EATON — Eaton Mayor Dave Kirsch and city manager Brad Collins recently outlined a few big plans for the city for the year 2016.
There are four big projects slated: the community pool renovation, another paving project, repairing the St. Clair Street Bridge, and a project for the wastewater treatment plant.
Currently, the new community pool, for which $1.8 million dollars in renovations began in August, is on track to open at the end of May.
Construction is currently being done to the pool area – everything has been demolished, walls are up, the bottoms of the pools have been poured, and some piping has been installed.
The pool is being expanded from six lanes to eight lanes and there are two slides that will be installed – one that is 20 feet tall and one that is built for speed.
“It can open it up to being able to hosting more events, and being able to get them finished in a more appropriate time, being a bigger draw, maybe some regional things,” said Collins. “The swim community is an important part, but that’s only five or six events out of a swim season that’s 90 days long. We have to remember the other 85 days of the year for residents. So it will be a combination of competition and recreation and family.”
Along with the pool’s opening, the historical bridge on St. Clair Street is also aimed at being reopend at some point this spring. The trusses and the beams are over 100 years old and have started to rust and corrode, causing the bridge to lose a bit of it’s structural strength.
“It happens with age and time. This isn’t something that just happened with the bridge. It’s something we’ve been looking at for several years,” said Collins.
He also noted that the city looked at funding sources – and even had one source lined up – but because the bridge is a historical one and there isn’t a new bridge being built instead, the funding will have to come out-of-pocket for Eaton.
The estimated cost is around $75,000 for new metal underneath the structure. There is no timeframe set, but the target start time for construction is in February.
The city of Eaton is also looking into a rehabilitation of the waste water treatment plant. There will need to be some repairing and rehabbing of primary clarifier tanks at the facility.
They also plan to pave Eaton Lewisburg Road, bringing it into Baron and matching it up with where the county paved earlier in the 2015.
There are several other small scale projects at hand for Eaton heading into the New Year as well.
Collins and his staff hope to do some general cleanup for the parks in the area come spring and summertime, replacing slide at one of the parks. They will also evaluate some electrical items at Fort St. Clair in that time frame, preparing for the Christmas lights of Whispering Christmas. Finally, they will also be working with the Eaton Rotary and doing some tree replacement this spring.
In the unknown future, another potential big change to the city could be the development of a hotel.
“You never know if it’s going to come to fruition but I’m going to keep knocking on the door,” said Kirsch. “I think we can use a hotel.”
The project is being discussed with the Preble County Economic Development Partnership, and the committee is doing assessments, getting some demographics, and trying to get an idea of the demand of such a facility by working with local industries and assessing their need for extended stays.
No timeline has been set so far for that project, however.