Obtaining grants to cover all the costs of preparing the city reservoir for fishing and recreational boating is "very doable," Marysville Mayor John Gore told city council July 25.
Gore said city staff members met with representatives from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources earlier that day to discuss plans to turn the reservoir on Raymond Road into more of a recreation site.
He told council the next steps will include a preliminary study and a grant application for 100-percent funding of boat ramps, additional parking and other reservoir amenities.
"We threw a figure in the ball park of $800,000 and they thought that was very doable with grant dollars," Gore said.
Marysville officials toured a similar reservoir in Findlay that was converted to recreational use by the ODNR to see how that community dealt with policing the property, safety and legal issues, and water quality. Gore said they liked what they saw.
"We are pretty confident that we're going to be able to not only stock the reservoir but have a dock, parking lot, bathrooms, boat ramps and make it a recreational reservoir," he said.
Gore believes the project will be completely funded with grants, but there is a bit of a catch.
"In order to get a big chunk of the money, you have to allow motorized craft," he told council. "If you max it at 10 horsepower, you still qualify for the money."
The four-year-old reservoir was built in 2008 with a capacity of 1.39 billion gallons of water. The city started using the reservoir as a drinking water source in the fall of 2009. There is a 2.1-mile gravel path around the top of the reservoir that is used as a walking path.
Meetings between city and ODNR representatives started in May after Josh Shield, the ODNR wildlife officer for Union County, approached Marysville officials about stocking the reservoir for fishing.
"They are so anxious to get this thing going. We're really excited about that," Gore said.
City Administrator Terry Emery said most of the design work will take place in 2014 with construction starting in 2015.
"Hopefully, it will be open for the summer of 2015," Gore said. "Stay tuned -- we'll keep you in the loop."