Community feedback shapes Richardson Park plan

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Nathan Wilson | Reporter
The City of Natchitoches hosted a second public comment session for revitalization of Richardson Park May 17.
The city’s grant application will be its second attempt to gain funding from a Love Louisiana Outdoors Grant (LLOG) after a similar application was submitted last year. The original application was rejected for incorporating basketball courts. Organized team sports fields and facilities are ineligible for funding by LLOG funds.
The plan for Richardson Park will add inclusive playground equipment, a 0.27 mile walking trail, lighting installations, dedicated parking, and renovations to the park?s bathrooms and other outdoor amenities. The LLOG grant application does not include plans for a basketball court, however, the mayor has pledged to construct the basketball courts with city funds independently of LLOG.
(This article published in the May 26 print edition)
LLOG funds are awarded for the design, construction and improvement of public outdoor fitness and recreation parks serving low and moderate income communities. For LLOG, cities of 5,000 or more are able to apply for funding up to $400,000 to address unmet needs within the jurisdiction, and priority is awarded in a point system. Natchitoches should receives additional points because it:
-Owns the property (5 points)
-Contains blighted structures on-site (5 points)
-Will pay administrative costs (2 points)
-Will pay for design and construction administration costs (2 points)
-Fully completed the eligibility form (2 points)
If funded, renovation of the park is expected to begin in several months.