Town Center Park plan postponed

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By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor

Grove City Council has postponed legislation concerning the Town Center Park to gather additional input from the public.

At the Dec. 7 meeting, council put off the appropriation of $250,000 to remove a section of Arbutus Avenue for the intended Town Center Park.

When the Grove City Library relocated to Broadway, more than 600 Grove City residents signed a petition to turn that Park Street property into a park or community gathering space. In November of 2019, council signed off on a plan to preserve that site for a park or performance space. In October of 2020, consultants presented a proposal for the site that would be like a mini commons area, featuring a stage and entertainment venue with a lawn area. The problem – residents said the site was too small and did not include surrounding space as they had envisioned.

According to city administration, the proposal for the former library site is just over one acre in size. The city owns property to the east of the former library site. If the city removes a portion of Arbutus Avenue, the two parcels could become one large green space area that is more than two acres.

Before council agrees to appropriate the $250,000, they said they need more time and more input from the community.

Council president Christine Houk said she is hesitant to spend the funds before the planning process, before a public participation process, and before the completion of a Town Center conceptual framework plan.

“We are not there yet,” she said.

Councilman Aaron Schlabach said he likes the idea of a larger park but agreed that they need more time to review the plans.

“I think this may be putting the cart before the horse,” he said.

Council agreed to postpone the appropriation of $250,000 for a portion of Arbutus Avenue until March. Before that time, council plans to hold a special meeting to gather more public input on the matter. The date and time of the meeting has yet to be determined.

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