MOUNT VERNON — The city of Mount Vernon may soon acquire a bridge that could connect the Central Business District with the south side of the city.
Mark Ramser, owner of the bridge east of the South Main Street viaduct, has offered to donate the structure to the city.
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis told City Council on Monday night he hopes to convert the structure into a pedestrian bridge similar to bridges found on the Kokosing Gap Trail.
“We have had a bridge report conducted and the bridge is in good shape,” Mavis said. “We will put a deck on it that will allow pedestrians to cross the Kokosing River. You would be able to access the trail from Centerburg when it extends through Mount Vernon. This bridge will be a viable part of connecting the downtown with the south side of the city.”
Once the city agrees to accept the bridge, Terry Scott, city auditor will issue a statement to Ramser stating the city has accepted his gift appraised at $245,000.
Mavis said it could be 2014 before the Heart of Ohio Trail is completed allowing the city ample time to seek private donations and public grants that would help defray the costs of converting the former railroad trestle for pedestrian access.
Mavis requested City Council members approve the donation at the Dec. 27 meeting.
In other news:
•Council issued a proclamation honoring Global Family Day on Jan. 1, and the start of Family History Week to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The church has an extensive Family History Center that is open to the public for family genealogical research. Hours are Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m.; the first and third Thursday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday times are available by appointment. Call 392-7016 for more information.
•Approved resolution to contract with the Knox County Health Department for services provided to city residents. The city’s contribution to the health department is $45,935. A 2 percent increase from the current contract.
•Approved the appointment of Nathan Paff to the Metropolitan Housing Authority for a five-year term starting Jan. 1. Paff fills the seat vacated by the retirement of Pam Coffing.