City helps Firefighters 4 Kids; plus other Groveport news

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor
Groveport City Council and city staff donated $500 worth of toys to the Firefighters for Kids holiday toy drive program.

Council and city staff presented the toys, – that included games, balls, a fire truck, stuffed animals, crayons, a Magic 8 Ball, and much more and which filled two large bags – to Madison Township firefighters at council’s Dec. 18 meeting.

“We hope this will bring smiles to someone this holiday season,” said City Councilman Shawn Cleary, who also lauded firefighter Johnny Jones for his 30 years of volunteer service to Firefighters for Kids. “He really puts his heart into it.”

Madison Township Fire Chief Derek Robinson thanked the city for its donation to Firefighters for Kids.

“Firefighters for Kids is a great tradition,” said Robinson. “It’s a way to give back to the community and to help brighten someone’s holiday.”

Councilman Ed Dildine, who is also a Madison Township firefighter, said the each fire station also adopted a family as part of Groveport Madison Human Needs Adopt-a-Family program this year.

Robinson added that the fire department administration also adopted a family as part of the Adopt-a-Family program and an individual firefighter also adopted a family.

City gets OPWC grant
The Ohio Public Works Commission has approved the city of Groveport’s request for funding for the reconstruction of Port Road from about 100 feet south of Rohr Road to a point near Spiegel Drive and Port Road.

According to Groveport City Administrator B.J. King, the funding for the project includes a $683,675 OPWC grant and a $1.1 million zero interest 20 year loan from the state of Ohio. Work on the project could begin in 2024.

“This will be a road reconstruction,” said King. “The road needs it. It is in terrible shape.”

Street maintenance
Council authorized King to solicit bids for the 2024 street maintenance program as well as the Maple Street storm sewer improvements and resurfacing project.

The city’s 2024 budget includes $600,000 for the street maintenance program and $200,000 for the Maple Street project.

Maple Street runs east and west and extends from West Street to Blacklick Park.

The streets to be included in the street maintenance program are expected to be announced in January.

New pickleball courts proposed
Council authorized King to solicit bids for the construction of eight pickleball courts in Groveport Park. The city’s 2024 budget includes $1 million for the new pickleball courts.
Currently there are six pickleball courts sharing space with three tennis courts in Degenhart Park. The courts in Degenhart Park will remain as combination tennis and pickleball courts.

King noted there is a growing demand for pickleball courts as the sport gains popularity. He said the new pickleball courts will be for pickleball only and will be located in the southeast part of Groveport Park near the baseball field.

According to Groveport City Engineer Steve Farst’s Dec. 7 report to council, the construction of the new pickleball courts are expected to be completed in 2024.

Pickleball was created in the 1960s. According to information from the Groveport Recreation Center, the game combines elements of badminton, tennis, and ping pong. It is played on a badminton sized court with a net that is 34 inches high. Players use wood or composite flat, smooth paddles to strike a plastic ball similar to a wiffle ball (the paddle striking the ball makes a distinctive “pock” sound). You can play either singles or doubles.

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