XENIA — The City of Xenia is going after some grant money to help fund much-needed playground improvements at Shawnee Park.
City council authorized City Manager Brent Merriman to file an application with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for the Natureworks Grant Program to help cover the cost of replacing equipment at the city’s signature park.
The funding is approximately $47,000 and if the city receives the money, it would be leveraged with other available funds to cover phase 1, which is around $336,600 and will include replacement of the main playground equipment and installation of a rubberized surface.
The equipment is more than 20 years old, according to Merriman, and replacement parts are not available.
“We’ve been advised by our insurance carrier that replacement should be a priority,” Merriman said at a recent council meeting.
Phase two would include replacing the existing equipment for younger children, adding hillside slides, a zipline, additional multi-play elements and additional seating, according to city documents. The city will look for philanthropic funding for phase two.
“I appreciate staff going after grant money,” said Councilmember Dale Louderback. “The park is a focal point for the City of Xenia.”
According to City Planner Brian Forschner, the city is anticipating an informal answer of whether or not it received the grant by early fall.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.