By Andrea Cordle
The city of Grove City and Jackson Township have reached an agreement on a Southern Grove bike path.
At the Oct. 3 meeting, Grove City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to set aside $52,000 from the general fund to extend a bicycle and pedestrian path from the Town Center to Fryer Park. The path would take those using the path through the Southern Grove subdivision, which is located off Orders Road in Jackson Township.
On Oct. 4, the Jackson Township trustees also signed off on the deal.
According to the agreement, the city will fund the cost of the extension, as well as the signage and path markings. The township would maintain the path and its signage.
The agreement also states that the city will not connect any streets in Southern Grove to new developments for vehicular traffic unless the majority of residents in that area agree.
Southern Grove has been in the township for more than 50 years. There is only one way in and out of the neighborhood and it includes several streets that dead-end into farm fields.
For the past several months, residents of Southern Grove have voiced opposition to a plan that would connect the streets to a new development near Haughn and Orders roads.
Some of the Southern Grove residents feel the bike path is a good compromise, but want more assurance that the city will not come again and try to connect the streets.
“We are dead set against any vehicular traffic,” said resident Ken Kober. “It is my fear that something will come down from the top that would go against the will of Southern Grove residents.”
Kober asked that the legislation be tightened to reinforce preventative measures.
Council members explained that they were voting on the funding for the bike path and the agreement with the township trustees, or the memorandum of understanding, is a supporting document.
“The memorandum of understanding should give the residents comfort,” said councilwoman Laura Lanese.
City Administrator Chuck Boso said the city has agreed not to connect that area for vehicular traffic.
“We have addressed the concerns. The township has to approve further action,” said Boso.
Boso also noted that the issue to connect Southern Grove streets to outside developments could come up again if other residents or developers in the city requested that access.
Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage suggested that residents concerned with the language in the memorandum of understanding contact the township trustees.