City News

March 8, 2023

West Carrollton whitewater park project gets big financial support

West Carrollton whitewater park project gets big financial support

Project will enable the Dayton region to compete to host whitewater competitions and events.

A whitewater park and community gathering space planned by West Carrollton is set to receive financial support from Montgomery County.

City council, at its most recent meeting, approved a measure to allow City Manager Brad Townsend to enter into a contract with Merrick & Company/The McLaughlin Whitewater Group for preliminary design services for a riverpark at the South Montgomery County Low Dam for up to $735,000.

“That’s a big number, but fortunately, our friends at the county have agreed to give us $750,000 to pay for this,” Townsend told city council. Entering into a contract with Merrick & Company/the McLaughlin Whitewater Group authorizes Townsend to sign a contract, but he said he will not do that until West Carrollton receives confirmation from Montgomery County officials that they’ve authorized that expenditure.

“But the biggest part of this is they would complete design drawings up to 30% completion and that’s what’s necessary for us to begin the permitting process with the Corps of Engineers …,” he said.

The design scope of the project would include some analysis and a planning area that goes slightly beyond the initial whitewater area, Townsend said.

The $7.5 million proposed project along the riverfront would include a 900-foot whitewater channel around the South Montgomery County Low Dam, competition-level whitewater features for kayaks and wave surfing, and safety modifications aimed at improving safety, use and access to the river.

Area officials say the project will enable the Dayton region to compete to host whitewater competitions and events, bringing out-of-town and out-of-state whitewater enthusiasts to West Carrollton and the Dayton region, city officials previously said.

The proposed project would be part of more than $70 million in private sector development along the Great Miami River at the Interstate 75 West Carrollton interchange, activity that is leading to the creation of 500 jobs over a 5- to 7-year build-out.

The multi-year, multi-phase redevelopment plan the city is crafting includes on-river recreation, riverfront development, and development at the southwest corner of the I-75, Exit 47 interchange.

Early plans include a hotel, medical office building, service retail, multiple restaurants (fast casual, premium white-tablecloth and drive-thrus), plus 26 high-end townhome condominiums and a 214-unit apartment project. There’s also a proposal for a small watercraft marina.

The project is expected to stimulate economic development for the city and the entire footprint of the Great Miami River, officials said.

Merrick & Company is an employee-owned engineering, architecture, surveying, and geospatial firm. McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group develops whitewater parks and river surfing projects nationwide. Both are based in Colorado.