Planning Pays Off Big For Miami County Parks District

Successful projects take planning… and that planning often pays off in dollars. Just ask the Miami County Park District.

The expansion of the recreational trail system was a goal of the Park District, but starting the process and garnering the much needed pubic support required a little extra effort.

To encourage the expansion of the Recreational Trail System, the Miami County Park District initiated a partnership to explore the development of an east-west trail connecting various existing trails, communities and historic sites in northern Miami County. Stakeholders, in addition to the District, included the City of Piqua, the Village of Bradford, the Village of Covington and the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency. The expanded trail would connect various existing trails as well as the Simon Kenton Trail in Champaign County to the east and the Tecumseh Train in Darke County to the west. In February 2015, the partnership received a $50,000 LGIF grant and hired Poggemeyer Design Group to complete the study. 

With input from stakeholders, landowners and the public, the study was completed recommending the phased development of the Ohio to Indiana Trail which will eventually be incorporated into U.S. Bike Route 36. The early planning and public participation process was critical to securing $500,000 in Clean Ohio Trail Funds for the first phase of the overall route. The first phase will consist of signing 1.2 miles of shared use of Casstown-Sidney Road from Garbry Big Woods Reserve north to the abandoned railroad owned by the part district, and paving separated path 1.5 miles to the east to Lost Creek-Sidney Road, connecting the Village of Fletcher. Construction of this phase will be completed in 2020. Estimated total cost of this phase is $951,000.

This earlier planning was also instrumental in next securing $1,912,680 of CMAQ funding from the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission second phase Phase 2 will develop a paved trail on the remaining 3.5 miles of railroad roadbed between the Park-N-Bike lot at Troy-Sidney Road east to North Casstown-Sidney Road where it will meet the phase on segment connecting Garbry Big Woods Reserve. The total project cost will be about $2.68 million, and is scheduled for construction in 2024.

The timely completion of the Northern Miami County Trail System Master Plan led to the first two successful grant applications for phased implementation of the Miami County Park District Strategic Plan, Miami County Comprehensive Plan and the Miami Valley Bikeways Plan.