RALEIGH– North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue today announced the award of $1.02 million in grants from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund to six local governments for parks and recreation projects.
“Local parks and recreation facilities are one of the leading reasons North Carolina is consistently ranked one of the most attractive states in the nation for new and emerging businesses,” Perdue said. “These facilities not only make North Carolina a place people want to be, they help our citizens lead healthier lives and enhance our overall quality of life.”
Since 1995, the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund has been the principal vehicle for these communities to improve their commitments to conservation, recreation and economic opportunity, said Lewis Ledford, director of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
The matching grants, awarded by the Parks and Recreation Authority, will help fund land acquisition, development and renovation of public park and recreation areas. Earlier this year, the board awarded 15 grants totaling $2.61 million. During the 2011-12 funding cycle, the authority considered 60 grant applications requesting nearly $13 million. A maximum of $500,000 can be awarded to a single project.
The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund is administered through the Division of Parks and Recreation and was established in 1994 when the General Assembly dedicated 75 percent of the state’s share of the excise tax on real estate deed transfers to the fund. The revenue is distributed to three programs: 65 percent to the state parks system for repairs, capital improvements and land acquisition; 30 percent for matching grants to local parks and recreation programs for development and land acquisition; and 5 percent to the coastal beach access program.
Since 1995, the Parks and Recreation Authority has received 1,351 grant applications with requests totaling about $286 million. The board has awarded 707 grants for $158 million.
The local governments receiving the most recent round of grants are: Bladenboro, which received $213,000 for the Clarence McClean Park acquisition and development; Blowing Rock, which received $142,500 for Blowing Rock Recreation Area; Jamestown, which received $132,688 for Wrenn-Miller Park; LaGrange, which received $315,000 for the LaGrange Community Building; Rhodhiss, which received $163,750 for Horseshoe Trail Park; and Swain County, which received $60,000 for improvements to Swain County Park.