CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Plans for the Whitehall Road Regional Park have been in the works for more than a decade now, but a $1.5 million shortfall in budgeting has led county leaders to refinance.
The park is set to be located between Whitehall Road and Route 45 in Ferguson Township. Construction plans include a lit turf field, grass field, accessible playground, walking path, and restrooms, totaling about $6.8 million.
“We have heard from the community, we have heard from other elected officials, we have heard from other groups, that they would like a redesign,” said Pam Salokangas, director of Centre Region Parks & Recreation. “We’re trying to protect the Phase 1 design, we would like to look at some possible scoping changes.”
To address funding shortfalls, two refinancing options are being reviewed. Those new plans are said to be released in May.
“We’re all on the same team, working toward the goal of providing to our residents and visitors, high quality, recreation experiences,” said Kathy Matason, chairwoman for the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority.
Today, the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Authority voted to approve or reject bids from local contractors. They say they were asked to attain these bids to have accurate numbers for budget purposes.
“I think you were placed in a position where you had to put it out to bid, knowing full well that you couldn’t cover those bids,” said Steve Miller, Ferguson Township supervisor. “I’m hoping that you don’t do that again.”
Only two out of seven bids were accepting, furthering park fencing and the playground, and totaling $250,750.
“I’m going to go on record again today, that our intent is still to fundraise for this project,” said Salokangas.
Once a full plan is complete, it would allow for tournament and recreational sports, such as softball, soccer, and football.