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The Bryant City Council, during a regular meeting Tuesday, discussed the future of the Mills Park playground and approved four grant applications. 

One of the grants city officials are applying for is a 50/50 matching grant from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism's Outdoor Recreation Grant Program. 

With the grant, city officials are wanting to finish the second phase of the inclusive playground at Mills Park. Pieces to be added include a rail rider, merry-go-all and a rock-n-raft. All of these pieces will be inclusive and handicap accessible, Planning Director Truett Smith told the council. 

Mills Park playground 1

Through an Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism grant, Bryant city officials hope to add these three pieces to the inclusive playground at Mills Park. 

As part of the grant requirements, city officials are required to host a public meeting to get feedback from the community about the project. 

The city will be hosting a meeting from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, at the playground. Residents will be able to view and give feedback to city officials regarding potential new playground equipment. 

If the grant application is approved, the city's portion of the project will be $66,000, Smith said. 

Mills Park playground 2

During the discussion, Alderman RJ Hawk brought up the condition of another park in the city. He encouraged city officials to apply for grants to update equipment at Springhill Park. 

The council approved two grants involving a trail beginning on the corner of Shobe Road and Bryant Park. The trail will further extend through Alcoa 40 park and then join Bryant Parkway again, according to the approved resolutions. 

Both of the grants are funded through Arkansas Department of Transportation. Even though the city will apply for both grants, it can only be approved for one or the other. 

Both grants require a 20-percent local match. 

With the cost for the project estimated at $292,575, the city will be responsible for $58,515. 

The council also approved a federal transportation grant for funds to be used in the southern section of Bryant Parkway which connects Shobe Road to Reynolds Road. 

Along with the items involving grants, the council also approved an ordinance to waive competitive bidding for the purchase of a training facility for the Bryant Fire Department. 

The facility will be purchased through a company in Texas, said Mayor Allen Scott. 

According to the ordinance, the purchase of the facility has been determined to be a "exceptional situation where the bidding procedure is hereby deemed not feasible or practical."

The facility will be purchased "through a vendor with special demonstrator model pricing utilizing bond funds," according to the ordinance. 

The cost for the three-story training facility will be $130,000, said Assistant Chief Brandon Futch. 

At the request of the Finance Department, the council approved a resolution involving the destruction of city records. Alderman Carlton Billingsley voted against the resolution.  

The council also approved the 2019 May year-to-date financial report. 

Aldermen Lorne Gladden and Rob Roedel were not present for the meeting. 

All meetings of the council are open to the public and attendance is encouraged. 

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