|More Info Needed for Riverfront Master Plan|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 10 July 2013 00:00|
Tipp City Council will receive more information on a request for contributions by local jurisdictions toward $100,000 in matching money for a grant to develop a Riverfront Master Plan for the Great Miami River from Piqua to Hamilton.
Several council members expressed reservations about the city participating in the fund during a work session July 1.
Brad Vath, assistant city manager, said the Miami Conservancy District (MCD) and Montgomery County earlier this year filed a grant application with the Army Corps of Engineers for $100,000 to help pay for a master plan that would encompass projects and concepts being planned along that stretch of the river.
The grant requires a $100,000 match, with Montgomery County agreeing to pay $50,000; the MCD, $25,000; and the balance being requested from local jurisdictions in amounts of up to $3,000, according to a letter to City Manager Jon Crusey from Dan Foley, a Montgomery County commissioner.
Vath said Tipp City has a lot of river frontage and it is a “key asset,” but added the developable frontage is not as large as some other communities, particularly those where the river runs through the middle of town. “We get a lot of benefit out of the river, but it is not as prevalent as other communities,” he said.
He suggested a $250 to $500 contribution as acceptable and a show of support of regional cooperation, unless council wanted to make a larger donation. The money could come from the economic development budget, Vath said.
“I don’t’ like the idea of putting money into a plan that could potentially tie us to something. That is always my concern,” Councilman Pat Hale said. He added that a Montgomery County controlled plan could be a concern in the future.
Vath said he does not think any part of the plan would be binding, but would confirm that detail.
“I should probably keep my nose out of it,” said Councilman Bryan Budding, who operates Barefoot Canoes along the river. He added that he would not support using taxpayer money for a contribution, but would be willing to make a personal donation toward the project.
Council President John Kessler said he would be willing to split a contribution with Budding.
Councilwoman Katie Berbach said she was “not interested” in the city making a contribution.
Councilman Joe Gibson said he was concerned what the master plan could mean to property owner rights along the river in the future. “I’m having some doubts about it,” Gibson said.
Council came to no agreement on the proposal. Vath said he would collect more information on what is expected to result from the master plan and what Miami County and other entities are contributing and report back to council.