Local business group seeks funds, labor for park project

Growing Lucasville Opportunities is looking for ways to build excitement around its community, including a community park and decorations along the Route 23 corridor. Photo courtesy of GLO.

LUCASVILLE — Attempting to find use for an establishment on Robert Lucas Road, the Valley Township Trustees approved the location for a new community park during a Nov. 14 meeting.

Proposed by the recently-formed Growing Lucasville Opportunities business group, the park would replace a mostly vacant lot that costs the township $6,000 per year.

“We just came together and said if not us, then who?” said GLO Vice-President Matt Keeney, of the organization formed in September comprised of successful local business owners.

Money required for the project will not be raised through a tax increase, but rather through fundraising campaigns, state and local grants, and just general community support. An exact price is not known, but Keeney projects it will be anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000.

One such campaign was 4th Annual Turkey Trot, where Keeney says over $1,350 came to GLO.

“It wasn’t much, but good enough to get some money in the bank account,” he said, his Dreamboat Fitness behind the race. “That will just cover costs and fees of miscellaneous items.”

Garnering funds to finance the project is the first phase of three or four, where GLO is currently looking for grant money, donations to a GoFundMe account, and membership fees.

Creating a layout of its design is part of this phase, where a walking trail, playground, amphitheatre, cornhole and horseshoe area, and shelter for groups to gather have been included in early mockups.

The subsequent phase will focus first on the manual labor aspect of making these ideas reality, which will be done through volunteer work and equipment donations through construction companies. Phase three will be primarily based on cosmetics, placing the equipment and laying down concrete.

With the goal of grant approval by February, Keeney is hoping for the groundwork to begin this spring or summer and the park ready by summer 2022.

Keeney said GLO revolves around a team-atmosphere, joined by such members as Kenny Boldman of Splash n Go Car wash and Laundry May, Treg Cunningham of Blueprint Event Company, Josh Greene of Arrick’s Propane, Brandon Holbrook of Holbrooks Hometown Pharmacy, Brandon Buckle of Brynlee Construction, Todd Crabtree of Giovanni’s Pizza & Crabtree Carpet & Tile, and Tim Rayburn of Whitley, Gahm, Rayburn CPA.

“We have a lot of community support and small business owners who want to make Lucasville an exciting place to live,” he said. “With the new bypass, we’re just trying to add value to Lucasville.”

Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at pkeck@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.