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Unique Partnership Cools Local Children

When multiple government agencies and the public work closely together, the sky is the limit! No longer will the children in one neighborhood use a fire hydrant to cool off during hot summer months. A Community Development Block Grant for the City of Oxford (in Granville County) from the NC Department of Commerce included $150,000 for a recreation project. When the neighborhood property originally targeted by the City for a playground became unavailable, the Granville-Vance District Health Promotion Coordinator, in her dual role as City Commissioner (and then Mayor), encouraged partnering with Oxford Housing Authority (OHA) to find space for a splash park which could bring water play to the neighborhood during times of hot weather. Negotiations between the City, the grantor and OHA opened the door to funding a city project that would not be located on city property.

Oxford Planning, Engineering, Public Works, and Parks and Recreation Departments came together with OHA to work out the details, including a commitment by the City to provide in-kind water and sewer lines along with the water for park operations once it opened. Oxford Housing Authority in turn contributed money for several project enhancements.

May 2012 saw city, housing and health officials celebrating with area residents Oxford’s first neighborhood splash park that, while owned and operated by OHA, is also open to the public. With a Joint Use Agreement that clarifies roles and responsibilities for the partners, all are proud to be part of a truly unique partnership that increases opportunities for healthy, active play for local children!

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