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Government and Politics


The Cleveland Metroparks is moving closer to taking over the state-run lakefront parks
Ohio doesn't have the money to keep them up, so Metroparks is looking at takeover options
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


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Kevin Niedermier
 
Clevelander Frank Lash walks his dogs Nuke and Leeda at Edgewater State Park everyday. He says its declined in the past 10 years and hopes a Metropark takeover would help.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
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The Cleveland Metropark system seems closer to taking control of Cleveland’s state-run lakefront parks. A decline in state funding has left the six parks along Lake Erie in disrepair. As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, many people hope the successful Metroparks can turn them around.

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The Metroparks board recently approved the lease of property along the Cuyahoga River, authorized seeking funding for a beach ambassador program, and unveiled an Edgewater State Park revitalization plan. Metroparks Executive Director Brian Zimmerman says the system has been working with the state and the lakefront park’s owner, the City of Cleveland, on a takeover strategy.

“We’ve working on it and have presented a number of different work sessions to the board of park commissioners over the last six months looking at some business plans and models, and looking at strategies for making them part of the Emerald Necklace.”

Zimmerman says talks are ongoing, and he cannot estimate when a decision will be made. The Metroparks estimates the lakefront parks need about $16million in deferred maintenance.

Frank Lash lives near Edgewater State Park and walks here everyday. He understands the state’s money problems have caused the parks' decline, and hopes a Metropark takeover would help

“They’re broken picnic tables and there’s hardly any patrols at all, I see a ranger once in while, and sometimes a policeman stops by.”

The other state-run lakefront parks are Euclid Beach, Wildwood, Villa Angela, Gordon Park and the East 55th Street Marina.                                                            
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