Neptune officials are looking to pick up to $250,000 from the Monmouth County Open Space Grant Program to make upgrades at Liberty Park.
Director of Engineering and Planning Leanne Hoffman said at Monday’s Township Committee meeting that the township has “a good history” with the grant program and will seek money again this year. The grant has a maximum of $250,000, which also requires at 25 percent match in funding from the township.
Hoffman said two projects best meet the criteria to receive the funding right now: improving basketball courts and other facilities, such as lighting and security, at Liberty Park; or installing a small water park or a half-court basketball area at a park on Division Street. Lighting, fencing and sidewalks would also be improved at the Division Street Park.
“These are two options we feel have the potential of being funded right now,” she said.
Hoffman said Liberty Park is probably “underutilized.” A community garden was created and expanded at the park, located at 1603 Monroe Ave., in recent years.
In the end, the governing body decided that the Liberty Park project would be the best candidate to be funded this year.
“Liberty Park is high on my list,” Deputy Mayor Michael Brantley said.
The deadline for submitting the open space application is Sept. 14 and it requires a public hearing on the proposed project first. The Liberty Park project will be discussed at the Township Committee’s Aug. 22 meeting.
Past funded open space projects include acquisition of the former Welsh dairy farm tract on Old Corlies Avenue, repairing a retaining wall on Wesley Lake, and other park and recreation projects. The township has 215 acres of open space.