Steve Thornbury: status of Millcrest Parks improvement ordinance
As many people know and have read about on this blog, the City of Norwood has been working with residents in the neighborhood of Upper Millcrest Park on proposals to improve various aspects of the both Upper and Lower Millcrest Parks. The timing couldn’t have been better. Council is currently engaged in the application process for what is known as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a three-year grant program managed by Hamilton County that can be used for any number of purposes, including park renovation and upgrade.
After two public hearings and a meeting of the Committee of the Whole to discuss which projects to include in the grant request, it was decided to submit a request for $50,000 per year for the next three years to be put toward the general category of “Parks.” The request also included grant requests for $15,000 per year for the Norwood Service League, $10,000 per year for the Norwood Health Department’s school dental program, $20,000 per year for “Streetscapes” that are supervised by the Norwood Tree Board, $100,000 per year for street improvements and $55,000 for potential clearance and demolition of derelict properties.
There are, of course, no guarantees of the City receiving all the funds we’re requesting.
Eager to get the ball rolling on grant-funded projects, an ordinance was submitted at the most recent Norwood City Council meeting (October 24, 2011) that sought approval for, as the ordinance caption states:
AUTHORIZING THE SAFETY-SERVICE DIRECTOR TO ADVERTISE FOR BIDS AND ENTER INTO A CONTRACT IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND ($100,000) DOLLARS FOR THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT AND A SHELTER AT UPPER AND LOWER MILLCREST PARK, AND DECLARING AND EMERGENCY.
Although the cover letter that Council requires be part of an ordinance submission was not available, I assume the ordinance was submitted by the Administration.
When presented with the ordinance, Council voted 4 to 3 to send the ordinance to the Parks and Playground Committee where it will be considered by Committee Chair John Mumper and committee members Joe Sanker and myself, Steve Thornbury. While in Committee, Council members will be able to review the funding schedule, the proposed equipment purchases and shelter upgrades and discuss other opportunities for using the available grant money to improve our city’s many parks and playgrounds.
The schedule for the Parks and Playground Committee meeting has not yet been posted but if you are interested in learning the time and place, please contact the Clerk of Council’s office at 458-4594.
Norwood City Council, Ward 2