NEW PHILADELPHIA Dover, Oh

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Dover, Ohio (WJER) - The city’s fire chief says residents will see a dramatic difference at Dover Canal Park in the coming year. 

Chief Russell Volkert says the project to utilize and beautify the park has already seen the razing of more than a dozen houses, the planting of over 40 trees, and leveling and grading the land to make the park along the Tuscarawas river more accessible. The latest step in the years-long process to improve the park is city council’s recent approval of design work for a mile-long walking and biking path. Volkert says the city will pay about $83,000 for the design, and the Ohio Department of Transportation will provide a $700,000 grant to cover the work.

“The grant that was awarded was for a pedestrian and bicycle pathway through the majority of the park, about two-thirds of the park, and then also decorative lighting,” he says. “Part of the surface will be paved. Part of the surface will be crushed limestone.”

Volkert says the city has secured about $3-million to date in grants to pay for improvements at Canal Park.

“We’ve been very fortunate in terms of getting funding for that purpose. It’s changed a great deal, and it’s gonna continue to change for the better,” he says. “In the next year, you’ll see a quantum leap in how the whole area looks. “

Volkert says the park will be an ongoing project, with most work completed over the next four to five years. He says the city will seek bids for the biking and walking path next year.

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