CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you're hoping to take a stroll in the new East End Community Park, you may be in luck come spring. That's when the park's walking track is scheduled to open.
The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority agreed Wednesday to lend financial support the project -- up to $45,000.
David Gilmore, of GAI Consultants, said the circular track, made of compacted stone, will connect the shade pavilion and help "energize" the park by creating a grassy panel that visitors can use for various activities.
The estimate doesn't include the cost of labor, which would have significantly increased costs for the track, Gilmore said. The city has agreed to provide labor for the construction of the track, which cuts the expense in half, he said.
While this phase has yet to begin, Gilmore said East End residents are already taking ownership of the park, which is located off Dixie Street.
"It was interesting, even during the construction of this, I would go out sometimes after work and actually be questioned what I was doing out there in the park after hours," Gilmore said.
CURA also approved a new façade grant application during Wednesday's meeting.
The decision is part of an effort to make the application process not only easier, but to expand the program beyond Main Street districts to two urban renewal areas in the city.
"It's definitely going to incentivize property and business owners to take advantage of this program more," said Ric Cavender, executive director of East End Main Street.
Under the new guidelines, those pursuing the façade grants would have to provide upkeep to the properties for five years, as well as make certain their city taxes and fees are paid, according to an earlier Gazette report.
While those guidelines existed before, they are now clearly stated in the application.
Questions were raised, however, regarding CURA's budget and the program's addition of urban renewal areas on the West Side and downtown, which will double the number of areas eligible for funding.