State grants from the Florida Recreation Assistance Program will help fund a portion of improvement projects at two Wildwood parks.
A $200,000 grant is earmarked for Millennium Park upgrades while a $50,000 grant will go to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park.
The Millennium Park grant will pay about half the cost for new bike trails, soccer field, picnic pavilion, baseball fields, landscaping and parking improvements.
At Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, the grant will pay the entire cost of a splash pad, basketball court renovation and landscaping.
The Millennium Park project is part of massive $8.8-million upgrades that also include demolition and replacement of paved surfaces including parking areas, roads, cart paths and concrete sports pads. It includes heavy duty concrete for a food truck parking area and concession stand.
Other improvements include construction of tennis courts, a racquetball court and a covered basketball court as well as goal post replacements, pickleball net posts and baseball bases.
In October, commissioners approved a contract with Blackwater Construction Services of Gainesville to complete the project. Blackwater, which submitted the lowest of two bids, was recommended by CPH Consulting, which designed the project.
The contract was approved on a 3-2 vote with opposition by Mayor Ed Wolf, who suggested delaying the upgrades due to the city’s estimated cost of $150 million for a new wastewater treatment plant.