Prairie Twp. seeks trail funding


By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

With the new community center up and running, Prairie Township is setting its sights on new township projects.

Among those projects is the new multi-use trail that will span from the new community center to the Broad Street Streetscape to the Camp Chase Trail.

The township trustees approved a letter of agreement that was then passed onto the city of Columbus. The letter was part of a grant requirement by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The township is currently applying for the Clean Ohio Trail Grant through ODNR for the proposed trail.

“Several hundred feet of the proposed trail would go through land owned by Columbus,” said Tracy Hatmaker, township administrator. “The Ohio Department of Natural Resources asked that we have a letter signed by the township and Columbus stating that they were OK with the trail going onto their property.”

If the township receives the grant, it could get up to $500,000 in funding. However, township officials have said they estimate the completed trail would cost approximately $600,000.

In February, the trustees approved a resolution that if the township receives the grant, the township would be responsible for 20 percent of the trail funding. Township officials feel that this trail is a great investment in the community and are confident they will receive the grant.

“This new trail could attract new businesses and residents to the area and retain the ones we currently have,” Hatmaker said. “We feel like we have a very strong application and feel like we have a great shot at this grant.”

The township is also moving forward with the new Galloway Road Sports Complex and is waiting for final zoning compliance approve from the city of Columbus. According to Hatmaker, the township hopes to start working on this project later this year or early next year.

The first things the township will do with the 111-acre sports complex is make water and sewer improvements, then they will move forward with seeding.

“We are breaking down all the work into phases to minimize the costs and anticipate there will be at least two phases to this project,” Hatmaker said. “We also plan to do as many things as possible in-house to reduce costs.”

Phase one consists of several soccer fields, baseball diamonds, a concession stand, parking, restrooms, a fishing pond, walking trail and possibly a dog park. Hatmaker said he doesn’t anticipate the park will be complete until 2017 and that it will costs the township several hundred thousand dollars.

“The purpose of all these projects is to improve the quality of life in the township,” he said. “In many ways, this township has been left behind; however we are trying to change that by offering the same amenities our neighboring communities already provide.”

To learn more about the new multi-use trail or the Galloway Road Sports Complex, visit

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