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Columbus -- The state Controlling Board released nearly $82,000 in grant funding Jan. 28 for a new playground in Twinsburg Township.
The 2-acre parcel, known as the "Rossi Property," was purchased by Twinsburg Township Trustees two years ago for about $30,000 for the purposes of "cleaning it up and doing something positive with it," said Township Manager Rob Kagler.
There were tires, debris and metal strewn about the property when the township purchased it, as well as dense, overgrown vegetation. The parcel was heavily delinquent on property taxes, Kagler said.
The proposed park -- which could include baseball fields and basketball hoops, or more passive recreation -- would cost about $120,000. Trustee Tom Schmidt said the Board of Trustees will conduct a public meeting on plans for the land, tentatively set for sometime in March.
The project was among several selected by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for NatureWorks grants, a program created by voters 20 years ago to assist in park development throughout the state.
Other grants for area projects OK'd Jan. 28 included $16,260 for a new trail at Freedom Township's community park and $36,000 for a pavilion and fencing at Craig Beach Park in Mahoning County.
NatureWorks funding is doled out to counties on a per capita basis. Local governments from 72 counties submitted grant requests totaling $4.2 million during the most recent round, with 93 projects totaling nearly $2 million selected for funding, according to documents.
To date, NatureWorks has backed more than 1,300 parks projects totaling $63 million, according to statistics compiled by ODNR.
In other business Jan. 28, the Controlling Board OK'd Third Frontier Research and Development Tax Bond awards for several high-tech projects in Portage and Summit counties.
The largest ($100,000) is for Acense LLC in Peninsula to develop specialty medical sensors.
KSU received funding for three separate projects -- $50,000 for a "piezoelectric Fiber Mats" effort, $48,981 for "bistable liquid crystal" windows and $38,590.53 for "active retarder films for glasses-free 3D TV technology."
All four projects were OK'd by the Third Frontier board in December.
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.