The Apopka City Council voted 5-0 yesterday to accept a $120,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to create recreational trails at Kit Land Nelson Park. The improvements also include additional parking spots adjacent to the park. The grant required an $80,000 match from the City, which will come from unused funds from various departments that go to the general fund.
A separate grant will allow the city to create a new playground for the park. Construction of public bathrooms is underway, and the city is moving forward with plans to build a water play area for children.
“We brought Dr. Jackson in to attract grants to the City, and she’s done an outstanding job,” said Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer. “This is an opportunity to enhance the park, make it more useful, successful, and bring additional people to the park. I think it’s a great opportunity.”
Dr. Shakenya Harris-Jackson is the grant and neighborhood services coordinator for the City of Apopka. She facilitated the grant with the FDEP, and has worked with the City of Apopka since March of 2015.
According to the information packet provided by the City for the August 16th meeting, on March 15, 2017, City Council approved the second reading of Ordinance No. 2561 which amended the Capital Improvement Plan to include the fitness trail/track in Kit Land Nelson Park as it was a requirement of the grant application process. The FDEP awarded the City $120,000 to Construct a 10′ X 2,900 Linear Foot concrete fitness trail in Kit Land Nelson Park with the installation of additional landscaping, lighting, and parking spaces. The fitness trail will support non-motorized activities such as bicycling, skating, walking, and fitness activities. The Match requirement is $80,000. The estimated project cost is $200,000.
According to the packet, each fiscal year employee positions within the General Fund are vacant. Although fully funded within the budget, a portion is always left over. A recent check of these accounts show there will be much more than the required match left over at September 30, 2017 that can be transferred to the Grant Fund for this specific use.
Note – The City of Apopka Public Information Office contributed to this report.