The consulting firm that put Columbus' Oxbow Meadows on a map now has to come up with a plan to put what's on the map on the land.
Under contract with the Columbus Water Works in 2004, the firm of Jordan, Jones & Goulding came up with an elaborate conceptual plan for the public land stretching from South Lumpkin Road west to an "S"-curve in the Chattahoochee River. The area includes Columbus State University's Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, the Oxbow Creek Golf Course and a proposed marina.
Now city leaders are hiring Jordan, Jones & Goulding to come up with a two-phase plan to make the map more than conceptual — to figure out how the city should spend about $6 million remaining from the $10 million pledged to the project in a 1999 sales tax campaign. About $4 million of that already has been spent on extending utilities and buying land from adjacent property owners.
The first phase of the new plan will project how the rest of that sales tax money should be spent. The second phase will cover parts of the Oxbow Meadows master plan that were to be privately funded, such as a marina, hotel and conference center the city had hoped private investors would build and operate.
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The land owned by the city and the water works is right across South Lumpkin Road from the site of the new National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center, which is expected to open in 2009 and draw about 300,000 visitors a year. The master plan has to fit the needs of the city, the CSU learning center and the water works, and tie in to the infantry museum, said Deputy City Manager David Arrington.
"The main thing is to make sure that what we do and what we plan out is in coordination with the key stakeholders in the area, and serves to complement each of the parties," Arrington said. "For example, we have a trail system as part of it. We want to make sure that trail system accommodates a smooth flow of pedestrian traffic that can access the infantry museum, Oxbow Meadows and then whatever other facilities might be down there."
The total cost to update the preliminary plan laid out in the 2004 map is $63,600. Columbus Council approved spending its share of $31,650 on Tuesday. The update is expected to take 60 days, and will be presented to council when it's finished this summer.
The 2004 conceptual plan for the Oxbow Meadows land shows a hotel, a marina, a retail area with a town green, picnic pavilions, observation towers, walking trails, a playground, a festival field, an amphitheater, a boat dock, a canoe dock, a canoe trail and areas for fishing and bird watching.