TROY — Troy City Council approved the first step of the proposed Duke Park levy on Monday with seven votes in favor and one vote against the proposal.
Council member Tom Kendall was the lone “No” vote.
Council member Brock Heath was not present.
Following the meeting, Kendall said he has no problem with the ball field portion of the project, but said he thinks the splash pad and putt-putt golf course are not needed.
“I’ve got issues with the splash pad and the putt-putt golf. I just think it’s a lot of money to spend at this time,” Kendall said.
Council will have a second meeting on Aug. 5 to finalize certification of the levy proposal on the Nov. 5 ballot.
The total cost for the proposed park improvements is around $12 million. City staff and Mayor Michael Beamish recommended $5 million of the project to be funded by the city’s general fund, $3 million to be financed by bonds and the remaining $4 million to be funded by a 10-year, 1.2-mill property tax levy to be placed on the Nov. 5, 2019 ballot. According to city auditor John Frigge, if passed, the levy would cost $40 a year for a $100,000 property. The proposed additions to Duke Park include six baseball and softball fields, an 18-hole miniature golf course, three soccer fields and a splash pad. Other proposed components include a new park maintenance building and concession/storage areas in the central part of Duke Park. The soccer fields and another park entrance would be added to the south.
The proposal was approved by members of the city’s park board, recreation board and the parks and recreation committee on July 8.
Prior to the vote, president Marty Baker said they received information from the Troy Junior Baseball organization.
“We did receive clarification from Troy Junior Baseball that they are satisfied with the number baseball fields being recommended by the city in Duke Park. This is apparently based on their 2019 participation numbers and not building any growth into the program,” Baker said.
Baker also asked for clarification about the city’s funding of the project being available due to the delay of West Main Street improvements. Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington clarified the West Main Street Project would be in two phases and it would begin in the 2021-2022 fiscal years and the project would be more “bond-worthy” than the Duke Park project, freeing up funds to finance the city’s Duke Park portion.
Resident Lester Conard said, “I don’t have anything against kids,” but told city council $40 a year for people on fixed incomes was a size-able amount, especially with other proposed levy issues such as the Troy City Schools building projects and other taxes.
Brad Boehringer also said the city should seek an income tax levy to ease the burden on senior citizens and to scale back the project to do the baseball fields first and add the other amenities at another time.
In other comments, Jim Thompson requested more signage at Duke Park to keep motorists from parking on the grass. Thompson also noted he liked the removal of the stop lights around the Public Square. He then questioned the city’s plan to add the recreational trail on Riverside Drive, eliminating the two crossings, and that the design will now cross 12 driveways and he believes it was a safety issue. Thompson said if the city removed four lights at the Public Square and it’s safe, how does it make sense to cross 12 driveways.
Titterington said the city would have installed a sidewalk on the side of the road anyway, but added the wider recreational trail will connect to Duke Park. Titterington said removing the two crossings across the roadway, forcing users to use the Adams Street trail access in the future, was more safe. Titterington said the city is required to add sidewalks to its projects with very few exceptions. Thompson asked if the sidewalk by the cemetery would be removed, and Titterington said no.
Conard later added the statue of the photographer located at The Caroline restaurant on Market Street and the Public Square was very distracting since it looks like a pedestrian waiting to cross. Titterington said the city is continuing to monitor if it’s causing an issue and it would take two to three people and a crane to move.
In other news:
Council held a public hearing regarding the rezoning of 27.16 acres at Troy Christian Schools. A committee meeting will be set to discuss the rezoning at a later date. The rezoning will have a third reading at the Aug. 5 meeting.
The rezoning is to include the Arbogast Performing Arts Center and an additional 6,000-square- foot addition to the elementary school. The intent is also to re-plat two smaller properties onto the larger property at 700 S. Dorset Road, and to leave the vacant lot to the south as it exists today. The APAC is proposed to be 26,500 square feet and nearly 40 feet high. The development will have 572 parking spaces total. The planning commission information included that traffic plans continue with the city engineer, traffic engineer and architect.
Two residents asked a variety of questions concerning zoning and parking for the APAC. Jessica Echols, executive director of the APAC, answered the questions. She said the APAC would be leasing the property from Troy Christian Schools, who own the property. She said they’ve received permission from the Premier Health South campus to utilize their parking space for evening events and said that has worked very well with a recent event.
The following legislation was approved on Monday:
R-32-2019 — Authorize bidding for Sanitary Sewer Relining Project, $100,000. The project includes 3,225 of pipe in various locations of the city including: Arlington Avenue, Long Street, Riverside Drive near Community Park, West Race Street between Market and Cherry streets, Westlake Drive, South Crawford Street between Young and West streets and between Ross and Enyeart streets, East Water Street between Mulberry and Clay streets and East Main Street between New and Counts streets.
R-33-2019 — Authorize OPWC grant application for Riverside Drive Improvement Project Phase 4.
The current pre-design estimate is $1,387,733. The project will be designed in 2020 and bid in 2021. The resolution is to apply for a $600,000 grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission. The project area is from Duke Park entrance to the north property line of the park. The application deadline is July 22.
O-26-2019 — Vacate a portion of Arlington Avenue. The applicant is Troy Christian Schools. The portion of the avenue is part of the planned development of the Arbogast Performing Arts Center.
O-27-2019 — Accept the final plat of Fox Harbor Subdivision 6. The plan includes 31 building lots on 5.774 acres.
Reach Melanie Yingst at firstname.lastname@example.org
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