Friday, December 01, 2000

No federal money yet for riverfront park study

But plans proceed for $1 million state-funded rough design

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A $78 million riverfront park, proposed for construction between the two new stadiums, has hit a funding snag.

        Requests for cash from Congress for a study that would help the Army Corps of Engineers determine how much federal money should be spent in the park's construction have been denied for next year.

        David Prather, manager of planning and design services for the Cincinnati Park Board, said he thinks the money will come through the year after that.

        Mr. Prather said the city will need tens of millions in federal and state dollars to make the park happen. That's why the initial study by the Corps is so important.

        “It's been a tough year for the corps, but we believe it will be better down the road,” Mr. Prather said.

        Mr. Prather said the park's schematic design — which shows the size of specific attractions in the park and their locations — should be done in February.

        Earlier this year, the legis lature appropriated $1 million for design of the park, which will arrive next year.

        “That $1 million was a robust first step,” Mr. Prather said, speaking Thursday at a Riverfront Steering Committee meeting.

        In other riverfront news:

        • A new shuttle service, offering rides to commuters who use riverfront parking to various downtown locations, will begin Monday, and operate for at least four months.

        The service is being provided by Metro and Downtown Cincinnati Inc. Each ride will cost 25 cents.

        Metro had asked the city and county for more than $400,000 to fund the serv ice. As political leaders argued over the request, Metro and DCI decided to start the service on a trial basis.

        “We've got four months to try it without risk to the taxpayers,” Hamilton County Administrator Dave Krings said.

        • The new Ted Berry Way will open Dec. 18. The new Elm Street is expected to be finished sometime shortly after the first of the year.


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