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The Avon Lake community has pulled together to provide ideas and input for needed improvements at Bleser Park.

AVON LAKE

Plans for improving Avon Lake’s popular Bleser Park will be the focus of a meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at Troy Intermediate School, 237 Belmar Blvd.

City Council on Jan. 27 unanimously agreed to pay OHM Advisors’ Cleveland office up to $25,000 for a conceptual plan for the park on Electric Boulevard.

Neither the total cost of the project nor a schedule for improvements has been determined. However, the cost to update the playground is estimated at more than $160,000, said Councilman Gary Izo of Ward 3, where Bleser Park is.

An updated Bleser Park is envisioned as an all-inclusive park that will meet requirements under the Americans With Disabilities Act for children with challenges and include equipment suitable for people of all ages.

“Over time, the existing playground equipment will have to be replaced,” Mayor Greg Zilka said. “It had a lifespan of 20 years, and now it’s been 25 years. It’s just getting worn out. New equipment made out of metal and recycled “mesh” materials will eventually go in place.”

Renew Avon Lake Play Space, the committee to update Bleser Park, is fundraising to help offset some of the costs. It also is looking for donors or sponsors to provide seed money for the group’s grassroots effort. In September, the Avon Lake Bicentennial Committee donated $19,000 to Renew ALPS, money that was left over from the city’s yearlong bicentennial celebration.

Bleser will be designed so that adults who sit on nearby benches will be able to see the children playing in the park, Izo said. Equipment often obstructs their views now. The rooftop-like feature that resembles the top of a gazebo and is the centerpiece of the park will be retained, he said.

“I think the plans for the park are moving in the right direction,” Izo said. “The work may take a few years, but people have really come together to support this project. The conceptual design that OHM is working on definitely will address ADA compliance and be all inclusive.”

Contact this reporter at msakal@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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