XENIA — Xenia City Council recently reviewed proposed improvements to Lexington Park which have been in the works for several months.
Three audience members — Angela Wilson, Steve Bayless, and Mitchell Waterman — spoke passionately from the podium to give their personal history with the park and express why they think it deserves the improvements to restore it to its former glory.
Council voted unanimously to review a list of proposed improvements (and prices/timelines of the improvements) and determine if there is adequate funding for the projects that have been initiated — like the downsizing of the parking lot — or if more funding is needed to complete the improvements and which of those would receive the additional funding if needed.
The specific improvements listed will be reviewed by council and staff within the next two weeks and could be voted on at the next council meeting, Sept. 22.
The proposed improvements include:
— Align the basketball courts as two regulation high school courts with new poles, backboards, and hoops, line the courts, paint tribute names on the courts of historic Xenia basketball players, and install fencing around the courts.
— Complete asphalt topping and parking lining at the north parking site.
— Erect a park sign with park rules.
— Erect a parking barrier that may be used as needed at park closing and dusk and at dawn.
— Place grills at each of the two existing shelters.
— Erect a split-rail fence between the parking areas and the park.
— Place benches at the playground area.
— Install a paved walking path from the parking lot to the playground area.
— Install a drinking water fountain at the park.
In a previous council meeting, $50,000 from the city’s general fund was allocated for minimum park safety and operational improvements.
“There’s a large interest in the community to see Lexington Park restored and this has been expressed multiple times to the council over the last 14 months,” said councilman Will Urschel. “I believe this restoration will be a key component of giving hope and opportunity to youth in the Lexington Park area. I was also encouraged that council voted unanimously to endorse the list of modern improvements for this fall. I’m looking forward to working with the Lexington Park community group on moving forward with additional improvements next year.”
Before the unanimous vote, councilman Cody Brannum raised concerns about inappropriate activities that had occurred at the park in the past. Councilman Thomas Scrivens asked Xenia Police Chief Chris Stutes to step forward and inform council if there were any current reports of crime or acts of vandalism at the park, to which Stutes replied to his knowledge there was nothing that stood out.