SOUTH BLOOMFIELD - Construction crews broke ground this week on a new walking trail at Marvin Webster Memorial Park, but that's not the only upgrade planned for the community park, according to Matt Pettibone, village mayor.
"We put out a question on Facebook soliciting what people wanted to see as far as improvements at the park," Pettibone said. "A walking path was the biggest one. There are some older parts of the village that have no sidewalks, and some people have resorted to walking around Harrison Township Cemetery for exercise, so we decided a walking trail was the most popular choice and the most needed."
Pettibone said crews began moving dirt Wednesday and anticipate completion of the half-mile trail around the park's perimeter within about three weeks.
"The path will at least be walkable by then, if we can avoid a lot of rain," he said. "Then the village will have some work to finish up seeding and re-sodding the area."
Pettibone said the roughly $60,000 cost of the project is being funded by a $4,000 carryover in the village budget from last year's park fund, as well as about $56,000 from the sale of the village square on U.S. Route 23 to a private company.
"Kline Vision was the highest bidder," he said. "It's got the gazebo there, and it's a pretty little area, but it's right on Route 23. If you want to go to relax, with 40,000 cars driving past you, it's not really ideal for that, but it's good property for them to be able to expand."
Pettibone said the village also has funding for new swing sets at the park, and the goal is to have that equipment installed yet this year.
Other suggestions offered through the village's Facebook post were things like a splash pad and additional playground equipment.
Pettibone said while those things do not yet have funding, the village has applied for a general park improvement grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The grant awards should be announced in late September or early October.
If approved, Pettibone said the village can address those additional improvements at the park, as well as upgrading the mulch and bedding around the existing playground area.
Pettibone said the grant would pay 80 percent of the improvement project with the village covering the remaining 20 percent.