Mayfield looking for grant to refocus Wiley Park as an outside rental facility

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MAYFIELD, Ohio — The village council voted during a special council meeting Tuesday (July 5) to seek a state grant that, if approved, could fund about half of a project to add amenities to Wiley Park and serve its purpose change .

The council voted 6-0 (councillor Jennifer Jurcisek was absent) to seek a grant to Nature Works from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that would fund 80 percent of the project, or up to $150,000. Recreation Director Shane McAvinew said improvement plans for Wiley Park, located behind the police station at 620 SOM Center Road and behind the Mayfield Township Historical Society and Museum building at 606 SOM Center Road, are now estimated at $300,000.

“Renovations at Wiley Park would include an updated gazebo and bathrooms, removing the sand volleyball court and adding more to the (park) for you to rent for your family to go to family reunions or class reunions,” McAvinew told the council.

“This park has been renovated over the years,” McAvinew said after the meeting, noting that in some cases the additions were made out of immediate necessity, but not necessarily with planning in mind.

“This park has been renovated but renovated in parts. If you renovate in pieces, it never quite works out,” he said. A sand volleyball court was added a few years ago, but he said, “The volleyball court occupies 25 percent of the park but is never used. So it’s about time that was done.

“We have two sand volleyball courts that are being used more and more near the soccer fields (in the Parkview Recreation Area, on North Commons Boulevard and SOM Center Road). To me (Wiley Park) is more of a place that we would like residents and non-residents to use to host a birthday party, or more of an outdoor rental facility. So we look at outdoor kitchens and things like that.

“We want to improve the playground and address some ADA issues related to some of the slopes that are there and renovate the bathroom but also make it more convenient. It’s (the toilets) a bit off the beaten track so we’re trying to change that.

“The bocce courts would remain in our original design (for Wiley improvements). The (existing, already renovated) pavilion would also remain. A lot of effort is put into making this gazebo more user-friendly. We’re even talking about putting down blinds (around the gazebo) so if it rains you can lower the blinds and still use the facility.” A new fencing is also planned for Wiley.

“The concept is to make (Wiley Park) a rental park. If you don’t want to have a birthday party at your house, you can throw it at the park,” McAvinew said. “You have all the amenities at a birthday party in the park. They have play equipment, more green space and a place to have a BBQ and possibly a sink to wash your stuff afterwards.”

McAvinew said more “dream” additions could yet be made as plans move forward and other grants are sought. He noted that renovations done at Parkview a few years ago started with an estimate of $400,000 and grew to $1 million. A dream addition for Wiley, he said, would be the addition of a bridge that would shorten the walk to the restrooms from the main parking area.

McAvinew also plans to apply for a grant from the federal Land & Water Conservation Fund, administered through ODNR, in November.

If the Nature Works grant is not received, McAvinew said he will learn why it was rejected, revise his application, and reapply.

The village, if awarded the Nature Works grant, would have two years to spend the money.

Ridgebury Boulevard renewal

Mayor Brenda Bodnar said the village has applied for funding from Cuyahoga County to resurface the north side of Ridgebury Boulevard from SOM Center Road to Lander Road.

The county would pay for half of the project, or up to $247,500 of the approximately $500,000 project. Work is expected to take place next year if the county council approves the grant.

Large turnout on July 4th

Council President Stephen Schutt said the turnout for Saturday’s (July 2) fireworks display, which emanated from the Parkview Recreation Area, was likely the largest in the village’s history. McAvinew agreed with that assessment, saying an estimated 5,000 people watched the show. Many watched from the hilltop at The Grove Amphitheater.

This year, the village presented the show later than in previous years. It was scheduled annually on the last Saturday in June, but this year it has been moved closer to July 4th.

McAvinew said that perhaps one reason for this year’s large attendance was that rain that started on Friday (July 1) flooded some scheduled fireworks shows in the area. The date closer to July 4 may have been another reason.

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