Miami Twp. park improvements stall, could be revised

Miami Twp. Trustee John Morris said he plans to find another way to bring a motion or resolution before his fellow trustees to help add a host of new features to Miami View Park after his fellow trustees did not second a motion directing the township's administrator to pursue funding options. Preliminary design for the park was inspired by Reedy Creek Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, which includes features that he said are part NFL Draft Combine, part "Ninja Warrior" course. CONTRIBUTED
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Miami Twp. Trustee John Morris said he plans to find another way to bring a motion or resolution before his fellow trustees to help add a host of new features to Miami View Park after his fellow trustees did not second a motion directing the township's administrator to pursue funding options. Preliminary design for the park was inspired by Reedy Creek Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, which includes features that he said are part NFL Draft Combine, part "Ninja Warrior" course. CONTRIBUTED

A plan to transform a Miami Twp. park into a destination spot by adding several amenities could still happen, but two trustees wanted more details and discussion before moving forward.

Miami Twp. Trustee President John Morris proposed that trustees request the township administrator work with the Miami Twp. Community Improvement Corp. and the Community Foundation of Miami Township to pay for upgrades of up to $500,000 in 2021 at Miami View Park, a 34-acre space at 911 Munger Road.

Morris said the “wide open” nature of the park would allow it to be modeled after the “adult jungle gym” at Charlotte, North Carolina’s, Reedy Creek Park.

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Created by the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and GameTime, that park features equipment billed as a combination of NFL Draft Combine and popular “Ninja Warrior” races, including a 40-yard dash that sees participants step on a pad to reset a timing clock before running the dash and obtaining their time.

Other elements include outdoor weight training and fitness equipment, plus a timed-challenge course involving multiple obstacles.

Morris said upgrading the park to resemble the Charlotte park would cost about $500,000, but grant money could cover as much as $150,000. That, he said, would allow the township to pursue the project for “significantly less” than what it would typically cost.

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But during their meeting Tuesday evening, trustees Don Culp and Terry Posey Jr. did not second Morris' motion to put the resolution to an official vote.

Posey said he believed pursuit of such a plan should be part of a “holistic view” of the parks and under some better planning for them as a whole, as opposed to specifically using one mechanism to fund one project at one park.

“I have other concerns about spending funds that could be used in other items without a good prioritization discussion,” Posey said.

In addition, several township projects were put on hold and staff salaries were frozen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“My support for the park project is good, but the detail that’s provided for in this motion, I’m not sure where it stands in terms of our other needs at this point," Posey said.

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Culp said he agreed, adding that a low dam in a park on the other side of the township poses a “glaring risk” to the township’s recreation and needs to be a high priority item.

“It’s certainly not tied to this opportunity that you have, but I believe it has to be part of that complete view of when we look at our parks and start spending money,” Culp said.

He previously said the idea for the park was exciting but wanted a plan that has matching funds associated with the funding, “a 50-50 maybe or something like that.”

Morris said he was disappointed with the non-action at the board meeting but remains confident in a slightly modified motion or resolution supported by fellow trustees in the future.

“I will not give up on this project,” he said. “I am hopeful that we can get a new motion or resolution done in time to take advantage of the discounts currently being offered.”

He said the project has “too much community support and excitement” not to happen.

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