Scranton receives over $2 million in DCNR grants for parks

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — On this cold and snowy day, the thought of a swimming pool is far from many minds.

However, a $2 million grant is putting the thought of a new pool on the minds of many in Lackawanna County.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced Tuesday the city of Scranton is receiving millions of dollars which will improve parks including Nay Aug.

For decades Nay Aug Park has had minor improvement growth. Yet, it’s still a place where people go.

“I love it. I got to say i have more personal memories here coming with my parents in the ’60s and when the park was kind of in its heydays at that time,” Scranton Municipal Recreation Authority chairman Robert Gattens, Jr. said.

Gattens volunteers, helping improve the park from year to year.

“Revitalization has started to take place and it’s catching on. People are buying into that this is their park, they own this park and it’s transforming,” Gattens said.

“We’re announcing three grants to the city of Scranton. $2 million for Nay Aug Park,” DCNR secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said.

That federally issued money will help pay for the final bill which is still in the bidding process. It’s likely going to cost $5.5 million, $6 million, $8 million, or $10 million.

“The more we can do to really listen to our residents and understand what they need and want and then be able to get grants to help them come to fruition,” Scranton mayor Paige Cognetti said.

Weston Park and Connell Park received state grants.

Nearly $150,000 will go to Connell for a walking track, dog park upgrades, playground improvements, stormwater controls, benches and signage.

While nearly $200,000 will go to Weston Park for an ADA-accessible picnic area, new playground, walking track, parking lot upgrades, and a pool building rehab.

Community Development Block grant will match both DCNR grants.

“Revitalization and bringing back these parks is a critical part of our infrastructure,” Dunn said.

Work on Connell and Weston Park is expected to start in the spring or summer. The demolition at the pool in Nay Aug Park is expected to begin within the next two months.

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