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Perrysburg Council votes for study

Riverfront plan's first phase to undergo feasibility, cost exam

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    Riverside Park, which currently sits atop a steep incline overlooking the Maumee River, is up for renovation alongside Hood Park and Orleans Park in a proposed $26 million project in Perrysburg.

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    CTY riverfront24p The entrance to Hood Park, which includes a statue of Commodore Perry, is up for renovation alongside Perrysburg's Riverside Park and Orleans Park in a proposed $25 million project. The parks would sport a theatre, ice rank, lit foot paths and a revamping of the three parks along the Perrysburg riverfront. THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH

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Perrysburg City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to have the city's administration look into the cost and feasibility of the first phase of a riverfront plan, a multi-use path that would connect Orleans Park to Hood Park.

RELATED:

■ View the riverfront master plan* (*note: This is the original plan, before changes from this meeting.)

■ Riverfront Questions and Answers.

Mayor Nelson Evans said the city will have to go back to council to get funding approved for the engineers to do a study on the path. Its cost has not been determined. 

For the second night in a row, Perrysburg residents filled council chambers to argue for or against the path. At a meeting Monday night, the city's recreation committee recommended council move forward with the path's implementation.

The project in its entirety, which was estimated to cost $26 million and include a theater, an ice rink, cascading water from Front Street to the Maumee River, and moving the Commodore Perry statue, has been delayed. Council President Joe Lawless said they would for now just tackle the path, and he wouldn't look into other phases of the project until they figure out funding. 

About 10 Perrysburg residents were at the meeting today to express concerns. 

"I'm a professional engineer and own three houses between Hood Park and Riverside Park, and Water Street is already a [motor vehicle] racetrack and it is only going to get worse with a blacktop," Dan Judson said during the meeting.

Alex Heard, a Perrysburg resident of six years, was one of the few people Tuesday night in favor of the entire plan.

"I think the master plan is exciting for the future of the city and will bring further economic growth," he said to the council. "We have a beautiful river, and I think we should be focused on a strategy to help attract people to downtown."

Council member Mike Olmstead addressed some of the homeowners on Front Street who are concerned about damage to their homes if the land below them is altered by cutting into the hill for a paved path.

"I think the common thread of people is they do want some kind of path or trail," he said during the discussion. "I think phase one lines up with what the community thinks. But private property rights are paramount, period. End of story."

The city has said engineers will look to ensure that the homes aren't harmed in the building of the path. 

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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