Falls Township shored up most of the funding for a few outdoor improvement projects last week.
The Bucks County Commissioners authorized a municipal open space improvement grant for the township to replace the Vermillion Hills pedestrian bridge, improve and expand the township’s community garden and install a 70-foot fishing pier at Falls Township Community Park.
The grant totaled $256,592, which is 75 percent of the estimated cost for the three projects. Falls will have to pay the remaining 25 percent, about $85,500.
Originally, the township presented six projects for consideration to the Bucks County Open Space grant program, and the county chose to fund these three.
The current Vermillion Hills bridge has been unusable for a while, and pedestrians would have to walk nearly a half-mile around it. The replaced bridge will look the same, but will include safety fencing and drainage improvements around the bridge.
The fishing pier will be T-shaped and make for easier entry into the water. The lake at the park is shallow around the edges, which makes it difficult for some people to fish. The new pier would remedy that issue.
“That’s been in the pipeline for a while,” Parks and Recreation Director Brian Andrews said. “People like to fish the lake.”
The community garden currently has 46 plots and a waiting list of people eager to get in. The new plans would expand plots by about a dozen, while upgrading fencing, adding a shed, getting some new equipment and more.
According to officials from Falls Township, these projects had been planned and funds had already been set aside for them. The grant from the county should ease the burden of the township and allow them to get the projects underway sooner. Falls Township Manager Peter Gray said after the advertising and bidding processes, construction should begin in spring.