By Jeff Gallatin
City officials were notified last week that they can begin planning to make the City Hall blacktop and parking lot area a little greener next year.
Service Director Scott Thomas said the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency notified the city that it will be receiving a $120,000 grant, which will help the city to redo the lot. The project will install a new, more efficient drainage system in the lot, as well as improve the parking area and landscaping and add other improvements.
“It will be a definite upgrade to that area,” Thomas said. “We’ll still have the same parking for residents and workers, the lot’s just going to be more efficient.”
Thomas, who was the city of North Olmsted safety-service director before coming to Bay Village last year, said the project will be similar to one done to that Westshore city’s City Hall parking lot.
Thomas said the grant will probably cover about half of the initial expected costs, with Mayor Debbie Sutherland saying the remainder most likely will be covered with a bond and scheduled with other street and infrastructure work next year.
“It will be nice to have a project like that which improves the parking near City Hall as well as the landscaping and other projects as something you can see in the middle of town,” she said. “It’s something we all will be glad to see in the city.”
Sutherland noted the grant notification and project will be coming just a few months after roof work and other structural improvements were made to City Hall, and continues the upgrade to city facilities. The city also recently had the tennis courts near City Hall redone, as well as upgrading lighting and equipment at city ball fields and getting repairs done to the city swimming pool complex.
“We want to make our facilities better wherever we can, and to get a state grant to help us do this makes it even better fiscally for us,” she said.
Thomas said the city won’t get the actual work and construction on the project underway until 2015. However, he said the city can start the process of picking an engineering and design firm this year.
“That’s one of the most important parts,” he said. “If you don’t get the right engineering and design for a project like this, it’s not going to work out. So, we’ll have the time to make sure we get this done right.”