Reynoldsburg City Council applies for grants for streambank, trail improvements

Kelley Youman
ThisWeek
Reynoldsburg City Hall

Reynoldsburg will apply for a state grant aimed at restoring the streambank alongside Blacklick Trail and making trail improvements at Huber Park. 

City Council pm Jan. 11 unanimously approved a motion authorizing the city to apply for about $500,000 in grant funding from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund. 

Administered by the Ohio Public Works Commission, Clean Ohio provides grants for up to 75 percent of the costs for the protection and enhancement of watersheds and the reforestation of land or planting of vegetation for filtration, according to the OPWC website. 

“The relocation of the Blacklick Trail within Huber Park is to get it up out of the floodway,” said Andrew Bowsher, Reynoldsburg's development director. “The main goal is to stop the erosion of the embankment along the west bank of Blacklick Creek. The reason the trail needs moved is due to the erosion pulling it too close to the creek, where it is losing its natural riparian feature.” 

The project also would clear all non-native species along about 1,200 feet of creek bed and replant the area with native, sustainable plants. 

• The Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail is about 12 miles and connects several municipal and metro parks. About a half-mile of the trail runs through the 42-acre Huber Park on Davidson Drive, connecting with JFK Park to the north and eventually to Blacklick Woods Metro Park to the south. 

• In total, the streambank restoration is projected to cost about $668,000, according to a cost estimate prepared by the city’s engineering firm EMH&T. Under the Clean Ohio program, the city is responsible for the remaining portion. 

• The grant request is the first step in the process and final construction and funding plans would need approval by City Council. Under the proposal, construction would occur in summer 2022.  

Applications are due March 19 and grants are expected to be awarded this summer. 

Council also elected committee chairs for 2021: 

• Stacie Baker will chair the development, parks and recreation committee. Other members include: Barth Cotner, Bhuwan Pyakurel and Meredith Lawson-Rowe 

• Kristin Bryant will chair the public safety, law and courts committee. Other members include: Cotner, Pyakurel and Lawson-Rowe 

• Shanette Strickland will chair the public service and transportation committee. Other members include: Cotner, Pyakurel and Lawson-Rowe. 

• Louis Salvati will chair the finance and administration committee. Other members include: Baker, Bryant and Strickland. 

In other business. council appointed Robert Linder to a term on the Board of Building and Zoning Appeals through Jan. 31, 2024, and appointed Pat Zollars and Tyler Cullinan each to terms on the Planning Commission through Jan. 31, 2024. 

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