RICHMOND – A pair of federal grants awarded this week will provide the community with funding to provide park improvements for the recently acquired property along Richmond Townhouse Road, as well as money for improvements to the facilities of the police department of Richmond.
Richmond officials said this week the grants included a $578,000 award from the Department of Housing and Urban Development specifically for improving the property of the land at 4 Richmond Townhouse Road and $150,000 as part of the $1.5 trillion federal Omnibus spending bill. The grants were announced Tuesday by Congressman Jim Langevin and U.S. Senator Jack Reed.
Langevin, who helped secure funding for improvements to the Richmond Townhouse Road property, said the funding will help the community provide more suitable space for youth recreation and events.
“Richmond currently lacks suitable permanent space to hold community and recreation department events, including the annual children’s summer camp, as the only other city-maintained playground is small and aging, and the only basketball courts are in poor condition,” Langevin said. . “This project would allow the city to create a community recreation area where a multitude of programs could take place, benefiting all residents of the city.
Richmond officials said the grant will help provide a number of opportunities, with money to be used to build a playground with ADA-compliant paths and surfacing, a basket, a pavilion with picnic tables, a bathroom and a septic tank. The funding will also allow the city to hire consulting services to help with the planning and design.
The 5-acre parcel of land sits across from Richmond City Hall.
The works for the project will have to be put out to tender and no timetable has been published for the completion of the works.
The improvements would enhance outdoor recreation space, which was formally acquired by the city through purchase in 2018, according to a city press release, Richmond City Administrator Karen Pinch told council members when the city applied for the grants.
“This should not affect our ability to run food truck events as we had already decided to redesign the event this year anyway with the trucks in a different location on the Town Hall property,” Pinch wrote in a press release on the city’s website.
The second grant, which will support renovations to the Richmond Police Department’s locker rooms and equipment, is part of a $10.4 million rural development grant, according to a press release from Reed’s office.
The city said in a press release that the improvements “were much needed and will also improve health, safety and security.”
More information on the grants is available on the city’s website at richmondri.com.