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Town Applying for $400k Grant to Upgrade Good Ground

Hampton Bays park could see state money, though town would need to find funds to match.

The Town of Southampton will attempt to secure a $400,000 state parks grant to build up , a project that's been in the works for the past few years on a property that's been a topic of conversation for nearly a decade.

Town grant coordinators spoke with members of the town board last Friday and received the green light to move forward with the application, which was due on Monday. Should the town secure the grant, it would be a 50/50 match, meaning the town would also have to contribute $400,000 to match the state's share.

The project - slated just north of Main Street near the  - has the support of four local organizations, those being the Hampton Bays Civic Association, the Chamber of Commerce, the Beautification Association, and the Historical Society.

Hamptons Bays resident Kevin McDonald - who pitched the grant proposal to the board along with Grant Coordinator Karin Johnson and Freda Eisenberg, the town's assistant planning and development administrator - called it the "fulfillment of an effort that started 10 years ago."

But should the town even be awarded the grant, there's no guarantee it would be able to find the funds to match. as the town works to balance its 2012 budget.

McDonald said that the four Hampton Bays groups have joined forces so far to produce $100,000 in in-kind services, which would be usable toward the grant. The idea of a private fundraiser to rally funds for the park was also pitched.

In addition to passive walking trails, a preliminary sketch proposed for the land includes a pond and skating rink, a hamlet green, and an extension of the existing driveway further west, along the southerly border of the land.

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