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Vienna City Council discusses pool, kayak launch

Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp discusses Spencer’s Landing at the Vienna City Council meeting. (File Photo)

VIENNA — Vienna City Council approved the 12th Street property as the location of a planned kayak launch on Thursday during its regular meeting.

Council member Jim Leach was unable to attend the meeting.

Chris Mancuso, council member, made a presentation about the design concepts behind the kayak launch. Council was tasked with deciding whether the 12th Street property or Spencer’s Landing would be the ideal place to install it.

Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp said the 12th Street property would be “much safer” for the kayak launch due to the slowness of the current of the Ohio River at that point. He also discussed the slope of the land and how it isn’t as steep as the slope at Spencer’s Landing and would be much more accessible to those in wheelchairs.

The presentation included community input of what could go into Spencer’s Landing. Some of the input included a biking or walking trail, botanical garden space, amphitheater space, food truck and market area, fishing and boating docks and picnic shelters.

Mancuso also spoke about how the city could utilize the 12th Street property. He suggested outdoor recreation, like a soccer or baseball area, and placing the kayak launch and boat docks there.

“The lower currents and the lower speed of the river there and the slope of the site down to the river, makes a lot more sense,” he said. “There is a lot of opportunity there for access to the river — it makes sense to put the kayak launch there.”

Mancuso said council should look into developing a full design plan that encompasses both properties.

“I think that both of these properties put together, hits the nail on just about everything that was asked for in the surveys that we’ve got a lot of responses for,” he said.

Council unanimously approved the 12th Street property as the future location of the kayak launch.

Melissa Elam, council recorder, gave an update about Omni Associates-Architects and the role it will play in the Jackson Pool project. Elam said an Omni engineer gave her a small glimpse of the work that was completed on the pool earlier in the year and went into detail evaluating the status of the pool to her.

“It was affirming to me. After talking to him I think it was worse than we even realized,” she said. “And it was the right decision that we made to close it, 100 percent, no doubt.”

Council member Kim Williams motioned to table the resolution to approve Omni to provide architectural and engineering services on the Jackson Pool project. The motion failed.

Council approved Omni to work to design and build the pool. Mancuso abstained from the vote due to prior conflict. The vote was four to one, with Williams dissenting. Williams explained how the project is a significant expenditure of money and was concerned with lack of planning and information available about the project at this time.

James Dobbs can be reached at jdobbs@newsandsentinel.com.

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