County seeks federal aid for storm damage

Knox County is seeking a FEMA grant to pay for the repairs at The Cove at Concord Park.

Knox County will seek a FEMA grant to help cover the cost of repairs to the Cove at Concord Park. 

At the Knox County Commission meeting Monday night, Knox County Finance Director Chris Caldwell explained that the county used emergency funds to start the cleanup process. 

Doug Bataille, senior director for Knox County Parks and Recreation, said the total repairs are estimated to cost about $200,000. The tree removal total comes in at $95,000 of that. 

Contractors worked quickly to remove trees and repair power lines to reopen the park ahead of schedule. 

"When you're in the first week of summer and the kids are out of school, that is truly our most popular park with huge events in it like the dragon boat race so it was important to get it open as quickly as possible," Bataille said. 

If the grant comes through, Bataille said 75 percent of the repair cost would be covered by federal aid, 12.5 percent through state funds, and 12.5 through local funds. 

"Once all the final numbers come in, we'll see if we're qualified, but we're hopeful that we'll get some of that funding to help with that," Bataille said. 

John Schoonmaker, Knox County commissioner for district five, said the Cove at Concord Park is the premier park in Knox County, and it's used by many people for a variety of outdoor activities in  warm weather. 

He added that the park is a little more barren now with less trees, but it is good to see it back open for people to enjoy. 

Schoonmaker said, "We're just glad that the devastation wasn't worse to where it would have been closed for the whole summer." 

 

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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