Tuesday, March 1, 2011

City to apply for $3.5M for Riverside rec, safety improvements

Cincinnati will apply for approximately $3.5 million to make improvements to the Riverside Recreation Area, 3540 Southside Avenue in Riverside.

City Council passed an ordinance last week giving the go-ahead to pursue a grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (ODNR) Cooperative Boating Facility Grant Program for a $5 million project that will expand the boat launch ramp from two lanes to four lanes; demolish the existing launch building; build new launch building restrooms that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); build a new ADA-compliant courtesy dock with a sanitary pump out station; improve the parking layout; and improve lighting, signage, and boating accessibility.

In addition to the work funded by the grant, the Regional Maritime Operation Center will locate its operations on a floating boat garage off the banks of the park.

The U.S. Coast Guard also plans to move its station from a neighboring marina to an undeveloped portion of the park, bringing an around-the-clock uniformed presence to the site.

The ordinance also creates a new capital improvement project account to hold the funds.

No local match is required for the grant, and no additional operating costs are expected for the improved facilities.

The deadline for the City to apply for the ODNR grant is April 1.

The proposed improvements are the result of a collaboration between the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, U.S. Coast Guard, Cincinnati Fire Department, ODNR, Boone County Water Rescue and the Riverside Community Council to develop a master plan for the park that will not only provide new recreational opportunities, but will also increase the safety and security of the Ohio River.

Aerial photo by Bing Maps