Chagrin Valley Times
Last month, the Geauga Park District Board of Commissioners tabled their vote on the Modroo Property Improvement plan after discussions surrounding their concerns of costs associated with leased property. The plan was unanimously approved by the board on Tuesday.
The park land in Russell is estimated to cost about $50,000, which will be covered by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy who is overseeing the project. The Geauga Park District is in a 15-year lease agreement to operate and maintain Russell Township Park District land.
Director of Planning and Operations Matt McCue recapped the plans during the board’s regular meeting at Claridon Woodlands, stating that improvements included the installation of a six-space aggregate parking area with five standard parking spots and one accessible parking spot, an entry drive and a 1.5-mile combined hiking trail, which would be a mowed turf trail.
As for maintenance, Mr. McCue said the estimated cost to the Geauga Park District would be very minimal. He explained that they would only need to mow down the trail between three and four times a year.
Executive Director John Oros added that the park would be included in the grounds schedule for checking trash cans and cleanliness of the park.
Mr. McCue said the most costly things the board could anticipate would be staining some park structures every few years and adding top dressing to the aggregate parking area.
Board President Andrej Lah asked if the Geauga Park District is going to invest in the leased Russell Township properties, “should we be looking at purchasing some of these properties and making them part of the [Geauga] Park District property?
“I’m just throwing it out there,” he added. “I don’t like putting money into something we don’t own.”
In other park news, the board also approved the request to bid the Welton’s Gorge Improvement project at the budgeted amount of $435,000 and a request for qualification for design-build services for the Beaver Creek Restoration Project for a budgeted $845,340.
Welton’s Gorge improvements in Burton include a picnic shelter, a 20-car aggregate parking lot and a single vault restroom, but the main focus is the gorge itself, Mr. McCue said. “That’s where we’re doing some multipurpose hiking trails.” He said the hiking trails will be aggregate, and past the entry point the development of the trails will be handled by in-house staff.
Beaver Creek, he said, is part of the Water Resource Restoration Sponsor Program (WRRSP) under the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. He explained that the project will work to create more natural channel flow for the creek. “We’re going to kind of reconnect the wetland areas.”
Mr. McCue said the creek falls into the property of Bass Lake in Munson, and there are two approaches to the project. He said the design can either be such that the stream is raised to connect with the flood plain, or they could do some excavation work on the creek.
Park Biologist Paul Pira explained that there should not be a need for any dramatic changes and that the park district will be mostly just preserving it.
The next Geauga Park District meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 14 at the Donald W. Meyer Center at Big Creek Park in Chardon.