By Sandi Latimer
Refreshed plans for a park on Alkire Road, adjacent to the Mentel Golf Course, will go to the Westland Area Commission for its approval.
Columbus Recreation and Parks has held two meetings to seek input from area residents for what they want in a park to be developed on 25 acres of land that has long been in agricultural use. Out of these two meetings have come plans for two baseball fields, a half-mile paved walking trail, a picnic area, playground, trees and parking spaces.
“We have $150,000 to work with this year, and $100,000 next year,” Park Development Associate Justin Loesch said at the second meeting held June 29 in the new Prairie Township Community Center.
Before work can begin, the land will have to be rezoned to recreational/parkland use. It’s been in a tax exempt status since the recreation and parks department purchased the land. The first step is approval from the Westland Area Commission, which will forward its decision to the city.
Loesch is hoping for quick approval from both the commission and Columbus City Council so work can begin this fall on clearing the land. Action would have to go quickly since city council does not meet in August.
If everything can be approved before the end of July, the department can proceed with paperwork toward site clearing in the fall. Westland Area Commission meets Wednesday, June 15, at 7 p.m. in the Heritage Hall of Doctors Hospital. The public is encouraged to attend the meeting to give its input.
These plans only include development on the east half of the acreage. Once this part is completed, the department could expand into the west half by adding three athletic fields and expanding the walking trail and “hopefully put in a connector path to the Camp Chase Trail,” Loesch said.
The east half was chosen for development first since it is close to a housing development.