Greater Lansing Area Development (GLAD) reported to the Lansing Board of Aldermen they were unable to secure the parks grant for Lansing Creeper Trail Park, but will continue to pursue funds through private donations.
“Sad news, we did not get the grant for the park,” said Ann Rose during Monday night’s aldermen meeting.
“But, the GLAD board is in agreement we will start to pursue private donations and fundraising to at least acquire the property of Mr. Thompson across the creek. That’s going to be goal number one, to raise $210,000 to buy that property,” said Rose.
GLAD spearheaded the application process for the parks grant last year, and completed a 77 page application for the $1 million grant, which would have been used to expand the Lansing Creeper Trail Park.
The grant would have matched Lansing dollar for dollar up to $500,000. If Lansing secured the grant and requested $1 million for the project, the grant would have only cover $500,000, leaving the other half for Lansing to pay.
Despite not securing the grant this spring, the door has not completely shut on the parks project as the grant will reselect applicants this fall.
“There were 73 applicants and they chose 20, and we were number 33,” said Rose “so there’s a point system, and they will re-fund in the fall,” said Rose.
“They chose 20 because eight or 10 people will say ‘oh I change my mind, I don’t want it (the grant),’ so they will go up the list in order of number and re-choose. There will be another disbursement of funds in the fall, and we can cross our fingers for that,” said Rose.
Rose also said this turn of events gives GLAD more time to secure matching funds for the parks grant, if Lansing is selected for the grant this fall.
During the meeting, Rose said one of the reasons Lansing was unable to secure the parks grant was due to a lack of policing in the Town of Lansing.
Rose said Lansing does not qualify for a wildlife officer, because they are not a county or state, and Lansing currently does not have enough funding for a town police officer.
“Those are things we need to look at before we apply for other grants,” said Rose.
Alderman Brenda Reeves also reported to the board that a grant considered for a town police officer will not cover the officer’s salary, and will not work.
“The grant that we were looking at will cover things like a car and uniforms after we have a policeman in place. It will not cover salary,” said Reeves. “So we pretty much dropped it because we have no way to pay their salary without raising taxes.”
But, like the parks grant, Lansing doesn’t want to give up on the police grant looked at earlier.
“I would not say we are totally out of it, we’ll have to do some digging and see what some other department might offer for a town of our size,” said Lansing Mayor George Rembert.
“There are a lot of things out there that do not apply to use because we are under 500 people,” said Rembert, “but there are things we can do that larger towns cannot.”
“We just don’t know until somebody researches it. Let’s not give up on it, because it could help us in a lot of ways,” said Rembert.
On the bright side, Rose reported Monday that Lansing was able to secure a grant from GE for 10 grills and 10 fire pits for Lansing Creeper Trail Park.