The Donner Center’s leaking roof needs repairing. The Hamilton Center’s rundown restrooms need upgrading. Cracked roads need to be fixed.
It’s a good thing the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department has some funds at its disposal to get those projects completed.
The parks department received more than $3 million of the $7.2 million via the city’s repurposing of bond funds originally slated for an outdoor sports complex, and it’s ready to go to work. The bond will be repaid through the Economic Development Income Tax.
“We’re spending a considerable amount of money on our parks,” said parks director Ben Wagner.
Fixing the Donner Center’s roof will be the costliest of the project on the agenda at an anticipated $450,000.
Next are roof, restroom and concession improvements at the Hamilton Center, estimated at $441,000. That’s included in the total of $843,500 budgeted for improving the Hamilton Center, compared to $600,125 for the Donner Center and $68,500 for the Foundation for Youth.
Nearly $1.6 million is slated to go toward citywide projects. Wagner said he’s working with City Engineer Dave Hayward to detail a plan for road and parking lot construction.
“Anything that is important, any safety concerns and asset preservation will come first,” Wagner said. “Sometimes, when you have a project and you wait, it becomes more expensive down the road.”
Wagner also hopes to upgrade the playgrounds. He wants all properties run by the parks to be of the same quality.
“I’m trying to develop a standardized maintenance system,” Wagner said, “so that all of our playgrounds at all the different parks are maintained at the same level.”
About $50,000 will be spent to repair the Columbus People Trails.
“The goal ... is to provide a bicycle or pedestrian facility within three blocks of 90 percent of city residents,” Wagner said. “You want parks and recreational facilities near all neighborhoods. It’s really about health, activity, fitness and live, work and play.”
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