Grant money has placed a couple of projects on South Charleston’s plate for 2008.
According to Village Manager Sarah Wildman, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has allocated a $78,000 Nature-Works grant to South Charleston for construction of a skate park at the trailhead on Mound Street.
The grant requires matching money from the village. Wildman said she will be looking into other grant opportunities to come up with the local share of $25,000 to $30,000.
“For five years or more, we have seen kids get into the sport of skateboarding,” she said. “There’s no place for it here, so the kids find places they think are interesting, which ends up being a problem for businesses and churches.
“We figured, if we provide a spot where they can do this, we will create an activity that maybe even more kids will get involved in, and we will take the heat off of the businesses and churches who have been trying to work around the kids.”
The quest is to find skate park equipment that is safe, affordable and long lasting. The village is working with several suppliers who engineer the elements that make up a good skate park—ramps, bars, steps and the like.
“They help you put together a fun way of laying out whatever you can afford,” Wildman said. “We hope to get the kids involved, too, so that they can tell us what kind of equipment they would use. We want a lot of kids using the park.”
The goal is to build the skate park later this year.
Another project on the agenda is installation of handicap accessible rest rooms at South Charleston’s town hall. Wildman estimates the project will cost $30,000. The Springfield Foundation has granted the village $8,711 for the project. The Turner Foundation has granted $10,000. The village must make up the difference in cost.
The new rest rooms will be located at the front of town hall, where they will be easily accessible by the public.
“The rest rooms we have presently, you could not get a wheelchair into, and there’s no handicap equipment once you are in there,” Wildman said.
Down the road, those existing facilities will be renovated into a single unisex, handicap accessible rest room to be used primarily by town hall staff and police personnel.
The village also will continue to repair and maintain streets in 2008. While officials are researching various patching processes, Wildman said she is pleased with a process South Charleston tried for the first time last year. The village used Springfield Township’s Durapatch equipment to fix several problem areas.
The process involves spraying a tar-like emulsion into the repair area, then mixing in gravel.
“The repairs we made with Durapatch appear to be lasting really well and look like they will last for several years,” Wildman said. “This was a great way for us to partner with another jurisdiction and have limited expense because we didn’t have to buy our own equipment.”