BEAVERCREEK — Beavercreek Township and the City of Beavercreek are working together to help solve the issues with the playground at Rotary Park to ensure a safer, nicer place for the children of Beavercreek to play.
Officials believe that working together on this project ensures the possibility of levy and grant money being stretched and put to good use.
Beavercreek Township is applying for a $57,000 grant. The grant is a 50/50 grant; meaning that the township would be responsible for approximately $26,000. The township would like to put the grant funds towards repairs and improvement efforts into Rotary Park. The township has asked the city to help with the efforts since the city manages the property.
The collaboration program is called the NatureWorks Grant. By accepting the proposal from the township, the grant application will be completed and a decision will be heard in the fall as to if the grant application was accepted.
“The playground equipment at Rotary Park is over 20 years old. It’s in desperate need of repair and replacement. But, with it being so old, parts are costly and the structure is becoming a liability,” Beavercreek Parks Department Mike Thonnerieux said.
The money for this project will not cost the city anything more than $13,000, which will be allotted in the 2018 budget. City Manager Pete Landrum explained that there is excess funds in the budget for this project because of expenditures for another project that fell through.
“There were 91 reservations at the picnic shelter adjacent to the playground and 391 youths participated in the summer camp, which housed out of the shelter and utilizes the playground as part of extended play,” Thonnerieux said. “Decks on the playground are showing wear. The metal is rusting and corroding. The replacement parts are not only costly, but are getting hard to find.”
As part of the planned improvements, Thonnerieux said that the department would be looking for public input, such as with other recent park improvements. The plan is to increase the ADA accessibility, create walkways to the restrooms, to the picnic shelter and possibly move the playground closer to the shelter.
“This playground is always being used,” Vice Mayor Julie Vann said. “My only complaint is that I don’t feel this is enough. These type of grants are extremely competitive. It’s very important to support the renovation.”
The township is in the process of applying for the grant. The Beavercreek City Council approved the expenditures. Now both will wait for a decision on the grant.
Danielle Coots is a freelance writer for Greene County News.