City fails to cash in on state grant

NORTH BEND - The city recently received some bad news when it was informed it didn't get a $1.2 million grant from the Washington state Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation that would have reimbursed North Bend for part of the cost of acquiring the central meadow of Tollgate Farm last year.

Part of the grant would have been used to repay a $200,000 loan from the Trust for Public Lands (TPL) to North Bend for the purchase of the central meadow. The loan is due this year, but TPL officials have said they are willing to let North Bend pay it back in 2003 - with 3.5 percent interest.

North Bend Special Projects Coordinator Sara Barry said the city would reapply for the grant next year, adding that the city's application was hurt by larger, competing applications from the state Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"When we're competing at the state level, we don't have that name familiarity," she said at the Tuesday, Aug. 20, North Bend City Council meeting.

Not receiving the grant does not jeopardize the Tollgate Farm purchase. Aside from paying off the TPL loan, the $1.2 million grant would have reimbursed North Bend for money already spent on the acquisition.

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