EAST PALESTINE - The state department of natural resources has awarded just under $20,000 to three county villages to help pay for community projects.
Earlier this month the ODNR selected East Palestine, Leetonia and New Waterford to receive grant funding in Columbiana County.
NatureWorks and Land and Water Conservation Fund grants were also given to more than 100 communities in counties across the state, for a total of roughly $2.5 million going toward those community efforts, according to an ODNR press release.
Locally, the funding will pay for renovations at the brick pavilion in East Palestine Village Park, replacing playground equipment at Wick Park in Leetonia, and improving pavilion elements at the Field of Dreams baseball and football fields in New Waterford.
Leetonia received the most funding, at $10,279. East Palestine received $6,218 and New Waterford received $3,169.
East Palestine Village Manager Pete Monteleone said the NatureWorks grant will pay for a new roof, gutter, lighting and improvements to the washroom at the brick pavilion.
The work will be done in 2013, and the village is already seeking additional funding through NatureWorks from the state department for 2014.
If awarded, the second grant will pay for new windows at the pavilion that was built in the late 1960s or early 1970s, he said.
The village is responsible for $2,200 in matching funds for the $6,218 grant, and that match includes in-kind labor, he added.
According to the release, the grants awarded this year are helping fund programs that support the acquisition of more than 98 acres of green space, as well as the development and improvement of 23 playgrounds, five splash parks and dozens of other projects.
Paul Baldridge, chief of the ODNR office of Real Estate, said in the release, "The thoughtful and quality projects proposed by local officials reflects a long-term commitment to providing recreational opportunities to their citizens. These projects will impact communities for generations and will enhance the quality of life for many Ohioans in the coming years."