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Published: Thursday, 5/30/2013

Olander Park System commissioners address residents worried about effect of sledding hill

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Olander Park System commissioners today addressed a citizens concern regarding the planned sledding hill at Sylvan Prairie Park.

Resident Jeffrey Denker attended the commissioners meeting to ask about the cost, possible noise disturbance, and use by outside residents of the Sylvan Prairie Park Sled Hill, a project slated for completion in January 2015.

Mr. Denker, a resident of the Park Place development, which is north of the planned winter time park, suggested the commissioners examine developing the hill used for sledding at Northview High School, since it has a parking lot and is not near any homes. 

Commissioner John Zeitler said that Sylvan sledding hill is going to be a controlled and safe environment with outlined paths to walk back up the three hills, which are of different heights for varying age levels. More importantly it will have a designated hill for children 3 to 5 years of age, unlike the Northview hill, which he said is too fast for toddlers.

The commissioners said that the proper insurance would be in place in case anyone was injured. Another highlight of the park that has not yet been decided is the installation of lights and snow-making machines, Mr. Denker said that both could be a disturbance to residents of Park Place.

Olander Park Director Gary Madrzykowski said that if installed, the lights would be for kept on for working parents to enjoy time with their children during the week, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with no nighttime hours on the weekends since sledders have all day to enjoy the sport.

He added that the snow-making machines, if used, would powder the eastern slope during the day, which is away from nearby residential developments.

In regards to the cost, Olander commissioners said they were looking for ways to reduce the projected cost of $200,000 and future operating costs through installing solar panels to produce electricity for the lights, reusing the water that melts from the parks lakes and searching for grants.

“This is a self-preserving system of reusing the water from the lake,” Mr. Madrzykowski said.

Commissioner Gail Abood told Mr. Denker that when it comes to concerns over the price tag “you are not alone in the room," pointing out the repairs that are needed for the Quarry Ridge Bike Trail and at Fossil Park.

However, commissioners disagreed that the park should be limited to those living in the Sylvania School District who pay into the 0.5 mill operating levy that funds Olander Park projects.

Mr. Madrzykowski said that Ohio residents pay into the federal dollars and grants that were awarded for the purchase of the park’s 219 acres. Of the total purchase cost - $5,278,136 - 70 percent was paid for with federal or state grants and donations, he said.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com. 



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