Perrysburg hears comments on $26 million riverfront proposal PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 20 August 2013 10:17
Boats are docked along the river bank in Perrysburg. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
PERRYSBURG - Council members weighed in for the first time Monday on a $26 million plan to renovate the city's parks and give residents more access to the riverfront.
Representatives of council's Recreation Committee agreed to recommend approaching the plan in phases, with the first to include only an all-purpose, hard-surfaced trail connecting Orleans, Riverside and Hood parks. Council will consider it during a 6:30 meeting tonight.
The full proposal, described in detail during a public information session July 30, contains many long-term recreational options such as an expanded marina, high-adventure area, ice rinks and much more.
Residents during that meeting expressed reservations about the cost and need for much of the plan, some of which were reiterated Monday.
Becky Williams, of East Sixth Street, said the plan is meant to be an "accumulation of ideas," and while it was up to designer Harley Ellis Devereaux to provide many options, it's residents who need to determine what they want.
"Start small, start with that path," Williams said.
"It doesn't have to be some big, extravagant thing."
Rachel Sowers, of Mulberry Street, called the long-term renovation a "multi-generational community concern," saying she supports developing the area as an option to attract people to Perrysburg rather than drive them to other communities with better developed waterfronts.
While the trail was supported by many, some nearby Front Street property owners argued the plan ignores their wishes and could result in damage to their land.
Katina Hall cautioned that the proposal would not provide the riverfront access people are looking for.
"The trail, the walkway, through our private backyards is not going to give you access to the river," she said.
"The trail is never going to provide that."
Charles Pfleghaar was concerned the project would damage a retaining wall on his property.
Council members agreed that the first step before installing any trail would be engineering, part of which would include determining any risk to property owners.
"The first thing we do is we hire an engineering team to come out and look at it," council member Todd Grayson said in response to Pfleghaar's concern. "That is step one.
"If they come in and say this has the potential to erode the hill and hurt Charles' property, I'm not going to vote for that."
Also during Monday's meeting, Planning and Zoning Administrator Brody Walters informed those present that questions submitted during the July 30 presentation have been researched with answers posted to the city's website, About 30 questions and statements were offered when public comment outweighed the time available during that meeting.

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