DALLAS TWP. — A $200,000 grant will fund phase one of the Dallas Township Park restoration, Supervisor Elizabeth Martin said Tuesday.
The new grant will allow the project to move forward with plans to construct a nature-themed children’s playground, an amphitheater, a dry stream bed educational area, and a gravel parking lot with handicapped-accessible sidewalks in the deteriorating six-acre park.
“The original idea (for phase one) was an estimated cost of somewhere around $425,000,” Supervisor William Grant said.
The township had received a state gambling grant for $236,000 and a private donation of $75,000 from John Metz, owner of Metz Corporation, and his family. The new Department of C0nservation and Natural Resources grant will give the township $511,000 to invest in the project, Grant said.
Supervisors and Bryan N. Smith, a project manager with the engineering firm Barry Isett & Associates Inc., started working on plans in 2014 to renovate both Dallas Township Park, located off Lakeside Drive and Southside Avenue; and 56-acre Kunkle Park, off Old Tunkhannock Highway.
Plans for Dallas Township Park include park lighting, police surveillance cameras, as well as two playgrounds, one geared for 2- to 5-year-olds and a second for children between ages 5 and 12. There will also be a skatepark; two dog parks, one for big canines and one for smaller dogs; trails; a splash pad for children; a pavilion with restrooms; an amphitheater; and an all-purpose field.
Kunkle Park will feature a pavilion, walking trails and an 18-hole Frisbee disc golf course, which will not adversely affect the existing forests and natural resources, Smith said.
Budget, school news
In other news Tuesday, supervisors unanimously approved the final reading of the 2018 proposed budget.
The $3.3 million plan will maintain the 1.25 mill tax rate. A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed property value.
The earned income tax and real estate transfer tax will remain at 1 percent each.
Also, supervisors tabled Dallas School District’s conditional use request to construct a 57,371 square-foot intermediate school.
Municipal attorney Thomas Brennan advised supervisors to wait and give the township Planning Commission time to review the submitted Environmental Impact Study provided by Justin Hoffmann, an engineer with Kiley Associates LLC.
The district is acquired to obtain a conditional use variance from the township because the school’s campus is located in an agriculture zone.
The district wants to build a two-story school to house third, fourth, and fifth grades. Kindergarten, first and second grades would be located in existing Wycallis Elementary.
The 45-year-old, prefabricated Dallas Elementary would be demolished after the new school is constructed and operating, Hoffmann said.
Brennan tentatively scheduled a meeting date of 6:15 p.m. Jan. 17 at the municipal building to review the Planning Commission’s recommendation with the district and public.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.