Miamisburg one step closer to Riverfront Park improvements

Miamisburg’s Riverfront Park is set to undergo a series of improvements starting next year.

A recently completed concept update for the park shows several elements slated for it, including a permanent amphitheater with a tiered seating area, a central great lawn for events, a nature-based playground and inclusive play spaces.

It also shows additional parking spots that will remain open during events, a curved bike path and other improvements.

The project will follow years of progress made by the city in the area since 2000 when it was covered in various privately owned properties and businesses, according to Ryan Davis, the city’s Parks & Recreation director.

“Shortly after that, a downtown master plan was created that created this idea of a Riverfront Park as part of the downtown revitalization concepts,” Davis told city council. “That then led to a 2008 master plan of what the park would actually look like while the property was being acquired and cleaned out for a park use.”

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Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

By 2010, the property had been acquired and turned into a usable park space, he said. In 2016, Miamisburg updated the original master plan to reduce it in size, scope and cost. At that time, it was an $8 million park project, Davis said.

“That’s what created the impetus for the Water Street improvements,” he said.

Since then, Miamisburg has installed a splash pad and a restroom building, and has been continuing to work toward finalization of the park project, he said. To date, Miamisburg has spent approximately $5.7 million on the project, with $2.2 million of that in grant funds through Clean Ohio and other grants, Davis said.

In 2020, the city entered an agreement with West Chester Twp.-based Kleingers Group to work on the city’s park master plan as well as more park design updates.

“We chose Kleingers in that process because they have a variety of services under their repertoire, and they’re a large, local firm that has a lot of expertise in the civil engineering, landscape architecture, all the different pieces that we’re looking for when we’re implementing a park project,” Davis said.

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Miamisburg City Council recently voted to approve spending $329,400 for Kleingers Group to carrying out a schematic design, engineering and construction document phase. That marks the final step before a contractor can be selected and construction can launch on the project, according to the city.

Miamisburg Mayor Michelle Collins said the improvements are “very important.”

“The park master plan has been in the works for over 20 years,” Collins said. “Completely, the park will never get less expensive as the years past. It’s time to make the vision complete for all our citizens.”

Construction costs are estimated to be $4.5 million and $4.7 million and will be included in the 2023 capital improvement program, according to city. Construction is expected to take between 9 and 18 months.

The city’s goal is not to cancel any events at Riverfront Park as a result of the construction, Davis said.

“Some events may have to be modified, maybe relocated,” he said. “It’s still pretty early to have definitive answers on any specific events.”

While working with Kleingers, the parks and recreation department surveyed community members about what they were looking for in the Riverfront Park project, Davis said.

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Approximately 65% of the respondents said they visit the park at least monthly and 49% said they visit multiple times per month, he said.

“It’s a heavily used park in its current state,” Davis said. “They almost always — 94% — visit downtown before or after when they visit the Riverfront Park. The purpose of Riverfront Park was part of the downtown revitalization. To date, the park as it exists has helped in that process, but now we’re looking to finish that project.”

Visitors come to the park to attend events, eat and drink outside and access amenities, such as the bike trail, he said.

Deciding which of the park’s elements took precedence was based on rankings that were part of that survey, he said.

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