Pelanda seeking $1 million for local recreation projects


Rep. Dorothy Pelanda is asking the state to pay for a proposed bridge, spanning Mill Creek, as part of a multi-use path to connect the Jim Simmons Trail to Marysville’s Upground Reservoir. Pelanda is asking for $824,934 to pay for the bridge and the city will cover the remaining $210,000. The funding request also provides for a bridge similar to the one pictured above, as well as two other bridge options, depending on how much the state funds.
(Photo submitted)
An area politician is asking the state for more than $1 million to pay for local projects.
State Rep. Dorothy Pelanda announced Thursday that she is submitting a pair of local projects for funding through the state’s biennial capital budget.
Pelanda is asking for $824,934 to help connect the Jim Simmon’s Trail to Marysville’s Upground Reservoir and $185,168 for Richwood’s proposed Lake Baccarat, known locally as Richwood Lake, beach improvement project.
“I am very proud to submit these budget requests on behalf of my district and hope that budget appropriations will be deservedly forthcoming,” Pelanda wrote in a statement announcing the requests.
The state’s capital budget provides appropriations for the repair, reconstruction and construction of capital assets of state agencies, colleges, universities and school districts.
According to the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, “in some years, funds may also be allocated for community projects of local or regional interest.”
Marysville City Manager Terry Emery said he worked with Pelanda to create the request.
“I am a task-master when it comes to preparing and presenting a capital budget proposal,” Pelanda wrote. “We are competing for a portion of very limited state funding, so we want to put forth an attractive, detailed and compelling project per the guidelines given to us. I require the project binders be submitted to me well in advance of the deadline so that I may study them and prepare my sales-pitch to the finance chairman.”
In her statement, Pelanda said that in response to her budget strategy, city and village officials “worked hard on their projects” and exceeded her expectations in their presentations.
Emery said citizens involved in creating the parks and recreation master plan identified trail enhancement as the top need.
He explained that Marysville is proposing to construct a path to connect the 5.8 mile paved Jim Simmons Trail system to the 2.1 mile crushed stone trail that surrounds the Upground Reservoir on Raymond Road.
“We have always had an interest in improving our trail system, but we wanted to be able to highlight the improvements we have been able to make at the reservoir,” Emery said.
The 10-foot wide connector trail would begin north of Mill Valley Park Central and gently climb to a bridge that will cross Mill Creek.
The Capital Budget request includes installation of the bridge, at an estimated cost of $824,934. The funding request also provides for two other bridge options.
“It depends on the level of funding that we receive,” Emery said.
The trail will then cross Raymond Road.
“The location selected for the crossing is at a high point of the road which maximizes sight distance for both the pedestrian and approaching vehicles,” according to city information about the project.
Emery said a pedestrian crossing signal would also likely be installed.
Once across Raymond Road, the trail will go north to the reservoir and join that path.
“A lot of the work, we will be able to do in-house,” Emery said. “If we can get the funding for the bridge, we could do a lot of the work. This is an amenity we can probably bring to the community pretty quickly.”
He added, “We just think this will be a really neat enhancement, meeting the needs of our citizens.”
Pelanda also requesting money to improve the beach and amenities at Richwood Lake. The project would include a composting toilet and an ADA compliant shelter house with fireplace, at an estimated cost of $185,168.
Village officials said fond memories of Richwood Lake have faded along with facilities in and around the park.
“An effort is underway to change this through the implementation of a 1.3-mile multi-purpose trail that will help connect the community to the park, but there are still outdated and nonexistent amenities that are sorely needed in order to make the park and beach a clean and fun place to visit,” according to Richwood’s information about the project.
The park has only one permanent restroom, on the southwest side of the lake. On the northwest side of the lake, where the beach, veteran’s memorial, campground and trailhead, are located, there is a portable toilet and no shelter house.
“The addition of efficient, environmentally-friendly restrooms and an additional shelter house would allow the park and beach to accommodate visitors in a sustainable way,” according to information from Richwood.
Not all requests will be funded. The state’s Office of Budget and Management will review all the submissions made, and sends its preliminary Capital Budget recommendations to the governor. After the governor makes decisions about funding, the governor’s recommendations are introduced in the General Assembly as the biennial capital appropriations. After debate and approval by the General Assembly, the Capital Appropriations Bill is sent to the governor for signature, and funding begins as part of the next state budget.

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