Valley Township seeking funding for park

Staff report

LUCASVILLE — The Valley Township Trustees are preparing to submit a grant application to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Nature Works Program seeking funds for the first phase of a multi-phase, multi-year project to develop a community park in Lucasville.

Discussions of a park have occurred several times throughout the years, but it has not come to fruition. Lucasville is one of the only communities in Scioto County without a park and calls for development of a park have been revived led by community groups with support by the Trustees.

Talks of a park were most recently presented to the Valley Township Trustees in October-2020, and during multiple meetings over the last several months since, by a community betterment non-profit group, Growing Lucasville Opportunities. GLO, as the group is known, was formed in 2020 with the mission of promoting initiatives and projects which will improve the quality of life for the residents of the Lucasville area and surrounding communities.

As a part of discussing projects that fit the community’s needs and their mission, a park quickly rose high on GLO’s list. The Valley Township Trustees were approached and agreed to consider the use of a portion of a 19.5-acre parcel owned by the Trustees at 459 Robert Lucas Road between Skyline Drive and the new Community Services Building. This property is currently occupied by the Valley Township Hall which is proposed to remain with the park development.

The proposed park will consist of a 100-seat amphitheater, one-quarter mile paved ADA-accessible walking path, one-half mile nature trail, manufactured gazebo 40-feet in diameter, children’s play equipment area, and active play area for older children. The area considered for development is approximately 12 acres of largely sloping topography and wooded.

The proposed plan will utilize the existing access drive and parking area and attempt to retain the naturalized character within the improvements proposed. Once developed, this property will offer a wide variety of recreational and educational opportunities for community members of all ages.

To get the project started, the Valley Township Trustees are submitting a grant application in June-2021 to the ODNR for the amphitheater. The preliminary plan for the amphitheater includes an elevated wooden stage overlooking the stone and earthen terraced seating area, service drive for sound equipment unloading, underground electric extension for stage power, and overflow parking area for larger events.

The preliminary cost estimate for this phase is $81,000, and the Township is hopeful that it will secure approximately one-half of the funds through the grant. However, the remainder of the funds will be completely provided by community support and monetary donations or donations of materials and services.

Should grant dollars not be received, the community will be tasked with raising all funds for the project. From the commencement of discussions, the trustees were assured that taxpayer/township funding or special tax funding would not be asked for this project. GLO is leading the charge to raise funds and help drum community support. Big things are expected from this community known for strong support of worthwhile needs.

“I’d like to thank the members of the GLO (Grow Lucasville Opportunities) Group and the their efforts to improve the community, which we will see this Christmas with the completion of the Christmas lights project,” Valley Township Trustee, David See said. “Their vision for this community park is equally impressive. The Valley Township trustees believe this park will be a wonderful asset to the community”

Depending upon the pace at which donations are collected, Valley Township plans to continue immediately with future phases based upon the desires of the community following phase 1. Comments and feedback from interested residents are sought regarding the amphitheater and the overall park development concepts. Please send comments or letters of support to [email protected] or mailed to: Valley Township, PO Box 489, Lucasville, Ohio 45648 no later than Monday, May 24.

Staff report