London: Obstacle course, fireworks, and electric car charging stations

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A fitness course inspired by television shows featuring obstacle course competitions is slated for installation this spring at Cowling Park in London.

(Posted March 23, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The improvements keep coming at Cowling Park in London.

A fitness course is scheduled for installation this spring. Inspired by television shows that feature extreme obstacle course competitions, the fitness course will be geared toward teens and adults.

The new feature is the latest project funded by Access Cowling, the non-profit responsible for installation of the many walking paths crisscrossing the park and Noah’s Playground, an all-inclusive playground for children of all abilities.

“The playground was built for all ages to enjoy, but it is our hope that (the fitness course) will give older kids an additional space to exercise and work off some energy,” said Amy Rees, president of the London Community Organization (LCO) and executive assistant for the city of London’s administrative offices. LCO serves as the umbrella organization for Access Cowling.

A volunteer crew is slated to install the course on April 30 and May 1. The proposed location is east of the playground, between two rows of trees. The setup also will include two picnic tables.

Access Cowling is using its remaining funds to cover the cost of the equipment–$42,307. Dwyer Brothers Hardware is donating all of the cement needed for the construction.

Fireworks

There is a chance the city will put on a significantly bigger fireworks display than it did last year.

Mayor Patrick Closser requested that $10,000 be moved from the general fund into the mayor’s miscellaneous fund for the fireworks display. That’s the same amount the city spent last year. Councilman Rich Hays had another idea, suggesting that the city increase the amount to $15,000.

“After what we went through last year (with the pandemic), I think we ought to put a little extra boom in it this year,” Hays said.

The proposed increase will be considered at council’s next meeting on April 1.

“This summer, it may be a little more important than last summer,” Closser said about providing entertainment and recreation options for citizens. “Everybody was locked down and kind of staying in (last year), but it seems like everybody’s getting a little restless now and wants to get outside. And we want to give them safe opportunities to do that. I think the fireworks will be a great thing we can do for the community.”

The fireworks display will take place on July 3.

Electric vehicle charging stations

The city will receive $30,000 in grant money from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to install two charging stations for electric vehicles. One station will be installed in the public parking lot at the corner of Oak Street and Second Avenue. The other will be installed in the parking lot at Cowling Park at the corner of Main Street and Park Avenue. Each station will have two ports.

“These won’t necessarily be to give cars a full charge. They are designed to ‘top off’ cars as (the owners) shop and run errands, or play at the park or visit the hospital,” said Rees, who spearheaded the grant application process.

Public and private entities in 26 counties in Ohio were eligible to apply for the grants which require no matching funds. Once the EPA sends the grant contract, construction can start.

“We’re hoping we will have them done and installed this summer,” Closser said.

Alley vacations

Earlier this year, the city received several petitions from property owners asking that certain alleys be vacated, meaning the alleys would no longer be used for traffic. Public hearings on all four requests were held during the March 18 council meeting.

Council approved three of the requests and postponed a vote on the fourth. The three approvals were for:

  • vacation of the alley that runs parallel to Dwyer Chiropractic at 139 S. Main St., starting at the railroad tracks and ending behind the Dwyer Bros. warehouse at 149 S. Main St.;
  • vacation of the alley behind London First United Methodist Church, between North Union and North Main streets; and
  • vacation of the alley behind London First United Methodist Church, running perpendicular to the alley mentioned above, running out to Fourth Street.

The fourth request is for vacation of the alley that runs parallel to Virginia Avenue, between Columbia and Chandler avenues. After hearing from several residents who live in the area, council wants the city law director to review the request. One concern is ensuring future access to driveways and garages along the alley.

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