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Howland's million-dollar renovation plan would make township park premier

Howland is looking to the community to pay for it

HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) - The Howland Park Board unveiled a grand plan to renovate the main township park. It's aggressive and costly -- $1.8 million over five years -- but if it happens, Howland will have what's being billed as a premier park.

Architect Andy Bednar used a large board to explain the comprehensive plan for Howland Township Park, detailing the proposed changes.

"We're proposing to locate a new 70-space parking lot," he said.

The new parking lot is one feature. It would be connected to a new north-south access road in the eastern third of the park. The western 20 percent is a FEMA regulatory floodway.

"In that area, we're not permitted to do anything," Bednar said.

The now-closed Tiger Town playground and the high school baseball and softball fields are located in the floodway. All three will be moved.

"Relocated Tiger Town and at the same time, discontinue use of those two fields, relocating them to the high school," Bednar said.

The new Tiger Town would be built along the new road adjacent to a new splash pad.

The tennis courts will be expanded from two to four and used as an ice rink in the winter.

Bocce and pickleball courts are also part of the plan.

There will be no changes to the layout of the soccer fields.

The most expensive part of the plan is a new community center with a picnic pavilion and an amphitheater.

"Nice and centralized, everything is in one general area, while someone else is over here in the more active side of our park," Bednar said.

Cost Breakdown

  • Community center: $843,000
  • Tiger Town: $240,000
  • Parking: $226,000
  • New road: $189,000
  • Tennis courts: $130,000
  • Misc. improvements: $201,000

They're looking to the community to pay for it.

"We very much appreciate all the volunteerism that has occurred in the past and all the corporate funding, the personal funding that has come to us. Not only the park, but other areas of Howland and those kinds of things would need to continue if we would like to achieve some of the goals here," Bednar said.

Howland's other two parks -- Bolindale-DeForest and Morgandale -- will also be renovated, though not as extensively as Howland Township Park.

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