SYRACUSE -- City leaders have signed off on a grant application for Chloe's Sunshine Playground, which could potentially bring in $200,000 for the unique project.
City council members voted unanimously at a recent meeting to allow the city's recreational department to formally file a grant application for Land Water Conservation Fund money, which could help fund the playground.
The park, at 1800 South and 2000 West, is expected to accommodate children with disabilities. It will include wheelchair access, transfer stations, ramps, wider paths, stable surfaces, table play, ample space around equipment, swings to accommodate children in wheelchairs, and auditory and tactile elements.
City leaders are cautiously optimistic the grant bid will be successful this year. In applying for the same funding last year, the project ranked fifth among 25 applicants and the top four were funded, according to Cindy Gooch, who helped city staff with the grant proposal.
Gooch said a decision on the grant should be made by October this year, but she cautioned that even if the city is successful, it can't start spending any of the project money until they have a contract in place.
Councilman Doug Peterson said if the funding bid is successful, it would allow the city to start construction of the park.
Even with the prospect of getting some outside aid, Councilman Brian Duncan is a bit frustrated with the idea of having to seek federal grant funding.
"It really frustrates me we have to beg for money. Shuffle it off to bring it back with strings attached," Duncan said.
Kresta Robinson, director of parks and recreation, said if the city doesn't push for the funding, someone else will.
The park has been projected to cost as much as $1 million to complete.