Park funds would be used to pay for about $267,000 of the price.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Mill Creek MetroParks is seeking an $800,000 state grant to buy and preserve 117 acres along Tippecanoe Road.
The property, owned by Orvets Sod Farm LLC, includes 60 acres of wetland.
Justin Rogers, MetroParks land planner, sent a letter to township trustees this week, asking for their support of the grant request. The property is in Boardman.
Curt Seditz, township administrator, expects the resolution to be on trustees meeting agenda for next week.
The park's application, due Sept. 1, will request $800,000 from the Ohio Department of Public Works Clean Ohio Fund's Green Space Conservation program. The remaining cost, about $267,000, would come from park funds, but Rogers said the park district is looking for additional sources to contribute to the cost.
The application must be submitted to the Eastgate Council of Regional Governments' District 6 Natural Resources Assistance Council.
If that council recommends funding, the application would be forwarded to the state. The park district could learn whether the application has been accepted by November, Rogers said.
"Immediate and thorough action to preserve this property must be taken now," the land planner wrote in his letter to the township. "This parcel, with its large tracts of open space, has already been proposed for development. Should development occur, the character and function of this parcel would change forever."
A small portion of the property is used for sod and crop growth, but the majority of the acreage is identified wetlands and flood plain.
Rogers said that if the park is successful in its grant application and purchase, the intent is to keep the land natural.
It would also protect lands within the Mill Creek Watershed, maintain water quality and provide increased habitat for plants and animals, the letter says.
The Clean Ohio program requires property to be maintained primarily natural with development limited to public access and support facilities.