Editorial: Grant reports welcome news

February 14, 2014 

News of two recently approved grants are welcome reports as local towns try to provide services without breaking the bank.

One grant awarded to the Triangle Transit Authority, provides funding to continue bus service to all three eastern Wake County towns through at least 2015. That money was formally accepted by the city of Raleigh, which serves as the TTA’s financing arm. Perhaps even more reassuring is the clarity with which TTA officials reasserted their commitment to providing bus service to eastern Wake County.

The agency has been working in recent years to expand its services to the far reaches of the Triangle. As the suburbs continue to grow, TTA has realized the importance of helping people in those communities access work centers in other places throughout the region.

The TTA grant was not entirely a surprise. TTA officials more or less expected to win the grant, But they also point out that the funding source that provides this money is not a bottomless well for the future. In fact, they expect the money to dry up from that source once this grant cycle ends. That means the TTA has a couple years to figure out how to replace that money.

The three towns that benefit from the service have also paid into the system providing annual allocations to TTA. As finances have gotten tighter, however, those contributions have understandably dwindled. We would hope, however, as 2015 draws nearer, that local officials will seek out ways they can help reduce the shortage that will come. In the meantime, the buses will continue to roll.

The other grant local officials recently got word of goes to the town of Knightdale, where the town won a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant to help fund the expansion of the new Knightdale Station Park.

The new park is already proving popular with residents and visitors and the current expansion was expected to take place quickly – as it has. The PARTF grant is the largest in the history of the town’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Winning the grant is a sign that others like the direction the town has taken toward providing its residents with additional active and passive recreational opportunities. Knightdale folks hope the park will become a destination. The additional grant money will help turn that hope into reality.

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