Township wants community input for new trail

By Amanda Amsel
Staff Writer

The Prairie Township Community Center will be hosting several public meetings in an effort to get feedback about the proposed trail the township would like to install.

The township is in the process of applying for Clean Ohio Trail Grant to get up to 80 percent funding for the new trail. If the township gets the grant, they could receive up to $500,000.

“One of the requirements of the grant is to host several public meetings to get community input,” said James Gant, director for the Prairie Township Community Center. “The idea behind the meeting is to make sure the public gets all the information about the proposed trail and ensures this is something they want for our community.”

The trail would span from the community center to the Broad Street streetscape to the Camp Chase Trail.

“We would love to connect all the schools in the township, as well as several parks and recreation properties that are owned by Columbus,” Gant said. “However this is all dependent on the grant, if we don’t get the grant we won’t be able to do this project.”

If the township receives the grant, officials would construct the trail in three phases, with the first phase spanning approximately two miles. The overall length of the trail would be several miles.

The township would still be responsible for 20 percent of the funding if they receive the grant, so according to Gant it is essential that this is something the community wants.

An initial design of phase one of the trail as already been created, however township officials are hesitant to put more work into it until they confirm they have funding to move forward.

“Paying to design the trail counts toward the 20 percent we have to spend, so we don’t want to spend too much until we know we have the grant,” Gant said. “However, I can tell you based on the initial design of the trail will be 10 feet and will have two lanes for traffic.”

Most of the property the trail is on is owned by the township, area schools and the city of Columbus. However, a small portion of the trail property will be owned by private township residents. In those cases, the township would need to work with property owners in order to put the trial on their land.

“We are definitely going to reach out to the neighborhoods that would directly be affected by this trail and invite them to the public meeting,” Gant said. “We want to hear their feedback, whether it is positive or negative. However, personally I feel like this would be a great benefit for the township.”

The public meetings for the proposed grant will take place at 7 p.m. Jan. 8 and Jan. 14 at the Prairie Township Administration Office, 23 Maple Drive.

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