Thank you for visiting the madeiramessenger, the “new” messenger installed using Word Press technology. The publisher of this site is 52 year Madeira resident Douglas Oppenheimer. My history includes three two year terms as a member of Madeira City Council, membership in the Madeira Jaycees, and the last living member of the Madeira Historical Society from 1972, the year that the society was founded. I also became a member of St. Gertrude Catholic Church in 1970. I never lost my interest in Madeira politics, and founded the messenger website and the messenger on Facebook. The purpose of the two “news sites” is to educate and bring community news to the forefront of our community, as other news sites become fewer and fewer. Understanding what your local Madeira government is doing and at what cost is another important aspect of the messenger. Older Madeira news content has been left on what was the original Website and can be accessed with the link at the top of the home page.
Madeira Park History
Lets begin with the history of land purchased back in 1975 and the vision Madeira Council members had, I was the youngest member of that council serving my second two year term. In 1975 Madeira only had one public park in Madeira, Sellman. Sellman Park was the hub of recreation including one fully lighted Baseball field, Tennis Courts, a Shelter House with storage space, a playground, restrooms and a drinking fountain. Situated further back was a woods, and a creek that children could play in. But the community was changing, soccer was a newer sport, and the needs for additional fields was increasing. Sellman also was where we celebrated various times like the fourth of July, watched fireworks, and reserved the shelter house for family and other purposes. During my first term as a member of council and continuing on in the second term, we began the acquisition of properties on Dawson Road, that would become McDonalds Commons. The area chosen for a new park was between Dawson Road and stretched all the way to Camargo Road. I learned that much of the land was owned by Black Families and that the families were in the trash collection business. In fact nearly all of their property served as a trash dump and a landfill. I did not know anything specific about what might have been put in their landfill or about the history of the dump. One Black family whose property would be bought by the city was the Spaulding Family. Plans were developed for a new park while I still served on council, I served a third term that included 1977 thru 1979. The original plans for the new park included an open creek that was already in place, football, soccer, two baseball fields and tennis courts. The original park drawing is posted below. June 10, 2022
Madeira Park on Dawson Road Concerns…
There have been some concerns regarding the safety of our park that included an EPA Lawsuit and long term monitoring of the water table beneath the park surface. Current soil reports and historical soil reports should be reviewed, prior to spending 14-16 million dollars. More about this later. June 10, 2022
Beginning last year Madeira Council members began planning for redeveloping McDonald Commons Park located on Dawson Road. They hired The Kleingers Group to provide much of the planning, engineering, and design, and the Prus Company as Project Managers. Council has revised several plan Renderings, and the current plan is posted following this paragraph. The estimated redevelopment cost was 10 million, but that has changed upwards of 17 million following more accurate cost estimates being reviewed. The City has already sold construction bonds totaling the 10 million dollars. See the following rendering attached and the current cost estimates. Council members have been concerned about the increased cost of this project, 50% or more over the expected project cost. One question asked is why is artificial turf costing two and a half million still in the proposal. A survey of neighboring communities, found that no other community has artificial turf, all are using real grass. The communities surveyed included Milford, Montgomery, Loveland, and Sycamore Township. There has not been an explanation for spending this amount of money for artificial turf and in fact it gets worse because council members have stated that they are preparing in ten years from now Madeira will replace the turf in the redevelopment plan. The proposed turf is the least expensive but the replacement turf ten years from now would be the highest quality turf. So it seems that possibly there are other reasons for artificial turf, is there something wrong with the existing soil / turf that requires that it needs to be covered? June 10, 2022
Budget Update, McDonald Commons..
Council members continue looking for areas in the budget where cost can be reduced. Artificial turf appears to be untouchable with no explanation provided. June 10, 2022.