Montgomery County voted on Tuesday to put $50,000 towards a Great Miami River master plan. More than a dozen cities and towns along the river are also pitching in to match funds provided by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a program that helps states plan waterfront development.
The local partnership with the Corps is headed off by the Miami Conservancy District, and participants hope it will help turn the river into a regional cash cow.
“I think everybody that lives in Southwest Ohio would be a beneficiary,” said Janet Bly of the Miami Conservancy District, “but I think it would also create a tourist destination for people from not only Ohio but from the surrounding states.”
Riverside Mayor Bill Flaute says the town is already planning a whitewater rafting station and a canoe launch.
“This project just adds to that momentum,” he said Tuesday.
And other local leaders hope riverfront parks and restaurants will bring in new revenues, with the help of a regional planning process. For example, Mayor Dick Church of Miamisburg says the city has a major park project underway on the riverfront that could be strengthened by an overall increase in tourism and attention to the region. And, he could use direct financial assistance for the completion of the $17 million park; he hopes Army Corps involvement could lead to other forms of assistance.
“Somewhere out there, there’s somebody that would like a park named after ‘em,” he joked. “All they gotta do is come see me and bring a check.”