NOTE: There are multiple links to a parks & recreation survey in this article. Click just one of them and make your voice heard!
In my job as Town Recorder in Wartrace, I have the good fortune of working with the South Central Tennessee Development District and an enormously talented woman named Lorie who has worked as an advisor for grants for our town. She and I talked a couple of years ago about the Local Parks & Rec Fund grant offered by the state every two years. The grant is funded through real estate transfer taxes (of which I’m 100 percent certain that LaVergne generously contributes with all the home sales here).
To qualify for the grant, you have to jump through many, many hoops. However after surveying Wartrace residents, getting maps put together, completing a parks and recreation long term plan, inventorying our needs and our existing programs, getting copies of our original property deed, attending brain-numbing mandatory training classes etc. (three long pages of requirements!), Wartrace joined about 50 other communities across the state in securing a $75,000 grant to rehabilitate our old gymnasium (it’s a 50:50 grant so we are now in the middle of fundraising). Some of the grants go up to $500,000!
The point in this is to say that if Wartrace with its staff of seven (LaVergne has over 200), a dynamic Parks & Rec Committee, and a grant expert could secure the grant, there is NO REASON LaVergne shouldn’t at least apply for it. You have a number of people who work full time just in our parks department, you have a full-time talented grant writer who works with the Nashville regional council, and you have a very engaged parks & rec committee with a chairman who is passionate about moving the city forward!
Sometimes the argument I’ve heard in LaVergne is that because it’s a 50:50 grant, the city can’t afford it. However, the point I made at the April 15, 2019 LaVergne Parks & Rec meeting is that if you’re going to spend the money anyway, let the state pay for half of whatever project you’re addressing.
Members of the committee agreed, so having once had a title of research associate (where I designed and compliled surveys for The Council of State Governments), I submitted a survey in May 2019 so the people of LaVergne could finally speak up and have a say in what they like, what they see that needs improvement, what they want to see more of, what facilities are used, and much more. The results of this survey will be used as part of the application process for the LPRF Grant open for application in 2020. It’s a long process to get there, but it’s time LaVergne steps up and hopefully claims some of the money we (as residents) are paying to the state through real estate purchases and sales. Why spend it in other cities when the need in LaVergne is there?!
Once the survey results are compiled, then a decision may be made by the Parks & Recreation Committee to make a favorable recommendation to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen on what the city should apply for. And then go apply for the funding!!
So what do you want to see? Speak up! Let your voice be heard!! The survey can be completed anonymously or sign your name to it! Here’s where to click: