No state funding for Rice Road park

The Town of Matthews has been turned down for state grant money to build a park off Rice Road.

Town commissioners voted in February to buy nearly 10 acres of land for a total of $363,500 to add to its park land. Soon after, officials applied for a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant, which would have covered half of the purchase cost. The town – which received a state grant for renovations to Squirrel Lake Park – wasn’t selected, Town Manager Hazen Blodgett told commissioners in an email this week. There were 60 applicants statewide requesting a total of $12.6 million, he said, with only $2.6 million available to give.

The new park land, which includes about 9 acres once belonging to former state House Speaker Jim Black who was sentenced for charges of bribery and obstruction of justice, is part of the town’s parks and recreation master plan. No timeline for construction has been set.

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