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The Suburbanite
  • Proposed park to be social, economic hub

  • the City of Green is proposing a new park that would be named Central Park as the focus of the "Central Green" area.

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  • With Massillon Road being the main corridor through the City of Green, the need – or the want – of a downtown area for the city has grown.
    “There has long been a desire by many people to have what is often referred to as a ‘downtown’ and for us it seems to be the wrong word,” Mayor Dick Norton said. “It doesn’t seem to really connote what we are trying to accomplish so we have chosen ‘Central Green.’ It is really is going to be where buildings and enterprises come together in a central place.”
    So, the City of Green is proposing a new park that would be named Central Park as the focus of the "Central Green" area.
    During its regular meeting June 25 Green City Council heard from Director of Planning and Urban Design Tony Slanec of OHM Advisors who presented council with it’s first view of the concept of Central Park.
    “When we were doing the Massillon Road plan this birthed from that plan,” Slanec said. “Not only is it a non traditional park, it’s a community space; it’s a community heart and economic development tool. It’s an attractor for not only residents but for businesses and potential development.”
    The park would be located on five acres between Town Park Boulevard and Steese Road. The proposed plan for the park would include an amphitheater that could seat up to 525 people, a splash pad, a playground, a sensory and vegetable garden for senior citizens, walking trails, restrooms, a concession stand and a pavilion. The park would also expand the existing pond into a small lake with a connecting walking bridge.
    The park is projected to cost $5 million.
    Norton explained that the 7 percent income tax the city is required to use for parks capital projects brings in $1.2 Million annually. He expects the city will have to issue debt to pay for the park.
    But the idea of a park close to residents brought some residents to the council meeting to voice their concerns.
    “It’s not that we are opposed to the Central Park per se but more it’s location and the continue onslaught over the years of noise and activities in this area,” explained resident Terry Walton.
    Walton presented the Clerk of Council with a petition signed by 36 residents opposing the proposed park.
    Resident Karl Kerstetter voiced his concern regarding the planned amphitheater.
    “You are looking conceptually at putting an amphitheater with 525 people in there,” Kerstetter said. “You are going to have traffic concerns.”
    Kerstetter also stated his concern over the amphitheater being close to two senior centers, the GreenView Senior Assisted Living on Massillon Road and the Retirement Residence of Green on Town Crossing.   
    Page 2 of 2 - “It’s only five acres, it’s a tiny parcel of land,” resident Susan Rhoades said. “I believe the amphitheater needs to be moved to a larger area away from the residential area.”
    The project is still in the conceptual phase.
    Council has not been presented with legislation regarding the plans or cost of the project yet. Mre discussion and public input is expected in the next few months.
    If approved, however, Norton hopes to begin park construction in late 2015 with a completion date in 2016.