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Losner Park Eligible for State Grant Money

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Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 12:30 am | Updated: 11:32 am, Tue Aug 14, 2018.

Homestead government held three public hearings on Monday August 6 to qualify for state money to apply to Losner Park improvements.

The hearings are a requirement for FRDAP grants. The Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) is administered by the state Environmental Protection Department.

The Legislature appropriated $4 million for FRDAP funding, beginning July 1, 2018. Counties, municipalities and other local government agencies are eligible for public outdoor recreation funding.

A grant must enhance children’s recreation, including playground equipment and lighting for night use, and qualify for matching funds from the applicant.

Homestead applied for three separate projects: $150,000 for a swing and line-climbing children’s playground in Losner Park, $250,000 to finance other improvements for a children’s playground, and $250,000 for a water feature to enhance the playground as well as the Park.

The maximum grant for a project is $250,000.

“Public notice and hearings are a requirement for FRDAP grants,” said Dennis Maytan, City Director of Parks & Recreation, “Letters of support were collected from local organizations.”

The Homestead Main Street organization in its letter of support said that recent City redevelopment “created the need for a downtown park that serves as a community gathering space and recreational destination”.

That letter also said Losner Park was within the historically-designated downtown and the Community Redevelopment District.

Maytan noted the Park project is still in the design phase. “Additional grant money would cut the price of the (new) Park for the City,” he said.

FRDAP grants are competitive. The Department’s selection criteria gives priority to projects geared toward children under age 12, but which also provides “educational opportunities with established safety standards”. Instructions state highest priority is given to projects serving needs of

children with unique abilities and usable by children with physical and developmental disabilities.

The application deadline for this funding is August 15. Letters of support for Homestead’s projects can be emailed to Tamika.Bass@dep.state.fl.us or mailed to Department of Environmental Protection, Land and Recreation Grants Section, 3900 Commonwealth Boulevard, Mail Station 585, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000.

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