The Board of Trustees for Ardmore Main Street Authority met on Thursday afternoon and one of the primary topics discussed was the progress being made on the Depot Park project.
Work is currently underway to finalize a grant application to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. Through their Land and Water Conservation Fund, the OTDR provides 50% of the funding of park projects to grant recipients.
Todd Yeager, chair of the AMSA Board of Trustees, said, “It’s a cap of $600,000, and it’s a 50/50 match. Typically it’s awarded after the first of October, but the actual money won’t be here until the spring. When it comes time to award the cash, we’ll find out exactly how much they will be granting us.” The AMSA will then be required to meet the amount awarded by the grant.
As a way of underlining their commitment to the project, the board
approved and adopted a Resolution for Depot Park.
“The resolution says that we will continue our fundraising efforts regardless of the amount or whether we receive the grant or not,” Yeager said. “$600,000 is the point we have to be at if we are awarded the full amount, but we will continue fundraising beyond that for whatever else comes up because we know something always comes up.”
Included in the grant application will also be letters of support from businesses and organizations across the city. They  will also be submitting the original facilities study for Depot Park and details from the community meeting where citizens were invited to help with the planning.
“We’re working on putting our best foot forward,” Yeager said about the grant writing process. “We want to show that we have included the public along the way in our approach to this, so it isn’t just us acting without their support. It’s going to be a very thorough detail about all the effort that the city, this organization and all of our partner organizations have gone through to get us to where we are today.”
Assistant City Manager Kevin Boatright said that there has been “very positive” discussions taking place at City Hall about the progress being made on Depot Park.
“I think the overall consensus was that the district is moving forward in the right direction,” Boatright told the trustees.Twist” cooking class will move into the kitchen, which, while not fully equipped, still has sinks and space for a class. The class is a special privilege for students, funded by a grant from Mercy Hospital. The cafeteria also has a stage, which the program can use for assemblies.Bell said having their own campus isn’t just nice, it’s helpful to their cause.
“Our culture can be cultivated,” Bell said. “Because all of our staff are specially trained, we can now implement all of those concepts and keep everybody on the right track.”