Morenci’s bid for a DNR Trust Fund grant won’t be part of the current funding cycle, reports city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder.
The city is hoping to obtain a Trust Fund grant to go along with funds from an anonymous donor to create a walking trail along Bean Creek.
At a public hearing last week, concern was expressed about completing a required city recreation plan in time for the grant application.
Although Schroeder has worked over the years to update the city’s existing recreation plan—written in 1999—formal completion of the update never occurred. She said funds were never budgeted for a recreational design firm to create a professional, finished plan.
She learned last week that a public hearing must be completed at least 30 days before applying for a Trust Fund grant. That ended council’s hopes for approval of the update at the March 22 meeting.
Several goals from the old plan have been met, Schroeder said. Future objectives will be listed in an updated plan and a hearing will be scheduled.
Schroeder said she and mayor Keith Pennington will meet with the donor soon to discuss how to proceed with the project.
One suggestion she will make is to approach the project in two phases. The first phase could cover the trail in Wakefield Park and the remainder of the project—the bridge leading into Riverside Park—could be included in a grant request to the DNR.