The City of Fitchburg has applied for state and county grants that could fund around 60% of the cost of The Hub’s first phase.
Mayor Aaron Richardson authorized the grant application to the state Department of Natural Resources on May 3, and the Common Council passed a resolution acknowledging its support of The Hub project at its May 25, meeting. If received, the grant could reduce the cost of the first phase of The Hub by $1.55 million. Two weeks later, at the Tuesday, June 8, meeting, the council approved another grant application, worth a maximum of $75,000 if awarded, for the county’s PARC and Ride program that would pay for 50% of the cost of the bicycle playground planned for Phase 1.
The park, planned for the north side of Traceway Drive, is still in the design phase and is expected to be brought before council for approval this year. The Hub is a part of the city’s Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative, and will predominantly serve the Leopold neighborhood, one of three areas in the city outlined as a priority area.
Phase 1, expected to cost around $2.6 million, would include a 14,500-square-foot covered outdoor recreation area, two community buildings, an adventure playground, bike tracks and a picnic area. Alders added The Hub to the city’s capital improvement plan in August 2020, and implementation and construction of its first phase was included in the city’s 2021 operating budget.
The Hub is the city’s fifth community park – but the vote to designate it as so is largely symbolic.