Commissioners may aid Greenway work

LISBON — Columbiana County commissioners appear willing to provide the county park district with $25,000 needed to cover additional costs for repaving a section a section of the Little Beaver Creek Greenway Trail.

Park board president Tom Butch and other board members met Wednesday with commissioners to present them with a brief historical review of the park district’s accomplishments since it was created in the 1970s.

At the end of the presentation, Butch asked commissioners for $25,000 to cover a projected shortfall to resurface the section of the bike trail between Franklin Square and Leetonia, known as the Wetlands.

The park district received a $142,860 state grant to repave the Wetlands portion of the trail, with the park district providing matching funds of $30,000. The problem is the engineer’s estimate was $225,000 and the lone bid for the project was $283,906, which was rejected because it exceeded the estimate by more than 25 percent.

The park district intends to rebid the project in late winter, and Butch said they are concerned it will still exceed available funding by $100,000, and that is why they are asking commissioners for $25,000 to help close the funding gap. They have $25,000, but the board is concerned about depleting its reserves.

“That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me,” commissioner Mike Halleck said of the request, and commission chairman Tim Weigle said they would take it under advisement.

Butch knows commissioners are in the process of preparing the 2019 county budget and asked the $25,000 be included.

The park district receives no funding from commissioners.