Monroe is planning to move forward to develop its portion of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail by engaging an engineering firm to begin construction drawings for the project.
City Council at its July 26 had planned on approving an emergency resolution to contract with Brandstetter Carroll Inc. to produce the construction drawings. However, only four members of the seven-member council were present and were unable to adopt the resolution as an emergency measure that would take immediate effect upon passage.
City Manager Bill Brock said the resolution will be on council’s Aug. 9 agenda for consideration for emergency passage.
“Everyone has been pretty positive in moving forward with the project,” he said.
Brock said the construction drawings are needed so they can be part of any future grant applications for state or regional funding for the project.
He said the need for connectivity and trails within Monroe has been emphasized through the Comprehensive Plan and the Parks Master Plan processes. The city’s portion of the regional bike trail will help complete the larger connection of the trail that extends from Cincinnati to Piqua.
In his recommendation to council, Brock said the city opted to go with BCI because of its involvement with the Parks Master Plan and their initial analysis of the proposed trail project. He said BCI, in conjunction with the city Development Department, presented a study that resulted in a construction estimate of more than $1.16 million.
Brock said the Development Department is requesting to move forward with construction documents, which is typically about 10 percent of the construction costs, in order to keep the momentum of the project going and prepare for possible construction in the 2017-2018 time frame. He also said BCI’s familiarity with the project and site would lead to an efficient time frame. BCI has completed over 100 park and trail projects in the region, most of which included multi-purpose trails.
“They have literally hiked through the brush and weeds to map the initial possible route,” Brock said in his recommendation. “As such the Development Department is requesting their services for the construction document phase.”
In April, council approved a $13,900 project with Kleingers and Associates to have boundaries surveyed as part of a proposed property consolidation and exchange between the city and Jerry Couch who owns the former Americana Amusement Park. The survey also included identifying future access and utility easements as well as being mapped to be recorded with Butler County.
The parcels include the city-owned land on Lakeview Drive that is the former LeSourdsville Fire House and land owned by Jerry Couch that includes the former Americana Amusement Park.
The land survey will also identify an access easement to connect Ohio 4 to the former amusement park property.
Plans for the former amusement park property include an extension of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail bike path, which Brock said included about 2.3 miles was within the city limits.
Brock said the land swap has not been completed as of Thursday afternoon.
The remainder of the proposed connection is on land owned by MetroParks of Butler County, the Miami Conservancy District and the former Americana amusement park. A small section is owned by the Texas Eastern Pipeline.