The Tyrone Sports Association gratefully accepted a grant this week from the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission that will help complete upgrades to the basketball court at Reservoir Park.

The grant, in the amount of $27,243, was one of five awarded by the commission across four counties. It will be used to pave the basketball court, apply protective coating and line striping, replace surrounding fencing, and install padding for the safety of players. New solar lighting will also be placed around the court.

“We are really happy to see improvements coming for the park,” said Michele Ivory from Senator Judy Ward’s office.

The awarded grant is part of the regional Greenways Mini-Grants Program and was funded in part by support from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Environmental Stewardship Fund. The grant program provides funding for projects that support the goals of the Commission’s Greenways and Open Spaces Network Plan, and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.

The program was open to planning, technical assistance, and development projects located within the Southern Alleghenies Region. Five grants were awarded out of eight applicants.

The basketball court project is one that supports the Greenways and Open Space Network Plan’s goals such as bolstering economic development, expanding recreation opportunities, and promoting healthy lifestyles.

The Tyrone Sports Association also received $35,000 in support from Tyrone Borough for the project. Derrick Emigh of the association said the group is grateful for the borough’s support.

Ardean Latchford, borough manager, noted that the association is a problem-solving group and gives hope that the younger generations will continue to support the community. He is also pleased with borough council’s support of local youth.

“In my time, I have never seen council working more toward the good of the youth in the community,” he said.

Mayor Bill Latchford agreed, “This is another step forward in which the borough is showing support for the youth in the community.”

A site visit several months ago allowed for Brandon Carson, director of planning and community development with the Southern Alleghenies Commission, to see Reservoir Park for the first time. He shared that it is a great asset for the community.

Members of the Tyrone Sports Association plan to have the basketball court upgrades finished by next year. The court will then be dedicated in honor of Steven L. Catich II, a local young man known for his outstanding basketball skills and love for the game in high school and college. Catich passed away in December 2017 at the age of 27.

The Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission serves Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties. The commission seeks to address community and economic development to help improve the quality of life for residents throughout the region.

Adeena Harbst can be reached at aharbst@thedailyherald.net.

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