HUDSON — Residents can look forward to multiple projects either being finished or taking significant steps in 2020.
The project that garnered the most attention in 2019 — Downtown Phase II — will continue to go through another stage this year. The planning commission and city council approved a large part of the residential portion of Phase II late last summer. City spokesperson Jody Roberts said officials are working on an agreement with Testa Companies, the project’s developer. That deal is expected to be presented to council for its approval "in the coming months," Roberts said.
Council this month is planning to vote on awarding a contract for a 2,500 square foot expansion of the skate park on Veterans Way. Roberts said the work will start in the spring and take about four months to finish. The overall cost of the project is $375,000, with $50,000 coming from a donation made by the Vans Shoe Co.
The construction of a brine well off state Route 303 is nearing completion. The work on the well started last summer and is expected to be completely finished by the spring, according to Roberts.
"The drilling process is complete, the building is installed and the equipment to produce brine is in place," said Roberts, who added officials are waiting on approval of some testing.
Roberts added that tree planting and grass seeding will happen at the brine well site in the spring. With the exception of those tasks, she said the rest of the work should be finished within the next month.
Last fall, work was performed on a passive recreation area on North Oviatt Street at the site of the former Hudson Elementary School. Specific tasks that occurred at the Old School Green site were installation of new playground equipment and a large circular concrete pathway with four paths leading toward the corners of the property. A play area was created on the eastern side with a bike rack, and the site has several benches. Roberts said school memorial plaques will be put in and the grass area construction netting will be removed in the spring.
The project at the old school site is happening through a unique funding arrangement. Sheryl Sheatzley, spokesperson for the Hudson City School District, said the land was owned by the district and was the site of Union School and then Hudson School/Hudson Elementary School, which closed in 2007. An anonymous party offered to donate money to make the parcel a passive recreation area, according to Sheatzley.
"An agreement was eventually completed between the schools, city, and the donor for sale of the land," said Sheatzley.
Sheatzley said the school district has an easement in the green space area where it will place two plaques, one commemorating Union School and the other commemorating Hudson School. Union School closed in 1913, while Hudson School opened in 1914 — when it housed students at all grade levels — and closed in 2007 when it was an elementary school.
A lengthy list of road projects are planned this year. A top one in 2020 will be the installation of designated left turn lanes in each direction along state Route 91 (or North Main Street) from Brandywine Drive to Middleton Road. The turn lanes will be put in along 91 at Valley View Road, Herrick Park Drive, and Hines Hill Road. Other improvements on this 1.24-mile stretch include the addition of bike lanes on both sides of the road, a sidewalk on the east side, new lighting at the intersections and an improved storm sewer system that will "capture, manage and carry runoff out of the area," said Roberts.
The total cost of this planned improvement is $4.3 million; of that amount, $3.025 million is being paid for with Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Surface Transportation Funds and Urban Paving Funds. The city will pay for the remaining expense with general fund money. The city had to acquire the rights of way for many parcels along the road for the project.
There will also be plenty of resurfacing work, concrete sidewalk repairs, as well as striping and crack sealing.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, email@example.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.