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City applies for grant to improve parks: Funds would be used for Etna Park area

Ironton is applying for a $750,000 grant to make improvements to curbs and parks in the west end of town.

Ralph Kline, assistant executive director of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, said the grant would be for the area from Railroad Street to Storms Creek, which includes the Etna Park, which has the basketball court and skate park.

Kline said that the grant comes from the HUD/Community Block Development Grant funds and is very competitive.

“We thought we could make the case for it and go through and do an application. It is very competitive, so we will see,” he said, adding that they wouldn’t find out until mid-August or so if they have gotten a grant. “We felt we had a good chance. But it is very competitive. But we had to try. If you don’t apply, you don’t get it.”

Kline said they got input from the public to find out what was needed.

“We’ve met with various groups and had community and public meetings to get ideas to find out what would enhance the neighborhood,” he said.

If they get the grant, they hope to improve handicap accessibility by putting in new curbs to add ramps where people walk and to add lighting and security and a shelter to Etna Park.

“We would like to redo the surfaces of the basketball court and the tennis court, and maybe change one to a pickleball court, that is very popular,” Kline said. “They are looking at a couple pieces of handicap equipment, making it more pedestrian friendly.”

Pickleball is played with a ball and a paddle on a tennis court with the net set lower than is standard in a tennis game.

If the grant comes through, the projects would start next year.