After an almost yearlong delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is set to receive $100,000 in Ohio capital funding that it will use at Little Clague Park, 3000 Clague Road.
Though the projects aren’t expected to start until later this year, the park will receive a permanent bathroom facility, and the walking trail that winds around the park’s perimeter will receive 1,000 linear feet of paving to create a full loop.
When the city first applied for funds in 2019, the two projects were estimated to cost a total of $140,000. Director of Planning and Development Kim Lieber said the number could change by the time everything is finalized, and that it will require a sweeping review of initial planning.
“We submitted this (proposal) back in December of 2019, and a year’s gone by, and there’s certainly been some changes in the world of construction,” Lieber said. “We’re going to need to go back to our plan, make sure it’s the right plan, look at products and availability, review our estimate to see if there’s been any cost changes.”
Also factoring into the cost is the upcoming 2021 city budget. Because the funding was awarded after city council passed a temporary budget early in December, it will need to be included once the official budget is passed in the coming weeks.
Once the project’s scope and cost are finalized, the proposal will go before council for approval.
“There will be a permanent budget that goes to the council that will include the funds that we think we’ll need for this project,” Lieber said. “There needs to be a little more investigation of the design. We’ll dust off our proposal and start to look more closely at the budget.”
In the view of city Parks and Recreation Commissioner Betsy Drenski, the pre-fabricated, two-unit restroom and path completion are much-needed upgrades for a park that currently features a playground, a pavilion and soccer and softball fields. The location has never had a permanent restroom facility.
The new structure will likely be built in the park’s northeast corner, near two cell phone towers and just north of the pavilion, and take the place of two portable restrooms that the city has rented during the summer months in recent years, for about $220 per month.
“I think people are going to be very surprised and very happy now that these projects are going to happen,” Drenski said. “
Then there’s the walking path, which Drenski has received resident feedback on in the past. The portion to be completed is in its southern portion
“I met with some residents back in 2019, and there were some people that walk that path daily, and they just wished the path could be connected all the way around,” Drenski said. “It’s long overdue, and I think the residents over there are going to be very happy about it.”
The high volume of foot traffic on the new path at North Olmsted Community Park, completed in October, convinced Lieber that the similar project at Little Clague Park was still a worthwhile upgrade, even if it was coming later than originally expected.
“What we learned from the North Olmsted Park path project is that if you build it, they will walk,” Lieber said. “We’ve seen pretty definitive use of that path already at North Olmsted Park, so I think residents in that area will enjoy it (at Little Clague Park). It’ll help to provide connectivity to all the amenities in the park, and provide another reason to get outside.”
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