Salineville seeking support, funds for park walking trail

SALINEVILLE — Village Council and the Salineville Kiwanis are teaming up to try to get a walking trail through Kiwanis Park.

At a public hearing on the project Monday, Mayor Linda Adams said there has been one grant application through the Community Development Block Grant program made and the village should learn from the county commissioners by the end of May if they have received that money.

However, the council and the Kiwanis also are considering a plan B, a grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The grant application is due June 1 and council took the step of having a public meeting on Monday so the grant application can be submitted in time if necessary.

Adams asked those in attendance and anyone else in the community in support of the project to submit a letter of support to village hall by the end of this week. That way the letters can be included with the ODNR grant application.

The walking trail would run along the creek, Riley Run, through the park for about a tenth of a mile. It would connect up with a nearby parking lot and an alley to create a quarter-mile loop providing residents with a way to exercise without being near the street.

One resident said he was injured at work and has been told to walk as a part of his physical therapy. He noted a quiet place to walk would be phenomenal.

Others noted it is beneficial for older people to have a place to walk that is not up and down hills and in a place which has even walkways instead of the uneven footing through town where there is also the traffic.

Another resident pointed out having a place for adults to walk in the park would give them a chance to watch their children and also keep an eye on the park, which sometimes falls prey to vandalism.

The path through the park would be 10-feet wide and would have posts to help keep traffic off it.

The CDBG grant is for $17,500 and would create most of the trail with the Kiwanis providing an additional $2,900, at this point.

The ODNR grant would provide the village with 75 percent of the cost of the project or about $15,300 reimbursement. The Kiwanis would still provide the $2,900, which would leave the project about $2,200 short. However, Adams said there is still the possibility of some additional donations from businesses and residents, as well as some in-kind donations which can go toward the $2,200. Additionally, if the village ends up receiving the ODNR grant they would not learn if they are receiving it until later in 2018 and the project would not begin until 2019.

Dale Johnson of the Kiwanis said they have been looking at the project for about a year and many people have been positive, although there has been some criticism by people on social media with residents asking for money to be spent on street repairs instead.

Adams pointed out these grants cannot be used for street projects, only for projects to improve the park.

In the past, Johnson said there was money from the same ODNR grant used to purchase the playground equipment currently in the park.