Restrooms to be constructed by city park ball fields


A new public restroom facility is coming to Melvin Miller Park in time for the 2017 youth baseball and softball seasons after Urbana City Council on Tuesday approved construction of the $62,045 building to be located in a centralized spot between the park’s ball diamonds.

According to Director of Administration Kerry Brugger, the 19-foot by 21-foot, free-standing structure will be close to the Pony League announcer booth/concession stand located just south of the large parking lot situated between the quad ball diamonds and adult softball fields. St. Paris-based Howell Buildings Company will build the structure using 2-foot by 6-foot stud framing, metal siding and metal roofing.

Once completed, the facility will feature a a men’s side and a women’s side. The men’s side will include two sinks, one stall and two urinals, while the women’s restroom will feature two sinks and three stalls.

“We don’t have any restroom facilities in that area of the park, and we have quite a number of participants and families that use that end of the park,” Brugger said. Currently, he added, if individuals in this particular area of the park need to use the restroom, they are faced with two options – use city-provided Porta-Johns or take a stroll to indoor facilities located elsewhere throughout the park.

Council member Doug Hoffman said a new restroom facility will be a welcome addition to the park.

“Being out at the park a lot, one of the very few negative feedbacks I ever get from people who travel to this community are those old, beat-up blue porta-potties that are probably older than I am,” he said. “The guys try to keep them clean, but you know how that goes. It’s a longtime coming.”

Brugger said the goal is to have the project, which is being paid for using $33,952 in capital improvement funds and a $28,093 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, completed in time for Urbana Youth Sports’ opening day in April.

“If the weather holds, the anticipation is to try to get the structure built this year,” he said. “If we get shut down for the winter, we will come back in early spring and get it wrapped up and ready to go by spring.”

Rezoning measure finalized

Council unanimously approved an ordinance rezoning Subarea E of the Urbana Commons Planned Unit Development (Walmart) from residential/open space to office/medical campus, paving the way for the construction of a medical center on the 11.5-acre parcel located at the northwest corner of the East U.S. Route 36/North Dugan Road intersection.

Marysville-based Memorial Health, which owns the Memorial Primary Care | Urbana practice at 900 Scioto St., informed the Daily Citizen in September of its intentions to partner with Hplex Solutions, a medical developer out of Lewis Center, to build a multi-million-dollar medical facility on the lot in question.

Prior to voting on the matter, council heard from Urbana resident Eleanor McGuire, who expressed concern over how the new medical facility may affect Mercy Memorial Hospital.

“I’m just really concerned that we haven’t let the community know that it may impact (the hospital’s) ability to provide all the services, which I can’t attest to,” she said. “These other facilities coming in don’t have to accept people without money and insurance, where the hospital has to. I feel like we need to at least question the validity of that and how that will impact our community.”

Doug Crabill, city community development manager, addressed McGuire’s concerns by stating, “With anything, there has to be a market demand. There may be some overlaps (in services provided), but there are some services they’ve identified that are new to the Urbana market as a whole.

“They’re not going to invest millions of dollars if there’s not a demand. Ultimately, we (the city) are considering land use. We are not considering free market capitalism as far as what market demand may drive,” he added.

Council also passed an ordinance adopting the official zoning text for office/medical campus uses for Subarea E of the Urbana Commons PUD.

Proposed airport project altered

While waiting to hear back from the Federal Aviation Administration concerning grant funds for additional infrastructure at Grimes Field that was put on hold in August due to concerns expressed by owners of the nearby property known as the Nutwood Place (listed on the National Resister of Historic Places), the city has decided to slightly alter plans for the construction of two hangars – a 50-by-231 T-hangar and a 70-by-70 corporate hangar – anticipated to be built next year by Springfield-based Krohn Aviation LLC, which has agreed to lease the land from the city for 30 years.

The original plans involved the city using FAA grant money to build the necessary infrastructure (taxiway/taxilanes, etc.) around the proposed construction site located just west of the airport’s current set of T-hangars.

After looking over the plans and considering the concerns expressed by the Krifts, owners of the Nutwood Place property, the city has decided to shift the proposed site of the new hangars farther from the airport’s southern boundary and the historic round barn located on the Krift property.

“The idea is to move the hangars approximately 70 feet to the north just to get us out a little further from the southern boundary,” Brugger said, noting the adjustment will better align the new hangars with the current T-hangars.

To move forward with the necessary engineer work and site plan preparation, council approved a purchase order to Stantec Consulting Services in the amount of $9,894. Ninety percent of the cost will be funded through an FAA grant, leaving the city’s share at $989.40.

City council paves way for new medical facility

By Joshua Keeran

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Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

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