Broad Street, for new access points from Broad and Kilburn streets, create a multi-purpose field, walking path, hillside amphitheater and picnic shelter.

* Tucker Field on Mendon Road, for lighting on the field.

* Diamond Hill Park, for development of the music venue.

Also, under the small grants program:

* Ephephta Park on Manville Hill Road, $75,000, for a multi-use field and walking path.

The DEM is offering $5 million statewide in grants up to $400,000. Awards require a 50 percent match by the local community that Mayor Daniel McKee says Cumberland has bond funds to cover.

The Franklin Farm grant would be put toward development of a master plan for the farm.

A master plan would identify actions needed to proceed with repairs of the 1850s main house and 1810-1940s barn complex.

State guidelines for these grants award points according to many criteria including that the proposal satisfies a need documented in the community's Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

Multiple applications must be rated by the community and more points will be awarded the one the community ranks first. It was not immediately clear which of Cumberland's projects is rated first by town officials.

The state is asking about how the project will later be maintained and the community's maintenance record on other recreational facilities, whether the project has a master plan developed for it, such as the one approved recently for the Diamond Hill Park, whether it will improve the local economy, whether it involves a Brownfield site, and more.