The Groveport Police Department has reported that incidents requiring police action remain a problem at Groveport Madison High School, but most of the problems appear to be caused by a small percentage of the students.
According to a report presented at the Feb. 11 Groveport Village Council meeting, so far this school year there have been 121 fights/assaults/disturbances at the school. Additionally this school year there have been a total of 23 thefts, eight felony arrests, and 12 misdemeanor citations.
In January alone there were 28 fights/assaults/disturbances while in January 2007 there were 15 fights/assaults/disturbances.
School Resource Officer and Groveport Police Officer Chris Gyke said, however, this year the confrontations do not seem as severe as last year. He characterized the disputes between students, and others, this year as more disorderly than brawling.
"A vast majority of the students do not cause any problems," said Gyke. "Only about 5 percent of the students are continual problems. It’s usually the same students over and over again who give the school a black eye."
Gyke speculated that there are a couple of reasons why friction arises in the hallways and rooms at the high school. One, he said, is that the "halls are really packed" and the crowded conditions sometimes spark problems when nerves get frayed.
"It’s a lot of people in a small space," said Gyke.
Gyke said another factor is that disputes that may arise among students in the many neighborhoods that make up the geographically large school district sometimes spill over into the high school building.
"The school is the common place everyone from all of these neighborhoods share and sometimes problems from outside the school find their way into the building and flare up," said Gyke.
Income tax revenues are up
"Income tax revenues are up substantially for January," Village Administrator Jon Crusey told council. "Things are starting to look better."
According to Crusey, the village’s income tax collections for January 2008 were up $393,921 over January 2007.
"January collections totaled $1,074,560, which is the second largest month ever for income tax receipts," said Crusey.
Year to date, income tax revenue is up $367,603 over 2007 and $301,930, or 17.68 percent, over the 2008 estimated revenue projections.
Other Groveport news
•Council approved, by a 4-2 vote, an ordinance to donate $20,000 to the private non-profit organization Go Groveport!. Councilmen Ed Dildine and Shawn Cleary opposed the donation.
•Council approved the purchase of a: $38,000 passenger van for the senior transportation program; $115,000 dump truck; $38,000 skid loader; and $45,000 in fitness equipment for the recreation center.
•Council passed an ordinance to set the annual cost of living adjustment for village employees at 3.75 percent. The adjustment only applies to those employees at the top end of the pay scale.
•Council heard the second reading of an ordinance to contract with Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security for the purchase of two outdoor warning sirens. Currently the village has sirens near Main Street at Hendron Road and behind Eastland Career Center. Emergency officials state the village needs two more sirens to properly cover the village.
•Council heard the second reading of an ordinance to grant a use variance to School House Finance, which operates Groveport Community School, for an additional charter school at 4085 Venture Place. The school plans to convert the former Nifco property into classrooms for grades 7 and 8. Groveport Community School currently operates a school for grades 1-6 in a nearby building.