Revision of Streetsboro parks plan urged

By Bob Gaetjens GATEWAY NEWS editor Published:

A discussion among City Council has led the Parks, Recreation & Conservation Advisory Committee to consider reviewing or replacing the 2007 Parks Master Plan.

Carmen Laudato, chair of the advisory committee, told council plans for further improvements at Thomas Heritage Park should be put on hold.

"My feeling is that we don't make any more decisions about Thomas Heritage Park or make recommendations for funding until there is a revision to include Thomas Heritage Park in the master plan," she said.

Laudato said she would like residents to take part in the process of reviewing the plan.

The discussion stemmed from council's Jan. 27 decision not to fund a 28- to 40-spot parking lot at the 116-acre park located on S.R. 303 next to Target.

"The real reason I think the parking lot was brought up was because there's just not enough money to go around," Councilman Jeff Allen told the advisory committee Feb. 4.

Streetsboro Parks & Recreation Director Greg Mytinger said leveling, improving drainage and replacing a backstop would cost about $100,000 for two ball fields.

Mytinger said one reason he's been holding off on improvements at City Park is uncertainty for the past couple of years surrounding the Board of Education's plan for a new high school. There has been discussion about using a portion of City Park as a site for the high school, but board members seem to be leaning heavily toward a site on Route 14.

Allen suggested developing a plan for improvements at Thomas Heritage Park.

Committee members also want Mytinger to develop cost estimates for planned improvements at the city's parks as part of the review of the parks master plan.

Mytinger said estimates for converting Wilcox Park, a 22-acre area off Route 303 across from Thomas Heritage Park, to a soccer complex could cost up to $1.9 million, based on five-year-old estimates. "Those kinds of numbers were never in the budget, even for the engineering portion," he said.

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