Ohio’s Great Corridor plan afloat


The region is about to take another step toward making Ohio’s Great Corridor a reality.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects to begin developing a master plan for the 99-mile stretch of the Great Miami River meandering from Sidney to Dayton to Hamilton.

The plan, estimated to cost $250,000, is seen as essential to join various local plans along the river corridor into a single recreational area — dubbed Ohio’s Great Corridor — drawing tourists and area residents down to the river.

“All up and down this river corridor we have a lot of vibrant cities, great park districts. How can we interconnect them?” said Stan Kegley, president of Ohio’s Great Corridor Association.

The Miami Conservancy District and Montgomery County obtained commitments from 15 local governments for the 50 percent local share of the funds, officials said.

“Once we have money in house, we can start work,” Amy Babey, plan formulation chief for the Louisville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said last week.

The Corps can spend up to $136,000 in federal funds on the project. The first step in the year-long study process is determining the actual cost, and thus the local share, Babey said.

Similar plans helped spark regional economic development along recreational corridors in communities around the U.S., officials said.

Already Miami Valley communities are working on more than $35 million in riverfront projects, including the $4 million Dayton River Run whitewater park project in downtown Dayton.

In addition, private businesses are trying to capitalize on interest in riverfront dining, entertainment and recreation, from biking along the path following the bank to paddling canoes and kayaks in the river.

“We’ve been kind of waiting on this for some time,” said Chris Jackson, owner of Adventures on the Great Miami, a canoe livery outside Tipp City.

“I’ve been kind of watching this evolve,” said Jackson, a concrete contractor who has been building his business over the past six years. Recently Jackson put on a music festival featuring a stage in the river.

Up and down the river, events are held to encourage people to come to the riverfront and enjoy amenities, from restaurants to picnic areas to bike hubs.

On Aug. 31, Miamisburg held RiverBlast, a day of activities capped by a fireworks display.

The study was good news for Chris Hughes, owner of the Tin Roof, a waterfront restaurant at the Troy marina.

“To me it’s something they should be working harder for,” he said. “That’s not entirely altruistic. We’re sitting right over top the water.”

The application was supported by local governments from Sidney in Shelby County to West Carrollton in Montgomery County to the Butler County Metroparks.

“This is going to focus on recreational amenities along the river, what’s there, what’s planned and what opportunities there are for additional amenities along the riverfront,” said Brenda Gibson, public relations manager for the Miami Conservancy District.

Last week, the Miami Conservancy District was awaiting fulfillment of the commitments from the various funders.

Support wasn’t universal.

In July, Tipp City City Council declined to join those offering to help come up with the local matching funds. Tipp City Mayor Dee Gillis referred questions to City Manager Jon Crusey who said the city still planned to participate in discussions of the proposed corridor.

“Council did not want to participate in assisting in the funding,” Crusey said.

The study is to begin 100 years after formation of the Miami Conservancy District, following the Great Dayton Flood of 1913.

“100 years later, were coming together again to redefine our region,” Kegley said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Residents share worries about impact of Dayton school closings
Residents share worries about impact of Dayton school closings

Almost 100 parents, school staff and concerned residents gathered at Meadowdale Elementary on Thursday night to provide feedback to Dayton Public Schools officials who are weighing whether to close any schools. School board member Mohamed Al-Hamdani first said he wanted to dispel the myth that the district plans to close nine schools. That rumor has...
Springfield student arrested after Facebook threat: 4 things to know
Springfield student arrested after Facebook threat: 4 things to know

A student at Springfield High School has been arrested after police said she made a Facebook post about a school shooting that went viral, including in multiple states. Here’s four things you should know about the ongoing case. » READ MORE: Attendance ‘light’ at Clark County Schools after threat, arrest made 1. ‘I will...
Financial experts say you should do these things with your tax refund
Financial experts say you should do these things with your tax refund

‘Tis the season for taxpayers to get a nice chunk of change back from the IRS. It’s tempting to spend it all, but financial experts say there are steps you should take to shore up your financial future.  Some who usually pay off debt will splurge this year. “I’m going to Japan in April so I’m actually going to add...
WATCH: Security camera captures two men who terrified kids home alone
WATCH: Security camera captures two men who terrified kids home alone

It’s any parents, and kids, worst nightmare. Strangers, trying to bust down the front door of a dayton home, just minutes after parents left for work, and their 11-year-old kids home alone. Dayton police have opened an investigation. A security camera on a neighbor’s house on holly avenue in dayton captured the faces of two men, wearing...
Arrest made in attempted robbery at Table 33 restaurant in downtown Dayton
Arrest made in attempted robbery at Table 33 restaurant in downtown Dayton

Dayton police arrested an 18-year-old man after a failed robbery attempt at Table 33 restaurant in downtown Dayton. According to a Dayton Police report, just after 5 p.m. Thursday, a man in camo pants and a red shirt grabbed a female bartender by the arm and ordered her twice to open the cash register. The woman refused both demands and the man ran...
More Stories