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City asking for $600K for Monroe Bicentennial Park, Monroe Crossing projects

Monroe is seeking more than $600,000 from the state capital budget for a pair of projects.

The city is asking for $500,000 for a $3.65 million project as the city renovates the Americana/LeSourdesville Lake amusement park area to be used as a public park, which would be renamed to Bicentennial Park.

RELATED: Monroe to rename former Americana Amusement Park property

The priority of this project for the city is the Memorial Plaza and the first phase of the greater park development. The land must be made safe and functional before being made available to the public or further development of facilities and features can happen, according to the office of Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown.

The state’s investment of the $500,000 and completion of the entrance is the first phase of making the park suitable for use and will unlock the further investment by the city and the development of the park.

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The Memorial Plaza will include safety improvements, and provide a water fountain, bike racks, and a bike repair station, benches, shaded rest area with wayfinding and other general information.

As the city’s seen rapid growth over the past decade, the city’s requesting $126,000 for a park shelter, restrooms, and playground at Monroe Crossings Park located at the southeast corner of Ohio 4 and Ohio 63.

RELATED: Americana Amusement Park through the years

The total project cost is estimated to be $330,000, according to Keller’s office.

Monroe Crossings is the city’s primary soccer facility for residents in the area. The park is 28 acres with 14 soccer fields of varying sizes. Over the last five years, the city built a concession stand, developed a three-quarter-mile walking trail and installed a handicapped-accessible playground.

The majority of the soccer fields at Monroe Crossings are located at the opposite end of the park from the existing restrooms, and there are no shaded areas for families and players at that end of the complex.

The city’s proposed restroom and shelter project would serve the six largest fields at the western end of the property. It would also provide a playground for siblings to use during games while still keeping them near their parents.

Millions of tax dollars will be invested in Ohio projects, and Butler County local governments and organizations have collectively requested nearly $41.1 million in the state’s capital budget, which is projected to be around $2 billion. Two years ago, the budget was $2.6 billion.

Butler County project requests are a fraction of the thousands made by 99 Ohio House and 33 Ohio Senate members lobbying for a piece of the capital budget fund.

It’s expected the capital budget bill will be introduced at the end of February in chambers of the General Assembly, and House and Senate officials hope the bill is passed and signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich by the end of March.

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