The Havre Parks and Recreation Department made a large step toward rejuvenating Pepin Park with all new playground equipment.
At Monday night’s Havre City Council meeting, council members voted to approve a grant request from the Havre Housing Loan Committee as explained by the program’s Director Christin Hileman from Bear Paw Development Corp.
The grant will provide $35,000 to the parks department, once they raise a dollar-to-dollar match on those funds.
The grant/match combo will take care of $70,000 of the total projected cost of $133,450.
Before voting on the grant, a few council members had questions.
Council member Allen “Woody” Woodwick asked whether the city or the parks department could use in-kind contributions to meet the match requirement, but Hileman said that actually matching the money with money was a condition of the grant.
Council member Bob Kaul wondered if having city employees install the equipment could save the city some money. Parks and Recreation Department Director Chris Inman told Kaul that installing the playground equipment themselves would void the warranty on the equipment.
Council member Pam Hillery wanted to know how close to the required $35,000 the parks department had already raised. Inman said they had about $25,000 raised.
Ten thousand of those dollars are coming from the Havre Parent-Teacher Organization, which Hillery serves on, who pledged last year to provide $5,000 per year for two years to the effort.
Hileman explained this morning that the money will be coming from a fund that was set up by the city of Havre in 1992 through a state Community Development Block Grant to loan money to low-income families for home improvement.
The parks department has a year now to raise the additional $10,000 before the grant would be reconsidered.