MOUNT VERNON — Work has begun on the projects in the Sychar Road area.
A Community Development Block Grant is helping the city add new sidewalks in the area, as well as crosswalks and a new parking lot near Hiawatha Park.
According to City Safety-Service Director Dave Glass, trees are being removed in the wooded area north of the pavilion at the park for a new parking lot, and along Sychar and Wooster roads for new sidewalks. Glass said the older trees removed along Sychar Road were rotten, while most of the trees removed for the parking lot were immature.
“We left a lot of the trees around the perimeter, so it will be a shady parking lot,” Glass said.
The project includes repairing and replacing broken sidewalks, as well as some new walks, on Sychar Road from the Hiawatha Water Park/Pool to Pleasant Street. New sidewalks will be installed on Pleasant Street from Sychar Road to Pleasant Street Elementary School, and on Wooster Road from McKenzie Street to McGibney Road.
The parking lot will include ideas generated from the natural resource office to keep water runoff at a minimum. The “rain gardens” will slow down the water runoff and allow it to be filtered back into the ground.
“The trend now is to let the water meander. The objective is to infiltrate it back into the aquifer and get the pollutants out before it gets to the streams,” Glass said.
Another part of the project may include flashing crosswalk lights near the water park to help pedestrians get across Sychar Road.
Glass said the city is advertising for bids on another project — one that will use Issue 2 money for paving and the widening of the intersection at Edgewood Road and Ohio 229. Forty streets, including Concord court, street and boulevard, as well as Greenbrier Drive, are being considered for paving, which will use approximately $730,000 of the $1,050,000 state funds.
The brick street repair project is going well. Glass said crews are working on West Pleasant Street, and will then move to West Chestnut and East Sugar streets. Crews are working on the worst areas of the streets, pulling the bricks, cleaning them, then replacing them on an improved road bed.
Glass said the brick rebuilding project for this year will include McArthur Street from Vine to Gambier, and then McKenzie from Chestnut to Sugar.
City officials are also gearing up for the Fourth of July celebration. A fireworks display will be held Friday, July 2, in conjunction with First Friday. The display will start at dusk at Memorial Park. Glass asked that residents be patient when leaving the area following the fireworks as the roads tend to be full of vehicles leaving at the same time.
Glass also reminded residents with pools that they need to get a permit from the city. Any pool deeper than 12 inches and less than 42 inches is required by city code to be in a fenced-in area to help keep children from wandering in unattended.
He also advised residents to be careful when it comes to solicitors at their doors. The city requires all solicitors to have a license, which includes a background check and fingerprinting, before going door to door. Glass said the city usually grants just one or two licenses per year, so if residents are concerned about a salesman coming to their door, they should phone the city or the police department.
Glass noted that Mike Rector, the chief operator at the water plant, will be retiring in July.