Bellbrook starts planning streetscape project

Bellbrook is looking to make improvements to downtown with a streetscape project. STAFF/BONNIE MEIBERS
Bellbrook is looking to make improvements to downtown with a streetscape project. STAFF/BONNIE MEIBERS

City hires design firm for design plans.

Bellbrook will contract with Kleingers Group to do a downtown streetscape design.

The streetscape will focus mostly on Franklin and Main streets.

After putting out a request in March, the city received eight proposals ranging from $25,000 to $85,000. Dayton-area firm Kleingers is asking for about $35,000 to compete the streetscape project.

ExploreBellbrook seeking to improve downtown with new streetscape

Bellbrook City Manager Melissa Dodd said the design should take six months. The project is split into five phases, including a public input phase.

The city is looking for a project that would create “vibrant, welcoming public spaces that encourage community building and accommodate persons of all ages and demographics throughout the year,” according to the request for proposals. Dodd said the city hopes to enhance walkability and connectivity from residential neighborhoods to the downtown area. Dodd hopes to improve sidewalks and crosswalks downtown, too.

City staff said they recommended Kleingers to city council because of their experience and how personalized the proposal was to Bellbrook. The city also considered KZF, which had the lowest cost proposal.

Kleingers Group will have landscape architects, a landscape designer, grant specialist and engineers work on the streetscape plan.

The Kleingers Group has provided municipal engineering services to the communities of Silverton, Deer Park, Milford, Glendale, Trenton, Westerville, Obetz and many other municipalities throughout SW Ohio, greater Dayton and Columbus.

Kleingers has also done streetscape projects for Sharonville, Dayton and the Col. Glenn Highway streetscape improvement plans in Beavercreek and Fairborn. Kleingers is also doing landscape architectural design services for Lincoln Park in Kettering and the Kettering Business Park entrance.

Dodd said the city could seek community investment grant funds from the Greene County Department of Development for this project. Bellbrook will submit an application asking for about 75% of the project funds.

ExploreGreene County governments that need help with projects offered new funding source

The county had been automatically granting funds to municipalities based on 2010 Census data and municipalities would report back on how they spent the money. This program existed for about two years. Funds were redirected at the beginning of 2021 into a new municipal grant program, called the Greene County Community Investment Program.

The Greene County Community Investment Program seeks to fund projects from infrastructure improvements to Main Street projects, like updating or restoring downtown building facades. These projects will be city or township projects, but they would aim to create the best environment to sustain business in the community.

Dodd said she got letters of support from the township, the Bellbrook Chamber of Commerce and some businesses in town to supplement the grant application.

Councilman T.J. Hoke said he thought the streetscape would be well received by residents, who frequently ask about what could be done for beautification.

Mayor Mike Schweller and other members of council also voiced support for submitting the streetscape project for grant funds. City council voted unanimously in favor of Kleingers doing the streetscape plan and the city manager submitting the project for county grant funds at their Monday meeting.

The county will review grant applications on April 22 during the Greene County Community Improvement Corporation meeting.