The Smithfield Parks and Recreation Department wants more land to expand the Smithfield Community Park on Booker Dairy Road.
Director Gary Johnson appeared before members of the Smithfield Town Council on Tuesday asking the board to consider applying for a grant to buy more land. This year there will be nearly $10 million in grants available to local governments for parks and recreation land needs, nearly double the amount of $5 million in 2015.
Johnson said in order to be considered for a grant, the process would need to start immediately, including meeting with nearby landowners to see if they would be willing to sell.
Johnson said land was needed to add athletic fields and there was a desperate need for more parking spaces.
Mayor Andy Moore appointed Council members Roger Wood and Marlon Lee to a sub-committee to work with the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee to determine if the Town will seek a grant in 2016.
The grant would require Smithfield to match the grant, dollar for dollar, and would also require the town to begin development of the recreational facilities within 5 years.
Councilman Perry Harris asked Johnson to review the Parks and Recreation Master Plan approved in 2013 to make sure they town is pursing the best strategy.
Councilman Travis Scott urged Johnson to keep in mind the pressing needs of other parks in the town, ranging from additional topsoil to a new scoreboard.