Environmentally friendly upgrades get going
New projects to improve stormwater runoff at Liberty Park are on track to be completed by the end of the year, officials say.
At its July 2 meeting, the Liberty Township Board of Trustees approved plans to seek bids for construction of nine projects, including a rain garden, retention ponds and porous pavement.
In January, the township accepted a $160,379 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to complete the initiatives, with the township set to contribute an additional $47,578 in staff time and cash.
In exchange for the grant, Liberty Park will serve as a example to other municipalities and organizations, showcasing a variety of ways to reduce stormwater runoff, which can cause erosion and contaminate nearby waterways.
The park will reap the benefits, with new drainage systems that will slow asphalt erosion, said Township Administrator Dave Anderson.
Construction drawings are nearly finished and the township is on track to complete the projects by the end of the year -- a requirement under the terms of the OEPA grant, according to Eco-Design and Engineering's Scott Sonnenberg, who is working on the initiative.
"We're very confident that we can meet the time and budget constraints of the grant," Sonnenberg said at the July 2 meeting.
A rain garden designed to collect stormwater -- the first of the nine projects -- was installed last month in front of the park maintenance building on the main driveway.
Other projects set to be installed this year include:
* A gravel drainage trench near the basketball and tennis courts to help keep the playing surfaces dry.
* Porous pavement in parking lots to help direct rainwater into the soil beneath.
* Retention basins near the parking lots, driveways and soccer fields to collect and drain water.
* Porous parking pavers in some grassy areas that frequently accommodate overflow parking, which will keep the grass from becoming compacted and increase water retention in the soil.
Also at the July 2 meeting, the trustees tabled plans to approve a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with 10 township steel workers.
Power outages following the severe storm that hit Central Ohio June 29 delayed workers from seeing and approving final changes to the agreement.
"We don't want anyone to rush or feel pressured or slighted in any respect for something as important as this," Anderson said.
The trustees will vote on the agreement at their next meeting, set for July 23.
Also July 2, trustees swore in new firefighter-paramedic Michael Murphy and approved plans to tear down or stabilize two abandoned and structurally unsound buildings on Seldom Seen Road, following an inspection and notification of the owners.