For the past few months, the Montross Town Council has been looking at trying to take a vacant, unused lot next to the town’s library and get it turned into a public park. The matter first appeared back in June, and since then, the plot of land selected has been officially leased to the Town from the Board. The main thing now is funding, and if last week’s meeting of the Montross Town Council was any indication, there is indeed a plan for how to fund the project.
At the time of the meeting, the town had once again applied for the Virginia Outdoor Foundation grant, which would put $25,000 towards financing the park project if it were to be issued to the town. It will, however, be some time before the town council gets an update on the situation, namely sometime after November 8. This is the second time the town has applied for the grant, as it did not attain it the first time around.
“We didn’t get the grant in the first application,” Mayor Cosgrove stated, “But Patricia stayed in there, and had a Skype meeting with the folks that administer that grant. They gave her some good advice on the package and some pointers to resubmit it.”
In order to work towards getting the grant this time, Town Manager Patricia Lewis started working with the Northern Neck Planning District Commission and resubmitted the application.
Meanwhile, the planned consultation with RMS Designs, a Colonial Beach-based architect firm, has yet to take place, at least as of the Town Council Meeting. The idea is for the firm to take a look at the possibility of a structure being placed at the park space that can be used for farmers markets.
“That would fulfill the need for another grant we would like to pursue through the USDA,” Cosgrove explained, “While it would be suitable for a farmer’s market, it could also be multi-purpose. You could have an art class or music under there, or have the kids come out of the library and hold an outdoor class. That’s the intent, so we need to get an architect to do some drawings for us and get the price figures so that we can develop a package for that level of grant.”
As RMS Designs readily indicated, they are not landscape architects, so the Town has also reached out to the Carville Landscape Company, which has a local office over in Warsaw.
“He provided us a consultation just because he likes Montross so much,” Cosgrove continued, “It was a nice thing for him to come over and give us some pointers on things to look at as we continue. He also offered additional sign-on services if the Council so chooses when the time comes.”
As of the time of this writing, the main step is to get the architectural drawings and pricing done. Afterwards comes the landscape pricing. Once that’s done, the Town can apply for a second level of grant money, which they are confident they will receive.
Furthermore, the Greater Montross Partnership for Revitalization has made a donation to the tune of $5,000.
“We’ve raised a bit of money over the seven years that we’ve done this,” explained Mayor Cosgrove, who is also the director for the Partnership, “And I think it’s time to re-invest in the community.” Tax-free donations can also be made to the partnership, which will help alleviate some of the financial pressure involved in funding the park.