Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen detail ideas for Civic Park, Legion building

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, June 29, 2022

GRANITE QUARRY — The Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen held a brainstorming session in a special meeting recently, prompted by the freeing up of some funds due to the ARPA grant received by town.

The board’s top discussions were of two long-sought after projects, including renovations and improvements to the Civic Park and the conversion of the Legion building into a community center.

No decisions were made, but the board voiced many ideas to move forward.

Town Manager Larry Smith opened the meeting with a presentation of items that have been previously adopted or mentioned that need to be tackled, including economic development, growth and parks and recreation.

Alderman Jim Costantino pointed to changing the Legion building to a community building, then using leftover funds to improve parks as what he believes are primary objectives. However, Linker noted the property lines at Civic Park would need to be cleaned up first before any attempted land acquisition to grow parks.

Alderman Doug Shelton agreed, saying he can get behind cleaning property lines at the park, but that the board should not be seeking land acquisition so soon. 

Linker disagreed, saying the park has the most visual importance for Granite Quarry. 

“I think most of the ARPA funds, to me, ought to be impactful,” he said. “We’ll just have to work the other things into the budget.”

Changing and adding to the Civic Park without a steering committee or community survey is not something Smith suggests, wanting instead to have community input.

Barnhardt asked if the town could still allocate money out of special funds in addition to what has been set aside to apply for grant funding with just community input. Smith said she was correct, but with an actual steering committee, they could reach out to other foundations to maximize grant applications. 

If the town chooses to address the Legion building, Constantino said rebranding it as a community center would bring more traffic and revenue to the park. Additionally, it could be included in the charge of the steering committee since it fits into the aesthetics of Civic Park.

Smith said the steering committee would need a few folks with specific knowledge, including someone good in finance, an individual familiar with city planning and someone well versed in architecture.  

Board members agreed their next meeting will focus on the ins and outs of creating that steering committee, with hopes that residents will consider volunteering.

Several smaller ideas were mentioned briefly during discussion, and Shelton expressed a preference to tackle smaller projects as opposed to larger items, such as wayfinding signs like one to mark the directions to Civic Park, the ballpark behind Granite Quarry Elementary School and the Old Stone House.

Mayor Brittany Barnhardt also suggested a water feature for the town could bring more visitors to Granite Quarry, specifically one that “uniquely uses rocks to incorporate granite” with the name of the town. Costantino agreed, saying it would be a small addition that children of all ages would enjoy. But all smaller ideas were put on the back burner for the time being.