Sunday, June 17, 2001

Park looks for funding of soil wear

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ANDERSON TOWNSHIP — The Anderson Park District is waiting to hear whether they can use a state grant to help defray engineering costs on a project to control riverbank erosion of the Little Miami River that runs past its Riverside Park.

        The Little Miami, especially during flooding periods, has moved from 50 to 100 feet into the park in the past eight years, according to park district officials. Riverside Park is located off Round Bottom Road in the township's northern portion.

        The park district was one of seven Hamilton County communities or agencies that received NatureWorks grants this year from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The park district was given almost $17,000.

        More than $441,000 in NatureWorks money will be used to pay for play equipment, picnic shelters, a bathhouse and walkways in parks in those communities.

        If the park district here can't use it to help pay for engineering costs on the riverbank erosion project, then park district officials can use the money to pay for other improvements at the park.

        Only about half of the park's 47 acres are developed, with ballfields, play area, restrooms and shelter.

        “In order for us to do any more development on that side of the park (the undeveloped side), we have to solve the erosion problem,” said Molly McClure, executive director of the park district.

        Troy Euton, park district planning director, said they are checking to see whether the grant money can be used to help payengineering costs on the erosion project.

        The engineering costs are about $70,000 and the park district will pay for 35 percent of $30,000 of that, with the federal government picking up the rest.

        The entire project's cost is estimated at $800,000 in federal, state and local money. The Army Corps of Engineers is working on a plan to stabilize the riverbank.

        About 800 feet of the riverbank would be involved. At the park now, signs and fencing warn people to stay away from the riverbank, which has a vertical drop in places of 20 to 25 feet.

        “There are places where the bank has failed and is sloughing off into the river, Mr. Euton said. “ So we're looking to stabilize that. We've watched the river migrate ... over the years.”

        Any physical work is still 1 1/2 to 2 years away.

        “There's amenities citizens have been asking for, fountains,” Mr. Euton said. “So there are plenty of opportunities.”


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