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East Liverpool seeks $4M for river trail project

EAST LIVERPOOL — City officials hope that their requests for more than $4.6 million for key projects get the state’s attention.

During last week’s licensing and economic development committee meeting of city council, Mayor Greg Bricker detailed that the city has submitted four projects for possible inclusion in the state ‘s capital and operating budgets.

East Liverpool also asked for $300,000 toward plans for a mixed-use wellness center with athletic and medical office space near the area of Washington and Third streets. In their funding request, the project was defined as a 69,000 square foot facility that will act as a catalyst for personal and community renewal.

The proposal reads, “The center will be a quality-of-life amenity to attract and retain the region’s growing workforce to live in our community and stabilize our neighborhoods. Holistic wellness will be facilitated by offering fitness assessments and supervised exercise programs, rehabilitative therapy and health and nutrition consultants. The developer will serve as the anchor tenant and offer social and competitive sports programs. Their mission is to coach and teach kids to be the best version of themselves – mind, body and spirit.”

Mercy Health may also provide medical services, according to the document.

“The expectation is the center will host 150,000+ visitors the first year,” the request explains, adding, “this increased vibrancy and available purchasing power will improve demand drivers for the downtown real estate marked across ground floor retail, second and third story office, new residential and hospitality.

The other city requests to the state are:

— $60,000 for completion of a downtown vision plan, which will “identify the next areas for revitalization and provide a blueprint for future redevelopment.”

— $100,000 for a comprehensive plan “to guide infrastructure investments and repairs” in the city that focuses largely on the century-years-old water mains.

— $150,000 to forward a city blight remediation project, which includes acquisition, demolition and rehabilitation of abandoned properties.

— $4 million for completion of Phase II of the East Liverpool/Ohio River Trail project, which will provide residents with bicycle and pedestrian access downtown and connect the downtown to the Greenway Trail.

The anticipation is the city will wrap up Phase 1, which includes an engineering and feasibility study and trail concept plan this fall, starting the actual design, environmental impact and construction of the trail in winter. Anticipated completion is within three to five years, depending on the availability of funding.

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