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DeFrancisco presents Salina with grants

With the help of Sen. John DeFrancisco, the town of Salina will soon be undertaking several improvement projects. The senator got a total of $99,890 in grant money for the town, as he announced on Thursday Sept. 21 at Schaffer Park in Lyncourt.

The park will be the site of some of those improvement projects. Schaffer and Burnham parks will receive new pavilions, and all eight town parks will get playground improvements. The remainder of the money will go to the codes enforcement department and the town's communications system. Those present to accept the grant were Salina Supervisor Chuck Iavarone, Fourth Ward Councilor and Deputy Supervisor Mark Nicotra, Salina Parks and Recreation Commissioner James Wemesfelder and Planning Director Bernard English.

"I always said that there was no harm in asking," DeFrancisco said. "Chuck took me literally. He asked for more than anyone."

The projects

The five improvement projects for which the grant money will be used are as follows:

New technology for code enforcement officers, including digital pens and mobile workstations. The pens have their own memory, allowing officers to write reports, give landlords hard copies and then upload the report into the computer system. The laptops will assist with records management and allow inspectors to put their notes in the system while in the field.

Ten two-way radios to be used for communication between field personnel and town offices for day-to-day operations as well as emergency situations. "We've learned that cell phones don't always work in emergencies," Iavarone said. "We feel these will help prepare us for a natural disaster or other emergency.

Safe playground surfaces for playgrounds in all eight town parks. The new surfaces will bring the playgrounds into compliance with federal safety guidelines.

Construction of a 24x32x8-foot pavilion at Schaeffer Park.

Construction of a 30x40x10-foot pavilion at Burnham Park in Mattydale. Both pavilions will allow residents to hold more events at the parks, including weddings and picnics. "We really needed something in the middle of the park," Wemesfelder said.

Iavarone said that, once the money was delivered, he expected the projects to be completed within a few weeks.

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