Plans to repave part of Groveport’s Main Street have hit a snag.
At Groveport Village Council’s June 28 meeting, council heard the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the village administrator to enter into an agreement with the Franklin County Engineer’s Office to attach to the county’s bid to repave Main Street from College Street west to State Route 317.
Because the county’s bidding process is slated to begin July 8, council was poised to approve the legislation as an emergency. However, the 4-1 vote came up one vote short of the necessary five votes needed for emergency action. Council members Jean Ann Hilbert, Donna Drury, Ed Dildine, and Shawn Cleary voted to enact the emergency legislation and Ed Rarey opposed it. Councilwoman Jan Stoots was not present at the meeting.
Because the emergency action failed, the majority of council asked for a special council meeting to be held July 5 at 8 a.m. when Stoots can be present to vote on the measure. The four council members in support of the action are hoping Stoots, who was out of town on vacation, will provide the needed fifth vote.
The village is seeking to use funds potentially available from county license plate fee funds for the proposed repaving project. The cost to repave this section of Main Street is estimated at $168,000, according to Village Administrator Steve Morris.
The brick crosswalks on Main Street in this area are expected to be paved over as part of the project. Morris told council on June 21 that the brick crosswalks are in "extreme need of repair."
The brick crosswalks were installed in the mid-1990s, but have held up poorly to traffic and snowplow wear and tear.
Dildine, who is a member of the Madison Township Fire Department, noted the crosswalks are so rough that when the department’s ambulance travels over them the bouncing is hard on patients being transported.
However, the cost to fix the crosswalks alone could cost up to $200,000. On June 21 council directed Morris to pursue the project funding and to plan on paving over the brick crosswalks.
Morris said the village could consider installing imitation bricks at the crosswalks at a future date. He said Upper Arlington is using imitation bricks now as a test case for their durability.
Following the June 28 meeting, Rarey said he opposed paving over the brick crosswalks.
"It’s a matter of aesthetics," said Rarey. "They’re unique and make us different from other communities. Actions like removing the brick crosswalks chip away at our town’s image and we’re losing a lot of our values as a small community."
Rarey added the brick crosswalks also serve as a form of speed control for traffic on the heavily traveled street. He also questioned the engineering done when the brick crosswalks were installed in the mid-1990s, noting that Front Street and Blacklick Street were paved with brick about a century ago and are in good shape.