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ATHENS — The ongoing efforts to refurbish the Athens Town Park received a major boost last week with a $9,000 state donation.

Delegate Doug Smith, R-Mercer, presented Athens Mayor Tim Pike with a check from the House of Delegates via the Local Economic Development Assistance program for the restoration of the park.

Smith said the LEDA assistance was a yearly program and that it was up to each delegate to choose what projects received assistance.

Committee members Sharon Jones, Kathy Ball and Sharon Ofsa were present for the presentation. Tom Bone was out of town.

Jones said the Athens Town Park Committee had come up with a number of ideas to improve the park.

Among the ideas for the park are:

• An improved walking path which will be taken care of by the town of Athens and the Division of Highways in the spring.

• Lights in the parking area which will be done by American Electric Power.

• Electrical work in the gazebo and added outlets for food trucks

• A water seal for wood structures which will receive an assist from the Athens Lions Club.

• A three-can garbage enclosure for the gazebo.

• Removal of brush and a fallen tree along a fence line.

• A Fence repair and an enclosure for the portable toilet.

• A message board for the gazebo and metal “Thank You for Not Smoking” signs.

• An engraved granite donor sign/water fountain/concrete pad area.

• A fenced dog park and playground renovations.

The total estimated cost of the project is $96,437, with the playground being $51,087.

“We raised $100,000 21 years ago when we started the park so we feel that it’s doable,” Jones said.

Among sources of funding are the town of Athens, the legislative appropriations, Grant’s, local fundraisers and direct donations.

Donations may be sent to the Town of Athens in care of the “Town Park Fund”.

Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at delimartman@yahoo.com.

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