The City of Solon is close to finalizing agreements with Cleveland Metroparks to manage construction and day-to-day operations of the Solon to Chagrin Falls Trail
The proposed 4-mile hiking and biking trail would include 2.1 miles within Solon. It will run along the former Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Company railroad line and will extend from SOM Center Road, next to the Carter Lumber property and the Aldi/Hobby Lobby shopping center in Solon, into Bentleyville, through the Cleveland Metroparks and eventually to Chagrin Falls.
Cleveland Metroparks has agreed to undertake the design and construction of the trail improvements and to connect the trail to the Cleveland Metroparks trail in Bentleyville. It will also manage the day-to-day operations of the trail.
City Council will review and discuss two documents that layout the terms of partnership between the City and the Metroparks; a project development agreement and a lease and management agreement.
The agreements will stipulate the role of each party as it relates to: Financial Responsibilities; Design Responsibilities; Construction/Implementation Responsibilities, and lease and management expectations.
The first reading of the agreements will take place at the February 7 council meeting. A special council meeting will be held on February 17 at 7 pm for deeper discussion and public comment. A third and final reading is expected to occur on February 22.
At least $800,000 of the cost for the ADA accessible trail could be covered by grants. Solon has been conditionally awarded $500,000 by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to aid in funding. An additional $300,000 has been designated for the project in the state's Capital Budget Program.
As part of the project development agreement, a restricted use line item appropriation for the project has been proposed, in an amount not to exceed $4,250,000, which would include all grant and non-grant funds to be provided for the project The project is not expected to cost that much but additional funds are being set aside, and the City will continue to seek additional grants, to ensure that the trail is top notch, safe and appropriate screening is provided for residents who live along the trail.
Once the agreements have been approved and the Metroparks has secured an engineering firm for the project, representatives will engage each individual property owner to assess screening needs and discuss options. The City and the Metroparks are aware of concerns and will be responsive. Both the Metroparks and the City of Solon Police Department will provide policing and monitoring of the trail.
Some preparation work for the trail will begin in 2022 but the majority of the trail installation is expected to take place in 2023.
Questions and concerns about the trail project should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.