Genoa Township trustees have accepted the final draft of the McNamara Park master plan.

Genoa Township trustees have accepted the final draft of the McNamara Park master plan.

At a special trustees meeting on Nov. 19, John Edsall of Edsall & Associates presented his recommendation for the park.

Township officials recently bought five acres on the northeast side of the park from Deborah Hartman for $172,500, township administrator Paul Wise has said.

That increased the park to 29 acres.

Township trustees hired Edsall & Associates LLC, Columbus in June.

Edsall conducted four public meetings and handed out surveys to get residents' input on the plan.

"It really has been, hopefully for everyone, I know it has been for us, a fun project and those are the best kind," Edsall told trustees on Nov. 19.

Recommendations include "base development" work such as overall grading of the park, a rain garden for managing storm water, a multi-use trail, planting new trees and seeding lawn areas as well as the prairie grass and wildflower areas.

The recommendations also call for site improvements, including benches, picnic tables and bicycle racks.

Edsall's recommendations for future development include a playground, splash pad, shelters, tennis courts, renovating the barn, additional trees and landscape work.

The cost for the base development would be $1,627,724 if the township uses outside contractors, Edsall said.

He said the township could use its own staff to conduct some of the improvements, saving $345,516 and lowering the cost to $1,282,208.

The trustees can get the job done for "hundreds of thousands of dollars" less than any of Edsall's estimates, trustee Barbara Lewis said after the meeting.

She said specific numbers and plans are still up in the air.

"We've got quite a bit of expertise in the maintenance department," she said. "We're going to be looking certainly at costs and what can be done. It's a great plan. It's just going to have to fit within our current budget. It's going to be an ongoing project. I really think, too, that we'll be able to do so much more using our own people," Lewis said.

"We're just going to be doing it step by step within the budget," she added.

The first phase of the project will happen quickly, trustee David Engleson said.

"The demolition is starting now with the maintenance department and it'll go on, weather permitting, all winter," he said.

"I think based upon what I know, phase one will be up and under way. I don't know what the completion date will be, but it should be done pretty quickly for a lot less money," he added.