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September 23, 2018

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Pathway fundraiser tickets available

Nov. 1 Dare to Dream wine tasting and auction

Tickets are now available for the Bluffton Lions Foundation “Dare to Dream” wine tasting and auction set for Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m. at Sycamore Lake Winery, rural Columbus Grove

The event is a fundraiser supporting the Bluffton Bike pathway project. Tickets are $25 each and are available only in advance from Lion members or by calling 419-788-0729, according to Colleen Lazar, Lions president.

Background on pathway project
A master plan developed in 2009 through joint funding of the Bluffton Lions and the Village of Bluffton, produced the guide for future pathway development.

Lions Way Path
- Extending the Bluffton’s National Quarry-Triplett Pathway to the State Route 103 business at the intersection of State Route 103 and I -75. The beautiful tree-lined three quarter mile paved Lions Way was opened and dedicated July 14, 2014.

Lions Way Trailhead Park
- The park is constructed off Commerce Lane on a 225-by-60 foot green space bordering the pathway. Phase I includes placement of a steel picnic shelter, concrete pad, picnic tables, water hydrant, bike racks and landscaping. Future phases will include restrooms, park benches, playground equipment and vehicle parking. The Lions Way Trailhead Park opened and dedicated Sept.16, 2015.

Lions Way Augsburger Path
-The pathway runs along the Bluffton University soccer practice field, then into the Nature Preserve woods, exiting near the Preserve driveway and finally, following along Augsburger Road past Riverbend subdivision, the path arrives at Maple Crest Senior Living Village. Construction began in September 2016, with official opening of the pathway at the dedication and ribbon cutting celebration Oct. 31, 2016.

Lions Way Parkview Path
-The pathway entrance is off Kibler Street through the new developing Parkview subdivision exiting at Main Street across from the Bluffton Dairy Freeze and Jackson Street.  From Kibler Street the asphalt path is 8-foot -wide and exits on to Parkview Drive and 6-foot concrete walks. Pedestrians and bicyclers may use the sidewalks and streets.

With the addition of the Parkview path, pedestrians and bikers may travel a safer and shorter route to and from the Main Street Dari Freeze, university and retirement community.  The path opened in May with a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony held in June 2017.

2018 plans
Lions Way Bentley Path
- The path connects to the Augsburger path and runs south along the Bluffton University athletic complex to the bridge over Riley creek. The bridge could be replaced as early 2022 with a pathway design included. Safety is very important for travelers along Bentley Road between Lions Way Parkview Path and Lions Way Augsburger Path. Runners, bikers and motorized vehicles often share this stretch of relatively narrow road. There are no sidewalk or pathway along Bentley Road.

Choice One Engineering was hired to study construction of a pathway along Bentley Road connecting Lions Way Augsburger Path to Kibler Street through Parkview subdivision and continuing to Main Street close to the Bluffton Dari Freeze. As envisioned in the master plan, the path will eventually make its way to and along Riley Creek connecting with the Triplett Pathway that goes to the village park.

Once construction funding is confirmed, the project can move forward in 2018. Property owners have already pledged to donate the required right-of-way an experienced local contractor in conjunction with Choice One Engineering have supplied realistic construction projections including all estimated materials, labor and contingencies. Once constructed, a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony will be scheduled.