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Friday, June 26, 2020

Rossford Park Plans Moving Forward With Help from St. Elizabeth

Thanks to support from St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas, city officials are looking at equipment for three exercise stations in Rossford Park.

By Robin Gee, city council beat editor

Here’s a spot of bright news in a time fraught with challenges — Rossford Park may soon boast an outdoor exercise experience with three fully equipped exercise stations, thanks to a partnership with St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas.

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The announcement underlined the city’s commitment to move forward with plans and projects outlined in the comprehensive plan update. Due to the health, safety and financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, city budgets are tight and revenue streams for public projects are uncertain.

With that in mind, city council passed a cautious budget for Fiscal Year '20-'21 last week, but officials said they are focused on doing what they can do to keep momentum going on implementation plans.

Mayor Eric Haas reached out to St. Elizabeth for help, knowing the healthcare provider’s commitment to community wellness — and St. Elizabeth leaders agreed.

Partnership boosts spirits and momentum

The St. Elizabeth partnership and financial support for the Rossford Park exercise project gives a much needed boost to the city’s plan focus on its parks and recreation. The hospital system will cover about half of the total expenses for the project.

"We are grateful to St. Elizabeth for their participation. It goes with their initiatives to support wellness. It will be a nice offering in the community and possibly one we can duplicate elsewhere. We’re pretty excited about that," said City Administrator Ron Dill.

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For its part, the project fits in nicely with St. Elizabeth’s goal to promote wellness in the community.

"The exercise equipment and fitness stations at Rossford Park is a further investment in Campbell County and our vision to help lead Northern Kentucky to become one of the healthiest communities in America. Along with promoting healthier lifestyles, it gives the people of Ft. Thomas and surrounding areas an accessible place to exercise in the fresh air," said John Mitchell, senior vice president and chief operating officer for St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas.

Focus on city comprehensive plan implementation

Dill has been working closely with Chris Manning of Human Nature and city staff on implementation of the comprehensive plan. Some things have been put on hold, but the St. Elizabeth partnership enables a move forward on the Rossford Park improvements. Right now, Dill and others are busy researching and picking out the equipment.

The three stations will include stationary equipment designed to allow participants to work out and keep fit. They are part of an overall plan that will include improvements in landscaping, restoration and maintenance of nature trails and enhancement of exercise and recreation opportunities in all Fort Thomas parks.

Example of equipment under consideration for the Rossford Park exercise stations.

Another example of the kinds of equipment under consideration for Rossford Park. More information will come as the project moves forward from the planning stage.

Resources to keep up with plans, projects and reopening news

For more on what is planned for the community, see details in the Fort Thomas Comprehensive Plan. Also helpful is Dill’s presentation outlining progress on implementation of the Fort Thomas city plan that was made to city council in January 2020.

Since that time, the pandemic has put some projects on hold. For information on the reopening plans for parks and recreation, keep an eye on the Fort Thomas city website.

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