E.P. administrators note increase in grant monies sought for Grassy Plains project

Application to the state seeks upwards of $400,000 to redevelop park

By Mike Rego
Posted 2/18/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — The administration of Mayor Bob DaSilva has revised the figure of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management grant monies the city is seeking to redevelop the …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


E.P. administrators note increase in grant monies sought for Grassy Plains project

Application to the state seeks upwards of $400,000 to redevelop park

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The administration of Mayor Bob DaSilva has revised the figure of Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management grant monies the city is seeking to redevelop the oft-discussed Grassy Plains Park in Riverside, a plan including the construction of multiple athletic fields.

Originally pegged at $150,000 in the mayor’s Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Capital Improvements proposal, which together with a like-for-like match on the part of the city would have seen $300,000 earmarked for the project, the application the city submitted recently to RIDEM requests upwards of $400,000 alone from the state.

East Providence’s $150,000 allocation, approved by the City Council during last fall’s budget season, would be well above the 20 percent match required by the state and would bring the total dollars available for the plan to $550,000.

Both Patricia Resende, the city’s Director of Project Management and Communications, and Planning and Economic Development Director Bill Fazioli confirmed on Tuesday, Feb. 18, the amount included in the grant submission was the $400,000 figure. The administration provided The Post with a copy of the application (see attached) the same day.

The project description submitted by the city to RIDEM in the grant application stated, “The City of East Providence is requesting $400,000 of RIDEM Recreation Development grant funds to be matched with $150,000 of City funds (total project cost of $550,000) to hire a landscape architect to complete a master plan and the construction of a soccer field, formal parking area, a prominent park entrance sign and miscellaneous signage throughout the park (i.e. rules and hours of use) for Grassy Plains Park.”

The RIDEM grant program specific to the project is called Recreation Acquisition and Development. Funding for the program comes from the 2018 Green Economy and Clean Water Bond approved by voters in November 2018.

The exact wording of the administration’s initial proposal included in the FY19-20 Capital Improvements document reads as follows: “Soccer Field - Match for RIDEM Grant…RIDEM grant programs provide matching funds to cities and towns for the acquisition, development, and renovation of outdoor recreational lands and facilities. The program is funded through State bonds. Large recreation development grants provide up to 50 percent of the project cost, requiring 50 percent matching funds from the city or town. The development of additional soccer fields has been identified as a high priority for the city. The city is assessing Grassy Plains as a potential site location. Total project cost is estimated at $300,000. The grant, if awarded, would fund $150,000 of that. Capital budget funds are requested to provide a $150,000 match.”

The overview of the proposal provided by the Planning Department in asking for council support of the measure last fall noted, “The development of additional soccer fields has been identified as a high priority in the city.”

Since first addressed, the council and the mayor’s office have had a series of public discussions on the subject, rankling many of the residents in the Tanglewood Drive, Estrelle Drive and Glenn Avenue neighborhood who would appreciate Grassy Plains being refurbished, though not to the extent the administration appears headed towards.

The matter was most recently broached at the council’s Feburary 4, 2020 meeting where once again a majority of those who voiced an opinion during the public comment section were against constructing what was termed a “soccer complex” at the site.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.