Beautification efforts approved in Prairie

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

The Prairie Township Trustees are moving forward with several actions to spruce up the township. Among the items is improvements to signage and updates to a busy interchange.

At the recent meeting, the trustees approved spending $386 per sign to replace 10 signs in the Little Farm neighborhood within the township. According to leadership, the post style signs have worn out through the years and need replaced.

The board also approved spending $5,120 to replace six gates and make various other improvements at Alton and Galloway Cemeteries.

“We want the cemeteries to look good and there has been normal wear and tear at both cemeteries,” said Tracy Hatmaker, township administrator.

The township also is moving forward with adding curb ramps to an intersection in Lincoln Village. Estimated to cost approximately $346,500, the trustees approved the lowest bid on the project for approximately $297,000.

“This project is funded through an Ohio Public Works Commission grant, as well as a loan,” Hatmaker said. “We have a lot of people in this neighborhood in wheelchairs that can’t step onto curbs. This project will create curb ramps for handicap pedestrians.”

An update also was given on the I-270 interchange project that will have the township collaborating with regional partners.

“The board is in talks to lead the request for firms to do final design of project, provide bid documents and oversee the installation,” Hatmaker said. “Right now, work on this is expected to begin in late spring and be complete by the summer or autumn.”

The township will partner with Franklin County, Hollywood Casino, Columbus, Weston Vision, Haydocy Buick and Franklin Township for the project. The project will focus on improving the landscaping around the West Broad Street and I-270 interchange.

Hatmaker said the project is projected to cost over $400,000 and will include landscaping, lighting over the underpass and sculptures.

“This region is the welcoming area for Prairie Township, Franklin Township and our business corridor, so we want it to look appealing to visitors as they get off the exit,” Hatmaker said.

Besides coordinating the bidding and implementation of the project, the township is negotiating with partners how the improved region will be maintained.

In other news, township leadership announced that they have asked for $1.8 million from the state capital budget. While the township does not expect to get what they asked for, they do expect to get approximately $150,000 from that budget for the community center.

“One way we are looking to use these funds is to create an artificial turf field for kids with special needs,” said James Gant, with the Prairie Township Community Center. “I have been told we are at the top of the list to get some of these funds.”

Gant added that the new Community Foundation started in the township will continue to help with identifying opportunities like this.

“Part of the goal of the foundation is to help secure funding like this,” Gant said.

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