City awarded grants for Front Street Multi-Use Path Project
By Derrick C. Parker
Scioto Voice Writer
The City of Portsmouth has been awarded two grants (totaling $622,725) to go towards the Front Street Multi-Use Path Project.
The project will create a walking, jogging, and biking lane on Front Street and is part of the continued effort to both beautify the downtown and provide Portsmouth residents with more outdoor recreational activity options. Acceptance of the grant funds will be contingent on making Front Street a one-way Street.
Council will vote to accept the two grants, as well as three others, in the coming weeks. This includes a $187,738 grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Clean Ohio Trails Fund Program (with a 25% City match), and a $622,725 grant through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Alternative Transportation Program (with a 5% City match). In total, the City will pay just $32,775 for a project with a total cost of $655,500.
Council will also vote to accept two grants associated with the upcoming Spock Memorial Dog Park: $7,665 from a Scioto Foundation Grant and another $43,098 from the ODNR Natureworks Grant Program (with a 25% City match). The total cost of the dog park project will come to $70,763.
Another $20,000 grant will be approved from the Ohio Department of Commerce Dvision’s State Fire Marshall Program for the purpose of purchasing and servicing MARCS mobile radio equipment.
In other news, the city council is once again exploring ways to clean up litter and blight around town. Currently, the Friends of Portsmouth Town Ambassador Edwin Martell has been busy in the downtown. Other residents have also been seen picking up litter around the area.
“All these folks are getting out and cleaning its getting contagious,” said City Manager Sam Sutherland. “In my mind, the town is looking better.”
Service Director Bill Beaumont collected 21,000 pounds of trash on Saturday alone. The city has long had an issue with some residents littering and dumping furniture in alleyways, but Beaumont wants the public to know the City will pick up large items on the first Saturday of every month.
“We go around to everyone who calls and pick up furniture on the first Saturday of the month. This time, we had about 15-20 people call in. And it only costs between $25 and $35 dollars,” said Beaumont.
“Thank you to the city workers, to Sam, and to Mr. Beaumont,” said Kevin E. Johnson. “But there is a problem here. People continue to dump illegal garbage and furniture. A couple days ago, someone decided my neighbor needed a gently used couch and chair in the alley behind their house. We need to enforce our litter laws and start fining people when they dump their trash.”
“For $25 dollars you can have that stuff picked up. There is no reason to throw it in our alleys, streets, and parks.”
First Ward Councilman Sean Dunne suggested a new, fun way to help clean up the city.
“I’ve been trying to come up with a design for an outdoor trash receptacle,” said Dunne. “It would be in the shape of the Michigan football ‘M’. It would be a fun way to encourage people in our area to throw away trash and keep our area clean.”
The next Portsmouth City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 22ndat 6PM.