An old road’s right-of-way finally finalized


By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The right-of-ways for old roads are not always easy to determine.

Engineers and surveyors found that out while doing research on the city of Groveport’s estimated $130,000 project to construct a concrete sidewalk from Heritage Park to Main Street along the south side of Wirt Road. They discovered that the nearly 200-year-old survey records for Wirt Road from College Street to Main Street and the adjacent former Ohio and Erie Canal lands were “inconsistent and ambiguous” regarding Wirt Road and its right-of-way.

The city hired a  surveyor to survey and research the area’s property records and plats, which resulted in an ordinance for a final plat for Wirt Road that Groveport City Council approved on Jan. 25.

“This final plat allows us to move forward with the (sidewalk) improvements. The sidewalk will be within the Wirt Road right-of-way,” said Groveport City Engineer Steve Farst. “We did our best to respect and honor the existing surveys and no properties in this area along the road are losing land. The road is where it is.”

Under the final plat, part of the Wirt Road right-of-way is 60 feet wide, but other parts are pinched-in making the road right-of-way slightly narrower near some properties.

Farst said the nearly two century old surveys of the area used physical references that no longer exist, such as measuring the south line of the Ohio and Erie Canal from where the water hit the soil.

“We can’t know where that is now,” said Farst.

Farst said city officials will hold a meeting with property owners along Wirt Road at a yet to be determined date in February to go over the sidewalk project in detail.

Other Groveport news

•Council will decide on Feb. 8 whether or not to raise the amount of motor vehicle license tax within the city by $5 to help pay for road maintenance.

“Should Groveport decide not to collect this fee, Franklin County has the right to collect the fee and keep it for themselves,” said Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall, who added council would have to approve the increase before July 1 for collection as of Jan. 1, 2017.

The tax is paid to the State Registrar of Motor Vehicles or to a deputy registrar when an application for registration of a motor vehicle is made.

Currently the motor vehicle license fee for Groveport residents is $15. If approved by council, it will rise to $20. In comparison, the fees for the surrounding areas of Canal Winchester, Madison Township, and Hamilton Township are already at $20.

•Tim Sargent has applied to the city for a variance to the permitted uses for the property located at 540 Blacklick St. The property is currently zoned residential and Sargent, who owns an HVAC business, has applied for the property to be permitted for commercial use as a small mechanical contracting business to operate out of the front building on the property.

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