Plans to develop Alum Creek Park continue to move forward, with residents giving their stamp of approval to a draft plan for the site during a Jan. 16 meeting at the Bexley Public Library.
About 20 people attended the meeting to give feedback on the plans for the currently undeveloped site, which is about three-quarters of a mile along Alum Creek from East Main Street to East Livingston Avenue.
"Reactions were positive to the plan," Mayor Ben Kessler said. "I think that our planners did a good job of reflecting community priorities in the plan, and respecting the need for preserving the natural environment along Alum Creek as well as addressing safety concerns."
Representatives of the Alum Creek Corridor Committee, which consists of city officials, residents and representatives from design firm MKSK, were on hand to present the draft plan.
It was crafted from residents' suggestions for the park that the city gathered through an online survey in October and at a Nov. 22 public meeting.
Suggestions include a paved trail for walking and biking, play areas for children, a shelter house, a public art installation to serve as a gateway to the park, a food cart to serve visitors, and phone boxes that visitors could use to call police and maintain security.
The next steps in the development of the park, Kessler said, are for MKSK representatives to integrate residents' suggestions from the Jan. 16 meeting and for the city to obtain grants and private donations to fund the development.
"I see this as being a multi-year, phased effort, with basic trail and security call box installation coming first, and then additional components being built as funding becomes available," Kessler said.
"The good news is that there are many grant programs for funding park improvements, and we intend to enthusiastically pursue them," he said.
Residents wishing to view the draft plan as well as slides from the Jan. 16 presentation can visit the "Alum Creek Park" item on the front page of the city's website at Bexley.org.