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Westland area adds new rec options
Recreation opportunities on the Westside are moving ahead one step at a time.
Metro Parks, which maintains a 1.7-mile crushed-gravel multi-use trail in Battelle-Darby Creek Park, is nearing completion of the trail which will extend to Broad Street for a total distance of six miles.
The trail should be completed in about a month, according to park manager Kevin Kasnyik who spoke to the Westland Area Commission at their Jan. 21 meeting held at the Darby House on Darby Dan Farm.
“It will be ready for the Metro Park Winter Hike on Feb. 28, the culmination of the annual series,” he said.
Kasnyik and Steve Studemund, Metro Parks strategic planner who is in charge of land acquisition, also spoke briefly about the .75-mill levy that will be on the May ballot in Franklin County. This levy will replace a .65-mill levy that will expire in 2009.
“It will cost the owner of a $100,000 house in Franklin County about $10 a year more,” Studemund said. Approval of the levy will allow for the development of three new parks, one in northeastern Franklin County, one along the Scioto River near Grove City, and one on Lithopolis Road in Madison Township between Canal Winchester and Groveport, as well as expanding education programs, expanding trails, and improving the water quality.
In other recreation news, WAC members broke out in applause when member Jo Ellen Locke, who chairs the Recreation and Parks Committee, said the city of Columbus finalized the purchase of the Blauser property on West Broad Street on Dec. 30 for $1,910,000, money that had been set aside for several years for such a purchase.
“They’re calling it the Broad Street Parkland right now,” said Locke, who had encouraged her colleagues and the public to attend city council meetings and talk to council members and their staff to stress the need for recreation facilities in the Westland area.
The property would be the location for a regional recreation center, but its status remains in question with the current economic situation, she said.
“The city won’t build a recreation center until they have the money to operate it,” she said.
Voters in November approved a bond-issue package that included money to build two recreation centers. The city had been looking at three sites, but with the downturn in the economy, Recreation and Parks has reduced its staff and will be closing some centers.
WAC also welcomed a new member, Greg Donovan of Galloway, a self-employed painter and roofer who decided last fall to apply for a vacant seat on the commission, an arm of city council.
WAC President Mike McKay said he would invite council’s two newest members to attend a meeting and get acquainted with the group.
Member Ashley Hoye, who serves as community relations chair, encouraged the group to begin plans to participate in the July 4 holiday parade and other festivities in the Westland area.
The next meeting will be Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. at the regular meeting location at Doctors Hospital.
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