Update On Private Funding For Wasson Way

Jun 20, 2017

The private group working to help fund an east side bike trail is looking at hiring an executive director to help with fundraising efforts.  

Susan Schaefer, who is the president of the Wasson Way Project Board, updated a city council committee on its work Tuesday.

Schaefer said they have talked with city officials about selling naming rights.

"To identify our construction design priorities and now we're waiting on a memorandum of understanding with the city manager's office giving us permission, if you will, to sell these rights on behalf of the city," Schaefer said.

So far the city has spent nearly $12 million to acquire a former railroad right of way for the project.  

Some council members have expressed concerns that additional city funding for the plan should only come when private money is committed.

Council member P.G. Sittenfeld supports Wasson Way, but said there should be an agreement between the city and the private group doing fundraising.

"Putting pen to paper to show this money will be released when this much is raised and kind of coming to either a binding agreement, or something more of a gentlemen's agreement," Sittenfeld said. "I think that's going to be a needed part of the process and I think sooner rather than later."

Right now, the eventual Wasson Way plan calls for a four-mile trail from Wooster Pike to Montgomery Road.  

The construction will be done in phases, and work on the first portion could begin in the fall.