WAVERLY— Back for the first time in council chambers this year, Waverly Village Council announced potential funding assistance coming to Canal Park.

2021 marked 30 years since the village installed a historical marker at the park’s Ford Avenue location, and as Council President Thomas Patterson explained on Tuesday- the park has seen better days as of late.

“The shelters are becoming very dilapidated and need a lot of attention,” he said. “The electricity is very bad.”

Following an unanimous vote, Waverly Mayor Greg Kempton has been authorized to file an application with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to receive a $20,000 grant.

Improvements to the center are considered a priority need for Waverly and several upgrades were discussed. Those upgrades include but are not limited to the repair of those shelter house, lighting, and playground areas.

As Patterson further explained, the repair project began prior to the pandemic and has been placed on hold over the past two years due to COVID-19.

In this case, the village is pursuing money that was previously acquired by the Pike County Visitors Bureau. Now with findings of questionable expenditures in its 2017-2018 audit, Kempton said the Pike County Chamber of Commerce has been mostly overseeing the functions of PCVB.

Unlike other forms of ODNR grants, this is a Capital Improvement Grant- meaning the village does not have to put any money into the project. The only administrative fee is 2%, where Waverly would instead receive $19,600 if approved.

Councilperson Tom Hlasten welcomed the improvements to Canal Park, but also believes council needs to take action Bristol Park- especially in regards to the boat.

“If we don’t do something over there, we’re going to lose more customers over there and we can’t afford to do that,” he said.

This grant money is specifically designated for Canal Park, said Kempton, meaning that outside money would be needed to cleanup that park.

Per its Ohio Historical Marker, Canal Park marks the days when the 309 mile Ohio-Erie Canal ran through Waverly.

During its heyday, the canal was four feet deep and was bordered by tow paths with eight clearance. Construction started in July 4, 1825 near Newark and was completed in 1833- accumulating a cost north of $7 million.

In other council developments, council agreed to authorize Auditor Debra Whaley to transfer two sums of cash from the General Fund.

In total, $50,000 will be going to the Bridge and Street Fund and another $100,000 will go towards to Waverly Police Department. These transfers were deemed necessary to cover expenditures this year.

Contact Patrick Keck at pkeck@newswatchman.com or by phone at 740-947-2149, ext. 300431 and follow him on Twitter @pkeckreporter.

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