Batavia Township looking into building new shelter

By Kristin Bednarski
Sun staff

Batavia Township trustees are looking into building another shelter and playground and extending the walking trail at the community center in the next two years.

Trustees discussed grant opportunities for the projects during their Feb. 4 meeting.

Administrator Rex Parsons said they have an opportunity to apply for a Nature Works grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

After reviewing the grant Parsons said the walking trail seems to be the best fit.

“We kind of feel the walking trail may be a better fit for the grant because it is active,” Parsons said. “At this time that’s what I am leaning toward.”

Parsons said the grant would enable them to extend the length of the current path at the community center.

“We have a trail that is 1,600 feet,” Parsons said. “This would be an additional 4,100 feet.”

Parsons said the trail would be a perimeter trail around the edge of the cleared part of the property.

“If you keep it in an open area, people feel safe,” Parsons said about the trail.

Parsons said if they received the funds they hope to be able to connect the trail to the trail they already have as well as the parking lot further back on the property.

Parsons said if they are awarded the grant, it would provide 75 percent of the funding, and the township would have to provide a 25 percent match for the project.

He said the grant application is due in May and is awarded in October, so it would be a project they would complete next year if they receive funds.

In addition to the walking trail, trustees have been discussing the need for an additional shelter and playground since the beginning of the year.

Parsons said they have already set aside funds to complete both projects this year.

“We have seen the usage of the shelter and the playground explode,” Parsons said about why they are looking at building the new amenities.

Parsons said this past year they had 91 individuals or groups rent shelter space for a special occasion, in addition to residents who utilize the shelter on a day-to-day basis.

“Clearly there is a need, and the community is speaking out for additional shelter space,” Parsons said.

He said the shelter and playground would be located further back on the property, closer to the second

parking lot.

“We would want this trail to give you access to that,” Parsons said about the new walking trail and shelter. “You would be able to park at either parking lot and take that trail.”

Parsons said they would build the shelter and playground close together that way individuals who bring their children to play on the playground can utilize the shelter while their children play.

Parsons said he they are hoping to be able to complete the projects this summer.

“I am going to bring designs to trustees hopefully at our March meeting,” Parsons said.