A park grant won by Lower Pottsgrove will help address drainage and overflow parking problems
NORRISTOWN PA – Lower Pottsgrove was one of only five Montgomery County municipalities announced Thursday (July 21, 2016) as winners of grants valued at more than $358,000, given to help local governments make “targeted physical improvements” that connect their communities, emphasize sustainability, and boost their economies, a county press release said.
The township will specifically use its money, an award of $80,000, to install a so-called “green parking lot” at Gerald Richards Park on Buchert Road. It’s intended to keep vehicles and visitors there out of the swampiness that sometimes occurs in portions of the park after a rainstorm.
The park grant is part of a second round of funding from $1 million budgeted by the county for distribution this year to implement its new comprehensive plan, “Montco 2040: A Shared Vision.” Four other projects – in Conshohocken, Narberth and Schwenksville boroughs, and Towamencin Township – also won awards.
Of that total, $964,740 has already been doled out. The remaining cash, and possibly more, will be offered in a third grant round expected sometime during early 2017, the release added.
The township’s green lot project is one facet of a series of improvements at the park envisioned by the Board of Commissioners and Pottstown area regional recreation coordinator Justin Keller to start addressing storm water drainage and parking problems at its busiest recreational facility.
The 60-space lot will be installed in what is termed as “an existing overflow parking area” that will rely on “stabilized turf” and current best practices for storm water management. The park grant also will pay for a 12-foot-wide asphalt drive aisle, and a vegetated rain garden. The project is designed to “significantly reduce runoff and erosion while increasing parking efficiency and access to park facilities,” according to the release.
The county noted the project is expected to “improve long-term durability of site improvements while showcasing sustainable storm water practices designed to enhance water quality.” It noted, too, that the Pottstown Metropolitan Regional Comprehensive Plan 2015 mentions the need for development of a storm water management plan to improve park field playing conditions.
Keller is hoping for even bigger things to follow. Township commissioners in April also approved park grant applications he wrote on Lower Pottsgrove’s behalf, seeking another $86,000 from a federal community block grant for drainage solutions, as well as up to $175,000 from Delaware Valley planners for a regional way-finding sign program.
Among the other announced winners:
- Conshohocken will use its $120,000 grant to similarly retrofit a parking area with sustainable green construction;
- Towamencin won $100,000 to construct a multi-use trail with a new bridge;
- Narberth will spend $40,000 on “a series of bio-infiltration facilities” like shade tree pits and a water spillway to control water runoff; and
- Schwenksville will use $18,300 to hire an urban landscape artist to paint a mural on a Main Street building.
A committee consisting of county Planning Commission board members and staff employees is meeting monthly to evaluate the rest of 19 applications that sought grant funding totaling more $2 million in requests.