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At left is the overall plan for improvements to Carpentier Park. At right, a closer look at the building and play area.

If a funding request by the City of Sanford is successful, there will be some great improvements coming to Carpentier Park.

Lee Burnett, who works as a grant writer for the City, described the project at the City Council’s April 20 meeting. He said the city was contacted by aides to Representative Chellie Pingree, who said that now that federal earmarks have been revived, there is an opportunity for funding of community projects.

Former Parks & Recreation Director Alan Grady had already begun a process of planning for improvements at Carpentier Park before he resigned last year. The park is the only one on the east side, in the most densely populated area of Sanford. An advisory committee was put together and a landscape architect hired to draw up plans.

The plans for the park’s redevelopment include a large splash pad to replace the defunct wading pool. A splash pad is an area fitted with a safe, non-slip surface and various nozzles and features that can shower, spray, rain, mist, and shoot streams of water to create an interactive and fun place to play and cool off. It is designed to be low maintenance and doesn’t require a life guard. The park will also have paving all around the building and a plaza in front. The adjacent gravel parking area will be paved as well, to provide better handicapped access. The High Street side will be fenced to give parents more peace of mind. New plantings will improve the shady area of the park.

Mr. Burnett said the funding request also includes improvements for Benton and Holdsworth Parks. The city is requesting $645,000, and will be required to match it with $180,000, which was previously set aside in the 2021 Capital Improvements Plan.

He stressed that it is a competitive process, and to that end, asked the Council to approve a second submission for funding, to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, as a backup plan if the earmark is not approved. The LWCF requires an equal match of funds, so the project would include Carpentier Park only. It would also mean the improvements would likely be done over the course of a few years, rather than all at once. The Council voted unanimously to approve both submissions.

You can view the entire City Council meeting video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chPoZ3F7SQU.

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