Could Grove City be the next site for a Metro Park?
Metro Parks Executive Director John O’Meara attended the July 21 Grove City Council meeting to ask council and residents if they would like a park system in the area. He said Metro Parks and the city have been talking for the past few years, but feels now is the time to find out if there is real support.
The city owns approximately 300 acres along the Scioto River, on the southeast side of the city.
"This is a place to start," said O’Meara.
Grove City Mayor Ike Stage said the property is isolated and part of the floodplain. He said he does not see the land "going very far without help."
O’Meara explained that several years ago the Scioto River struggled with water quality and pollution.
"The river has recovered very well," said O’Meara. "It is beautiful and an ideal place to put a park."
Metro Parks is aware that the area in consideration is a floodplain. O’Meara said it is better to create a park district in a floodplain than build homes or businesses.
"It is good use for a floodplain," he noted.
Council President Ted Berry wanted to know if Metro Parks was planning to purchase additional land around the site. O’Meara said it is a project that could expand. He explained that the average size of a Metro Park is about 1,500 acres. The smallest Metro Park is approximately 800 acres.
"We are looking at additional property along the river," O’Meara said. "Three hundred acres is much smaller than most Metro Parks."
Metro Parks is an independent government agency, that is funded by the taxpayers. O’Meara said the park board is planning to place a levy on the ballot next spring.
Funding from this levy would allow the construction of a park along Scioto River. It could also allow the park system to purchase additional land around the property.
"This is still preliminary; it is not guaranteed," said O’Meara. "It still has to be approved by the park board."
O’Meara said Metro Parks would like a signed agreement with the city before the potential spring levy.
"We are hoping to have an agreement with Grove City later this year," he remarked.
Berry told the parks director that the city is interested in the idea. He said the city’s administration would work with Metro Parks. Once they have a firm development plan, the city would present the plan to the public for comment.