Upgrades coming to Sunbury parks


SUNBURY — The Gazette wanted to catch readers up on what the City of Sunbury Parks & Recreation Committee did in the second half of last year.

On July 5, the committee discussed amenities for J.R. Smith Park, removing the amphitheater from the design. The next month on Aug. 2, the minutes said there was discussion regarding that park’s potential “splash pad, and members agreed that it would primarily consist of bubblers but with a couple of other spray devices if the budget permits” and “playground amenities, which should include inclusive spinners and basket swings. Discussion took place between the Committee and city staff regarding potential phasing of the project and funding options.”

Also at that meeting, there was an update on the annual Sunbury Sizzle and Sounds event, which “requires the closure of three city streets and the use of a public park for the whole day.”

At the Sept. 6 meeting, there was an update on the Reservoir Park, which would involve removing the old water works and installing a floating dock with walkway to be handicap accessible, paths, benches and parking lot. In new business, there was a look at wayfinding signage, with mileage to city trails and the town square.

During the Oct. 4 meeting, committee and staff said they had met with Delaware, Grove City and Westerville parks regarding their splash pads. There was also an update on Sunbury Memorial Park (the cemetery). It was noted that the city had received a grant for park benches and bike racks.

J.R. Smith Park was part of Nov. 1’s unfinished business. “Discussion between the Committee and City staff took place going over phase one, and the cost of the project which will include the splash pad, pavilion, the parking lot, and walking/bike paths,” minutes said.

Local Girl Scout Troop #4803 attended the Dec. 6 meeting and heard about the success of the annual Christmas on the Square event. There was discussion on Old Orchard Park, which is off of Granville Street along the Fallen Heroes Trail. It was said that Eagle Scouts were interested in clearing out trees and installing benches at this park.

A committee member also discussed “National Fitness Campaign where the goal is to get America healthy, designing fitness courts that can be used for aerobics on one side, and on the other fitness equipment that is driven by the user’s own body weight.”

Members of the committee at that time were Tim Gose (who was thanked for his service in 2023), John Grumney and Dave Martin. Also attending are City Planner Alyssa Graziano, City Administrator Daryl Hennessy, Clerk of Council Amber Swain, Finance Director Dana Steffan and City Engineer Dan Whited.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak photographs and reports on stories in eastern Delaware County and surrounding areas.

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