Commissioners approve countywide trail plan


County Commissioners approved the Delaware County Countywide Trail Plan during Monday’s regular session.

“All of our committee members and local jurisdictions that (worked) to put this plan together have been extremely helpful,” said Jenna Jackson, Economic Development coordinator.

Members of the Delaware County Trails Committee (DCTC) were appointed by the commissioners in August of 2016. Commissioners charged the committee to create a conceptual multi-use trail plan, help local jurisdictions identify funding resources, and develop trails in conjunction with regional plans.

The DCTC includes county residents, representatives from Delaware County Economic Development, the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission, the Delaware County Engineer’s Office, the Delaware General Health District, Preservation Parks, and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.

“The next step is to be approved by the Central Ohio Greenways board,” Jackson said. She said the presentation to that group is scheduled for later this week.

Central Ohio Greenways is a committee within the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Committee (MORPC). According to the MORPC website, the committee seeks to provide quality of life and health benefits to Central Ohio residents through trail development.

“I understand that this plan does not include any funding considerations at this point,” said Commissioner Jeff Benton.

Benton acknowledged funding would come later after studying the “alternatives and how to proceed” with them.

Jackson said local jurisdictions will go through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources or the Ohio Department of Transportation to obtain grant funding to construct local trails. She said usually grants come with a requirement of a local funds match.

“That’s primarily where they’ve been getting their money to develop their local trails,” Jackson said.

Benton asked Jackson when construction of the first trail would begin.

“I’d like to discuss it and see if we could maybe have something in the 2018 budget, but that might be a little aggressive,” Jackson said.

Since the committee was formed, it has researched; met with officials from Delaware County’s cities, villages, and townships; prepared a plan that includes area maps of existing and needed trails as well as the potential funding options for commissioners to approve.

In other business, commissioners reelected Sheriff Russ Martin and Brad Euans as members of the Delaware County Volunteer Peace Officers’ Dependents Fund Board for a term of one year.

Commissioners approved joining the fund in April 2016 due to enacted state legislation requiring jurisdictions using volunteer police officers to become members. The fund provides benefit payments to survivors of volunteer police officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.

Commissioners also approved the following donations to the Department of Job and Family Services: $2,940 from the New Hope Church of Powell, $1,350 worth bikes from Kate Koch the Bike Lady, and $1,200 cash and clothing and games from the Lewis Center Lifepoint Church.

Commissioners approved the following recommendations from the Delaware County Engineer’s Office: sanitary sewer improvements for Northstar; accepted the roads and approved the recommended speed limits and stopping conditions for Wedgewood Park North; and approved an owner’s agreement for Courtyard at Muirfield Ridge for road widening.

By D. Anthony Botkin

[email protected]

Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.

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