Monday, May 01, 2000

Trails rated top need

Residents asked recreation interests

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Fort Mitchell and Crestview Hills residents have put outdoor trails for walking, jogging and biking, at the top of their wish lists in recent city surveys.

        Although residents gave their cities high marks for recreational programs and facilities, they'd like more space for individual and group exercise. And residents of both cities indicated they'd be willing to pay more taxes to support the recreational needs.

        In Crestview Hills, 40 percent of the 226 respondents to a city recreation survey said they would use jogging and walking trails, while 35 percent said they would use hiking trails.

        “I frequently see people walking around the outside of the (Crestview Hills) Mall,” said City Administrator Kevin Celarek, whose office borders the mall's parking lot. “Inside the mall, there are usually dozens of walkers.”

        In Fort Mitchell, where 315 recreation surveys were returned, 66 percent said there was a strong need for jogging/walking/nature trails, while 49 percent gave the same ranking to bike trails.

        Jim Procaccino, Fort Mitchell's park director, will discuss a plan for acting on the survey recommendations at his city's park board meeting Wednesday. The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. at the city building.

        Last week, Crestview Hills sent letters to residents who expressed an interest in serving on one of six focus groups.

        Starting May 17, the focus groups will meet three times before giving recommendations to a 15-member long-range recreation and open space committee.

        Besides outdoor trails, 24 percent of the Crestview Hills respondents said they wanted picnic facilities, while 34 percent would use an indoor swimming pool, 31 percent would participate in an aerobics/exercise room, and 30 percent would use a health club.

        Thirty-five percent also would like to see Crestview Hills sponsor health and wellness activities; 34 percent favored cultural and arts activities; and 31 percent would take part in day trips for non-sports activities.

        In Fort Mitchell, most of the survey respondents said they favored indoor activities, such as year-round volleyball, basketball, activities for teens and physical conditioning activities.

        Fifty-nine percent of the Fort Mitchell respondents think an indoor recreation center is needed, and 46 percent would be willing to pay more taxes to fund it.

        In Crestview Hills, 43 percent said they think a public park is needed, while 64 percent would support a tax increase to pay for it.


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- Trails rated top need