Marble Cliff Village Council Monday agreed now is not the right time to pursue a grant from Ohio Department of Natural Resources for a canoe/kayak access on village-owned property along the Scioto River.

Marble Cliff Village Council Monday agreed now is not the right time to pursue a grant from Ohio Department of Natural Resources for a canoe/kayak access on village-owned property along the Scioto River.

The grant would be to reimburse the village for the cost of building the amenity on river frontage south of West Fifth Avenue off Dublin Road.

The application deadline is April 1, so council would have had to pass a resolution to apply at its March meeting.

The project would involve creating a small parking lot with about six parking spaces, a paved path leading to the river and a simple public access, probably wooden stairs, that people could use to launch their canoes or kayaks, said Anne Jewel, a former village council member who is part of a group that has been formulating the proposal. There is no public small-boat access to the Scioto River between Griggs Reservoir and downtown, Jewel said.

"People are excited, and ODNR is excited about how we can get access to our river," she said.

ODNR's grant program caps funding at $10,000 per parking space, Mayor Kent Studebaker said.

If the village project were to include six parking spaces, it likely would receive $60,000 if it was awarded a grant, he said.

The project cost would have to fit within that limit, Jewel said.

The village would also have to make a 25-year commitment to maintaining the site, regardless of whether it is a successful endeavor, council member Linda Siefkas said.

Under the proposed plan for the project, people would get to the put-in by going through a portion of the Certified Oil gas station property. Certified would have to grant permission for that access and the company has not been contacted yet about the project, Studebaker said.

The company would need to be notified right away, "and I don't know what their motivation would be to grant us access," said council president David Roark.

He also voiced the concern of others on council about whether the village would end up having to spend money for engineering or other reasons as part of the application process for which it would not be reimbursed.

"I'm a little nervous" that the village would find itself incurring "unreimbursed engineering costs to convince (ODNR) we are the winners," he said.

Village engineer Louis McFarland would need to review the application, which perhaps could be done in just a few hours, Siefkas said.

Council member Kendy Troiano said she is concerned about McFarland spending time on this project when there are other issues on which council wants him to focus.

In general, council members agreed even a small additional cost for this project would not be wise during a time when the village is under budget constraints and a new service contract with Grandview is still to be finalized.

There are just too many unanswered questions about what the application process may ultimately involve, council member Matt Cincione said.

Council may consider whether the village should apply next year if the grant program is still offered.