Dreams for Orleans: $14.5 million first phase planned for Perrysburg park


PERRYSBURG — The $14 million first phase of the Orleans Park master plan and renovation is moving forward in the city.

The Orleans Park Master Plan resolution had a first of three possible readings at the Tuesday council meeting.

“This is a plan for what we are adopting for what we want the park to look like in the future,” Council President Jonathan Smith said after the meeting. “All this means is that we will probably be moving forward with different parts of it and we will be getting better, more accurate numbers at that time.”

The resolution did not include cost estimates or funding sources.

“At one point, there was a conversation about maybe using American Rescue Plan Act dollars to get started,” Smith said. “It’s kind of a master end-goal design. As funds become available we slowly start heading toward that goal.”

The Sentinel-Tribune has obtained the master plan cost estimates, from a May 20, 2022 Master Plan project estimate.

Building construction includes a new 4,320 square foot pavilion, at $2.1 million, and a crew boathouse with storage area and office totaling 7,000 square feet for a combined cost of $1.675 million.

Park improvements include $625,000 in playground equipment, a kayak launch for $30,000, parking lot and pedestrian lights for $315,000 and a $45,000 kiosk.

Hardscape improvements include paved walking paths, bike path, drives, curbs and parking, for a combined cost of $423,600, a railed boardwalk for $1.7 million, an overlook pier for $960,000 and a $150,000 pump track.

Landscaping would include an 8,477-square-foot floating garden for $720,545 and dog park fencing for $15,250.

The park currently has parking, fishing access, jet ski launch, canoe and kayak storage racks, picnic tables and a walking path along the river which connects the park to Fort Meigs State Memorial.

Councilwoman Jan Materni, who is chair of the service committee, had Planning and Zoning Administrator Brody Walters present the master plan at the Jan. 31 committee meeting.

She would like a boathouse included, as well as clearing debris that has been dumped along the bank over a period of years.

Walters agreed that there was a lot of debris. He added that with funding, phases of the master plan could be “pushed and pulled.”

In a followup interview Materni said that the master plan will take a number of years to complete.

Council suggested that the recreation committee revisit the plan before the final reading.

“There is only one other park in the city with a master plan, which is Rotary Park,” Smith said.

At a September presentation, Tim Bockbrader with the Edge Group, called the park an “untapped jewel of Perrysburg.”

In June 2021 the city administration engaged the Edge Group to create a master plan for Orleans Park. The group held several professional stakeholder meetings to get input for the draft plan, which was finished on Nov. 8.

The stakeholder group studying the park included city administrators, Mayor Tom Mackin, council members, rowing clubs, the convention and visitor’s bureau and heads of planning and design for the Toledo Zoo and Toledo Metroparks.

In other park business on Tuesday, council passed a resolution for the mayor to accept funds donated by the Rotary Foundation for the construction of the pickleball courts at Rotary Park. Smith and Barry VanHoozen abstained from the vote. Both are Rotary members and felt it could be a conflict of interest.

Smith, who is not running for re-election to council, would like to end the need for votes that would allow the acceptance of donations to the park system.

“I’m working on creating the Perrysburg City Foundation as a fundraising mechanism to allow for more private dollars to go into our park system,” Smith said. “It would save time on legislation. It would save time (for the finance director) on budgeting and everything else.”

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