State money likely for South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District campground

After months of drawing up preliminary design plans and applying for grants, it looks like South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District will score more than $200,000 to help fund the construction of campgrounds at Community Park.

But that’s less than half of what officials had hoped for.

“To say I’m disappointed is a little strong since we did what we could given the competitive nature of the process,” District Director Doug Coutts said. “We didn’t get everything we wanted, so we’ll have to make some decision and have those discussions about where to go from here.”

The district discovered where it ranks in the Recreation and Conservation Office’s list of grant applicants, the district announced at the monthly meeting last Wednesday evening. The Recreation and Conservation Office is the state agency through which it applied for grant monies.

Of the $516,621 applied for, $207,000 will most likely be given for the campground project. Whether or not the money is awarded in the first place depends on if the proposed state parks budget is given a thumbs up, but Coutts said the final approval is “extremely likely.” Although the district didn’t get all it wanted, the funds mean it can move the project forward to the next step of the process.

The district’s campground project in Community Park was the 34th ranked project out of a field of 77 applicants.

It was the fourth highest- ranked acquisition project, or project on land that districts acquired in the past year. The ranking means they will be the fourth acquisition project to be awarded money once the state budget is approved.