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The Suburbanite
  • Stark Parks seeks support for North Canton trail project

  • A representative from Stark Parks will be at Monday’s North Canton Council meeting to promote building a walking bridge that will complete a loop trail off the Hoover Park Trail. A state grant would cover the cost of the project.

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  • The city hopes a state grant and work by volunteers will help get a foot bridge needed to complete a park trail built.
    The city plans to apply for a Recreational Trail Fund grant offered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The grant would cover 80 percent of the bridge’s cost.
    Stark County Park District officials also are interested in seeing North Canton secure the grant, and will make a presentation at Monday’s City Council meeting.
    City Engineer Jim Benekos said the Hoover Park Trail is the most popular trail in the system of walking trails being developed by Stark Parks.
    The bridge would cross the West Branch of Nimishillen Creek and is needed to complete a loop trail that ties the county’s Hoover Parks Trail to a trailhead at the city’s baseball fields on E. Maple Street. The main trail now runs from Marquardt Avenue NE on an east-west corridor toward Market Avenue N, while the loop goes south to the parking lot for the ball fields.
    In October 2007, the city and Stark Parks celebrated opening a bridge along the main trail that crosses Nimishillen Creek. The city provided $98,000 for that bridge, which was built to accommodate emergency vehicles if needed.
    The new bridge won’t be as fortified, Benekos said. Designs must be completed before the cost of the bridge can be determined, he said.
    Benekos said he hopes to keep costs down by having volunteer groups help build the bridge. That option still is being researched, but would help the city cover its 20 percent match requirement, he said.
    The city’s grant application must be filed by Feb. 1.
    Residents with comments about the proposal can attend Monday’s meeting — the presentation is at 6:45 p.m. and the regular meeting follows at 7 — or mail comments to City Engineer, 145 N. Main St., North Canton, OH 44720 before Jan. 22. E-mail comments to: jbenekos@northcantonohio.com