New Philadelphia, Ohio - The City of New Philadelphia is seeking state grant funding to help cover the cost of roadway and infrastructure improvements near Tuscora Park.

Service Director Ron McAbier says the city is planning to apply for an Ohio Public Works grant of up to $500,000 to help fund improvements along Wabash Avenue NW. 

Proposed improvements outlined as part of the $753,000 project include the resurfacing the replacement of the existing water and storm sewer lines running through the area.

McAbier says the proximity of those lines to one another has created ongoing issues for the city. 

“We have a waterline there now and storm line that lay almost in the same ditch,” he explained. “Every time you try to get in and fix the waterline, you end up having to repair the storm line.” 

McAbier says the city would like to replace a 1,500-foot section of both lines and reinstall the lines so they run about 12 feet apart. There is also a need to replace two 30-inch storm sewer pipes that run from the lagoon to the park pond. 

“The joints are going bad on them, and it’s starting to get a lot of infiltration, so we’re going to replace that while we’re there tearing up Wabash Avenue and just take care of it all at one time,” McAbier says. 

In addition to the infrastructure improvements, the project also calls for the repaving of the entire road and the installation of curbing, improvements that the city hopes will lead to the return of the Tuscarawas County Soap Box Derby. 

The park is one of several venues that hosted the annual event before its return to its original location in downtown Sugarcreek in 2017. 
“We’ll pave that whole road then and hopefully, maybe, get the Soap Box Derby back some day,” McAbier says.

McAbier says the city will find out in November whether the project has been selected to receive grant funding. As long as the city is awarded at least $300,000 in funding, the project will move forward. 

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