Olentangy Valley News

Approval of Powell levy means new city park, other amenities

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Parks and recreation opportunities would expand in Powell if voters approve a capital-improvements levy headed for the Nov. 6 ballot.

Construction of a brand-new park, extended leisure trails and upgrades to the basketball courts at Adventure Park will be added to the city's to-do list if voters approve the 10-year, 1.8-mill capital-improvements levy, alongside other projects such as road improvements and new traffic lights.

The proposal effectively is a renewal of the city's existing parks levy, which expires next year. If passed, it wouldn't raise taxes.

It would generate about $7.2 million over its 10-year duration and continue to cost taxpayers about $55.13 for each $100,000 in home property value.

City Manager Steve Lutz said the creation of Seldom Seen Park, just north of Seldom Seen Road and west of the railroad tracks, has been a long time coming.

Plans to turn the plot into a park first surfaced in 2002 after the land was donated to the city by the developer of the Golf Village Subdivision.

"The city has always planned for it to become a community park; we just haven't had the funds necessary for that development," Lutz said.

If the levy is approved, the city will hold planning sessions to get community input about the proposed park, but Lutz said sports fields are a safe bet.

"There's always the need for athletic fields in this area," he said. "There's a shortage of softball, baseball, football fields.

"Because of its wide-open, flat nature, the park will probably cater toward youth athletics."

Other safe bets are typical park amenities, such as a playground and picnic space. The park space itself is about 23 acres.

Seldom Seen Park would be the city's first new park in about seven years. All eight of the city's parks were built in the years after the current parks bond issue was passed in 2003.

Bike paths would get attention as well, with a variety of extensions and connections.

Lutz said new paths would be developed to connect every part of the city to downtown Powell, and other paths would help connect Powell to Liberty Township.

Officials currently are working to plan specific path extensions.

Other projects targeted for completion with the proposed levy's revenue are:

* Completion of the Murphy Parkway connection to Liberty Road. The project would complete the city's bypass system, which aims to provide an alternate east-west route in all four quadrants of the city to alleviate traffic congestion.

* Multiple storm sewer and roadway repairs.

* Installation of a new traffic signal at the intersection of Sawmill Parkway and Village Club Drive, another project to improve traffic flow.

* A public service facility for salt storage.

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