The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has agreed to extend the town of Burns’ grant for the first phase of its new municipal park on Highway 96. The extension to July 14, 2015, means Burns is no longer in default on the reimbursement grant and is once again eligible to receive the remaining $64,000 of the $425,000 grant originally awarded in 2009. Burns Mayor Landon Mathis announced the TDEC extension at Monday’s meeting of the Board of Commissioners. Mathis and the current commissioners took office in December just weeks before the deadline to complete phase I of the park by the end of 2012. But because the town had not completed two ballfields, a concessions stand and restroom facility, dog park and sidewalks, Burns was declared in default and the state withheld the final 15 percent of the grant, or just under $64,000. A TDEC official told the town the state just wanted to see some kind of progress being made before releasing the last part of the grant. “As long as we’re done by July 14, 2015, the state will give us that back,” Mathis said Monday. The commission voted unanimously to accept the grant extension. In the last several months, Burns has obtained a loan to complete phase I, redesigned the project layout to fit the site, had lumber cleared off and reached an agreement with a contractor to do excavation work to bring the site to grade. The town is still working on a joint user agreement with the Dickson County School Board before deciding whether to include a football field and space for a soccer field in the park plan or to build more baseball and softball fields. The town has asked the school board to pay for construction of a turning lane on Highway 96 at the site of the park and a proposed middle school, which would then allow Burns to use the funds from a $308,000 Tennessee Department of Transportation reimbursement grant as seed money for phase II of the park.