The village of Leesburg is planning a number of renovations that will be heavily supported through the Ohio Appalachian Community Grant Program that will award funding to 32 Ohio counties.
“It’s a $500 million grant, so we’re trying to get our fair share of it,” said Leesburg Mayor Shawn Priest.
New street lamps and sidewalks are being planned for the downtown area of Leesburg. “We used to have these gorgeous street lights with three big globes, and we want to put a few of those in downtown and work on revamping the sidewalks,” said Priest.
Projects implemented through the grant will need to be completed by October of 2026. “They just opened up the planning process in March, and we’ve got to go through that before we can go ahead with the next section so, in typical state fashion, it is going to take a while,” said Priest.
Priest said the plan is for eight street lamps and repaving the most heavily used downtown sidewalks.
The village storefronts will also be receiving a face lift. “We’ve contacted a gentleman who does repainting of historical buildings to get all of our downtown businesses repainted,” said Priest. “We’re thinking of using Williamsburg colors because we’ve got some really ornate buildings that just need a little touch up.”
Another part of the downtown renovation will include replacing a fire pit in the pocket park with a fountain. “We’re not planning on doing anything super colossal like Hillsboro did — we just wanted a small one — something to kind of fill that little fire pit in,” said Priest. She estimated that the fountain will cost about $5,000.
Outside of the downtown area, the village is planning a fenced in playground and splash pad at Roadside Park. “Instead of having a swimming pool, you have these pipes and things that spray water out, and the kids can go and play in the water,” said Priest. “The kids are getting to have fun in the water on a hot summer day, but you don’t have to worry about them getting in deep water like you would with a pool.”
A footbridge that crosses over Lees Creek from the Roadside Park to the baseball field is also being planned. “The footbridge is going to be a little expensive, but we’re applying for another grant that is going to help take a big chunk of money off the table for our Appalachian grant,” said Priest. “Right now, it’s looking like it’s going to be around $350,000, but again, we’ve got another grant that’s going to help cover a substantial portion of that.”
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.