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Grants obtained for recreation fields in Bowmanstown

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    ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Norman Engle Jr. adds a stone to the top of a retaining wall at the Bowmanstown recreation fields.
Published October 12. 2009 05:00PM

A recreation grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development was received by the Bowmanstown Recreation Association through the office of Rep. Keith McCall. It was for $40,000, said treasurer Tara Takerer.

A second grant of $40,000 has been approved to cover work on Phase Two, said Norman Engle Jr., a member of council and of the recreation association, which is sponsored by Bowmanstown Borough. There will be five phases until the work is complete.

Phase One will be finished by the end of 2009. It provides handicapped accessibility, a parking lot and a retaining wall. On Oct. 7 - the day it was so windy - Engle was working cutting angles on stones to complete the wall. The area above it will be a parking lot. Todd Solt provided the generator to run the stone saw.

Engel said McCall had attended a combined meeting of the recreation association and fire company and the grants were the result. A grant request has been put in through McCall for $2,500 to replace mulch on the playground. Both the playground and the ball field below it were in place prior to the grants.

Asked if the playground gets used, Engle said, "You should see this place at night." referring to the heavy use it gets.

The Horsehead Community Development Fund provided a $2,000 grant to go toward the wall.

Engle said 14 teams use the ball field which is Field No. 1. Field No. 2 is the Alliance Field on Fireline Road. The borough will also be using the new Lower Towamensing field, also along Fireline Road.

A total of $60,000 to $80,000 was spent on phase . "We go after everybody," said Engle. The Association holds a monthly lottery and hoagie sales.

Ninety percent of work is donated by volunteers.

The top parking lot was supposed to be a tennis court, something Engle was looking forward to, but the grant would not cover it. Instead it will be a 27-car parking lot.

The borough uses its equipment for some of the heavy work, and Todd Solt of Cornerstone Industries, a company within the borough, provides equipment use and surveying.

Drainage was needed to meet Conservation District standards in both phase 1 and 2. "Water runs downhill," said Engle, giving a reason for the drainage problems. "I think it really looks good in the making."

Phase Two, on which work will begin in 2010, includes a parking lot near the fire company which will provide access to a basketball court south of Lime Street. Thirty feet of Spring Street, an extension of Lime Street, will be completed, said Takerer.

Engle said the borough and association will be working together on phase 2.

"It took a long time to get permits," Engle said. "Everything spent has to be accounted for." Grant money is designated for certain purposes and cannot be used for anything else without permission from the granting organization.

Kevin Borger donated evergreens and more are expected from Doug Rehrig and Chris Hower.

"We do the best we can. We're always looking for volunteers," Engle said.

Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at the firehouse, 7:30 p.m. They are open to the public.

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